The Woon Foundation Prize 2016, which offers a total award fund of £40,000 to selected UK undergraduate fine art students in their final year of study, is open for applications.

Jointly hosted by Northumbria University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art at their BALTIC 39 studios, gallery and research complex in Newcastle upon Tyne, the prize will see up to 12 artists shortlisted to exhibit their work in a group show in summer 2016.

The award to the winning artist, who will be selected from the shortlist, includes a prize of £20,000 plus a one-year studio fellowship at BALTIC 39. Along with mentoring from staff of both institutions, at the end of their fellowship the winner will also receive a solo exhibition, with catalogue, at Northumbria University’s Gallery North.

The selection panel includes BALTIC curator Laurence Sillars, artist and BALTIC professor Christine Borland, and Artes Mundi director Karen MacKinnon. Two runners-up will receive £9,000 and £6,000, plus a further £5,000 will be awarded at the judges’ discretion.

The prize, which is free to enter, is open for applications until 31 March 2016.

Game changer

Speaking about the impact of the prize on the selected artists’ careers, Borland said: “The generous nature of this prize is unique in all respects. For the selected Woon Fellow, to receive not only a studio and a one person show but the support of the community of artists, students, and academics at BALTIC 39, and for the other prize winners, it is surely a game changer.”

BALTIC director Sarah Munro added: “From the remarkable generosity of the prizes to the chance for young artists to have their work seen by an esteemed panel of artists and curators, this is the absolute must-consider prize for undergraduate fine art students in the UK.

“Crucially, the Woon Foundation Prize is one of the continuing ways BALTIC supports talent development of artists in their formative years. We hope it also sees all shortlisted finalists engage in the burgeoning artistic community here in north east England.”

The prize was launched in 2013 when it was won by RCA graduate Holly Hendry. Ramona Zoladek received the 2014 award, completing her fellowship in September 2015. The current fellow is Nottingham Trent University graduate Kayt Hughes.

The Woon Foundation Prize 2016: open for applications until 31 March 2016. See Jobs and Opps for more details

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