The winner of the 2015 Jessica Wilkes Studio Award is the artist Barry Thompson. Known for his meticulously executed drawings, Thompson will receive a variety of rewards including rent-free studio space for a year and a bursary to devote more time and resources to his studio practice.

He will also receive additional support via studio visits from other artists and professionals. The total value of the prize is estimated at over £10,000. The award is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme studio tenants.

Thompson said: “I’m over the moon to receive the award. It will give me the rare opportunity to spend more focused time in the studio without the burden of financial issues common to most artists. I am convinced that my practice will benefit from this and feel very privileged and humbled to be selected.”

Following the death in 2005 of artist Jessica Wilkes at the age of 56, the professional development award was set up by Acme and members of her family.

Now in its fifth year, the 2015 selection panel consisted of Jonathan Harvey (chief executive, Acme Studios), Ingrid Swenson (director, PEER), Melissa Appleton (Wilkes’ niece) and Joanna Hewison (Wilkes’ sister).

East London-based organisation PEER will also work with the selected artist towards a solo show to take place in spring 2016. The exhibition will be supported by additional funding from Acme and PEER.

Ingrid Swenson, director, PEER, said: “From a very strong shortlist of seven, the panel was unanimous in their selection of Barry Thompson for this award.”

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