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The Woon Foundation Prize 2016 is open for applications

2nd February 2016

Student artists from across the UK can now apply for one of the UK’s most generous arts prizes. The Woon Foundation Prize, jointly hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle, and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, offers an exceptional opportunity for final year undergraduate fine art and sculpture students.

The first prize is £20,000 cash and a 12-month studio space based in the Woon Tai Jee studio at BALTIC 39 in Newcastle city centre. The year-long fellowship includes mentoring from staff from both institutions and a final exhibition with catalogue at the end of the Fellowship. There are also two generous runner-up prizes of £9,000 and £6,000 plus a further £5,000 discretionary award.

Sarah Munro , Christine Borland , Kayt Hughes And Mr Woon - To EmbedThe Prize is fee-free and applications can be made via up until 31 March 2016. The shortlisted artists will be selected by a panel of judges including Laurence Sillars, BALTIC Chief Curator, Christine Borland, Turner
Prize-nominated artist and BALTIC Professor at Northumbria University, and Karen MacKinnon, Curator and Director, Artes Mundi.

Up to 12 artists will be shortlisted from the open submission for an exhibition at BALTIC’s project space at BALTIC 39 in summer 2016, with a solo exhibition concluding the Fellowship, at Northumbria’s Gallery North.

Northumbria and BALTIC jointly award and present the The Woon Foundation Prize for Painting and Sculpture as an important part of the successful strategic partnership between the two organisations. Now in its fourth year, the Prize is open to all UK undergraduate Fine Art students who are in their final year of study, graduating in summer 2016.

The £40,000 prize fund is generously donated by The Woon Foundation. One of its trustees, Mr Wee Teng Woon, studied law at Northumbria and is passionate about creating opportunities for new and emerging artists.

Professor Borland said: “On behalf of the judging panel, we are really excited to begin to receive the applications for this year's Woon Foundation Prize. 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 with a catalogue, but the support of the community of artists, students, and academics at BALTIC 39 in the heart of Newcastle.

Kayt Hughes And Woon - To Embed“For the other prize winners, the freedom to spend their prizes however they choose; on travel, materials, or to pay the studio rent, is surely a game changer. Association with the Prize, and an exhibition at BALTIC 39 will, I'm certain, be a welcome addition on any young artist's CV.”

Sarah Munro, BALTIC Director added: “BALTIC is absolutely delighted and proud to be a key partner in the Woon Foundation Prize. 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.

“We are proud that BALTIC’s curatorial staff form part of the judging panel each year and the shortlist exhibition is presented in BALTIC’s project space at BALTIC 39. 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 the North East.”

The prize was launched in 2012 and the inaugural winner was artist Holly Hendry who completed her Fellowship in September 2014. The next Fellow was Ramona Zoladek who held the Fellowship until September 2015. The current Fellow is Kayt Hughes, who recently met Mr Woon when he visited the UK in January.

Mr Woon said: “The Woon Foundation is delighted that applications are open for the Woon Art and Sculpture Prize 2016. We look forward to seeing the work of this year’s shortlisted applicants and encourage you to take part.”

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