Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2016, York St Mary’s

A platform for innovation and originality, the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition returns to York St Mary’s, 14 April – 29 May. To mark its 9th year, the award invites audiences to engage with some of today’s key cultural, social, political, environmental and economic themes through a selection of shortlisted works in the following categories: Photographic & Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture; Painting & Drawing; and Video, Installation & Performance.

There are 10 shortlisted artists, who showcase their captivating projects, with a further 90 longlisted pieces displayed on monitors in the gallery. The 2016 edition is the award’s largest exhibition to date and welcomes practitioners from Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, the UK and the USA. Ranging from site-specific installations to new experiments with light and digital technologies, the showcase is an inspiring example of the calibre of works submitted to the Aesthetica Art Prize.

From ecological concerns to transitions in urbanisation and developments in technology, this year’s presentation instigates a cohesive commentary on the way we inhabit the Earth. Questions of material and personal value align with definitions of virtual and physical realms; depictions of natural landscapes defy tangible realities; and an awareness of time is envisaged in elements of light and sound.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to vote for their winner from the shortlist in the People’s Choice Award. The artist who receives the most votes will be announced as the winner at the end of the exhibition. Participants will be entered into a Free Prize Draw and could win an Aesthetica Creative Package, including a one-print subscription to Aesthetica Magazine, one of the UK’s leading publications on art, design and photography; an Aesthetica Art Prize Annual featuring works and statements by the 100 shortlisted and longlisted artists, and a Creative Writing Annual 2016 – an outstanding collection of short fiction and poetry. There will be voting cards and boxes in the gallery throughout the exhibition.

Alongside the exhibition, there will also be a dynamic series of talks, which are open to the public and free to attend. These present an opportunity to hear directly from those working within the arts and cultural industry, and enhance the experience of the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition. Speakers include Dr Christina Kolaiti, Photography Lecturer, and Desmond Brett, Fine Art Lecturer at York St John University; Dr Sam Lackey, Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield; Sarah Brown, Curator of Exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery; Sophie Raikes, Assistant Curator at Henry Moore Institute; the Aesthetica Art Prize shortlisted artists, and the Aesthetica team. Talks take place at York St Mary’s every Thursday from 14 April – 19 May, starting at 12.30pm.

The Aesthetica Art Prize also hosts the inaugural Future Now Symposium – a new two-day event running on Thursday 26 May and Friday 27 May at York St John University. The Symposium focuses on talent development, and tackle’s themes in today’s current artistic climate through lectures, workshops and panel discussions from within the arts ecosystem and broader social context. There will be a dynamic selection of high-profile speakers participating in the Symposium, including Alistair Payne, Head of Fine Art School and Painting Lecturer at Glasgow School of Art; Stephanie Bush, Programme and Production Manager at Zabludowicz Collection; Mick Moore, Creative Director of British Journal of Photography, and John O’Shea, Senior Exhibitions Manager at National Media Museum among many others.

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, York St Mary’s, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN. 14 April – 29 May, Wednesdays – Sundays, 12pm – 4pm (Free Admission).

Symposium tickets will be available online:

To enter the Aesthetica Art Prize, visit

1. Ellie Davies, Stars 8 (2014). Aesthetica Art Prize 2016 Shortlisted Artist. Photographic & Digital Art.