The Role of Art Prizes

The Role of Art Prizes

Offering insight into art prizes as models for talent development, this session considers the end goals of gallery representation, interest from collectors and further exhibition, and the ways for artists to break into the sector.How to Get Ahead as an Emerging Artist, a panel discussion running 18 May at the Future Now Symposium, offers insight into what prizes are looking for and what they offer for professional development as part of a wider career plan. Ahead of the panel, Carla Rapoport (Lumen Art Prize) discusses some ideas surrounding progression.

A: Why do you think that art prizes are so important in terms of supporting the careers of emerging practitioners?
CR: Art Prizes shine a light on emerging artists who win or who are finalists, allowing them to gain a wider audience for their work and the eye of curators, writers and academics, not to mention the public. Many prizes include a show which allows the artist great visibility. And then there is the prize money which is always helpful! Once a prize goes on a CV, it doesn’t come off or become dated – it’s a stamp of approval that lasts a whole career.

A: How do you think that art prizes fit into the wider ecosystem of the industry, in terms of gallery representation and interest from collectors?
CR: Prizes certainly help with gaining commissions as well as sales, gallery representation, and publicity, not to mention interest from collectors. A prize acts as an independent vote of confidence in a crowded field.

A: What has been your favourite work to date from the various competitions that you offer?
CR: Fabio Giampetro’s Hyperplanes of Simultaniety, which he created with Alessio de Vecchi. He combines the painterly traditions of Italian art with the stunning, challenging environment afforded by Virtual Reality.

A: Could you discuss some of the successes of artists that have been involved with Lumen?
CR: One of our winning artists, Alexandra Sophia Handal, has been collected by the Contemporary Art Museum of Denmark. Andy Lomas, who won in 2014, was collected last year by the V&A in London. Other Lumen artists have won significant commissions, most recently we provided a shortlist of Lumen artists for an installation for the Barbican and the winner will be announced next month. Other opportunities have been installations in Russia with Cyland MediaLab and other partnerships around the world.

A: You’re currently open for entries for your seventh edition; what are you looking for this year and what are you excited about in terms of the different types of awards that you offer?
CR: We are particularly looking forward to seeing the work entered for our Meural Student Award, offered in partnership with the digital canvas company Meural, as well as the works created with Artificial Intelligence, offered in partnership with the British Computer Society. Both very exciting!

A: What are you most looking forward to discussing at Future Now?
CR: I’m curious to hear what my fellow panellists feel are the big issues facing emerging artists today. What I enjoy most at events like these is the questions from the floor as it allows me to challenge my own thinking and open myself up to new ideas.

Speakers for the full panel include Griselda Goldsborough (Aesthetica Art Prize), Javier Pes (Artnet), Carla Rapoport (Lumen Art Prize), Jaquelyn Jobert (Anise Gallery), Rachel Ara (Artist) and Rebekka Kill (York St John).

To book tickets for the Future Now Symposium, click here.

1. Jiayu Liu, Ocean Wave, 2017