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Just two weeks left to apply for the Woon Prize 2018

Press Release   •   Mar 19, 2018 11:17 GMT

Final year undergraduate artists from across the UK have until Tuesday 3 April to apply for one of the UK’s most generous arts prizes.


The Woon Foundation Painting & Sculpture Prize, jointly hosted by Northumbria University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art offers an exceptional opportunity for Fine Art students.

The first prize is a £20,000 fellowship with a 12-month studio space 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.

Up to 10 artists will be shortlisted from the open submission for a prize-giving exhibition in July. The prize is free to enter and applications can be made via: www.baltic39.com/woonprize/ until Tuesday 3 April 2018.

Professor Jean Brown, from Northumbria’s Department of Arts, said: “The Woon Foundation very generously funds an open call shortlist exhibition, including three major prizes, each year to the total value of £40,000.

“The 1 st prize supports a Fellowship designed to offer a fine art graduate a structured opportunity to further develop their critical and conceptual understanding as well as their studio practice.

“It provides a hugely exciting opportunity for the winners to further develop their practice and I would urge final year Fine Art students from across the UK to apply.”

The panel of judges for this year’s Woon Prize has been drawn from Northumbria University and BALTIC, supported by independent external advisors and the winner of the Woon Foundation Painting & Sculpture Prize 2017.

Dean Hughes, Head of the Department of Arts at Northumbria; Alessandro Vincentelli, Curator of Exhibitions and Research at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Hannah Firth, Director of Visual Arts and Programme / Deputy Director, Chapter; Kathryn Brame, Engagement and Development Coordinator, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; and last year’s Woon Prize winner and Woon Fellow 2017/18, Joy Labinjo. 

Earlier this year, Joy launched her first solo exhibition, Belonging at Morely Gallery in London.Her paintings draw on her British-Nigerian heritage and examine the complex relationship between identity, race and culture.

In Belonging, Labinjo invites the viewer to step into large-scale canvases saturated with colours, patterns and people, reconfigured from her family photograph albums.

Mr Wee Teng Woon, a Northumbria graduate and keen art collector, along with his three brothers established the Woon Foundation Art & Sculpture Prize.

The competition was launched in 2012 and has since attracted some of the UK’s most exciting artists.The first winning recipient of the Woon Foundation Prize was Holly Hendry who took up residence in the Woon Tai Jee Studio at BALTIC 39 in 2013.

Just four short years on and Holly staged her first major UK institutional exhibition, Wrot, at BALTIC in 2017 and became one of the judges for that year’s prize.

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.

Northumbria offers a range of course in the Arts. To find out more sign up for one of our upcoming Open Days or visit: www.northumbria.ac.uk/arts.

To enter the Woon Prize 2018 and for full terms, conditions and eligibility criteria go to: www.baltic39.com/woonprize/

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go to www.northumbria.ac.uk

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at media.communications@northumbria.ac.uk or call 0191 227 4604.

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