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Applications open for The Woon Foundation Painting & Sculpture Prize 2019

Press release   •   Mar 05, 2019 15:36 GMT

2018 Woon Tai Jee Fellow, Kara Chin

Applications for one of the UK’s most generous art prizes are now open, with three prizes worth a total of £40,000 on offer to undergraduate artists studying in the UK.

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

As well as a £20,000 year-long fellowship, the winner will be provided with studio space at Northumbria University, in Newcastle upon Tyne for the duration of the fellowship.

During the year, they will receive mentoring from staff at both Northumbria and BALTIC and host a final exhibition of their work.

In addition, there are also two generous runner-up prizes of £9,000 and £6,000.

Applications are now open for the 2019 Woon Prize, with up to 10 artists expected to be shortlisted.

The judging panel will include Alessandro Vincentelli, BALTIC Curator of Exhibitions and Research; Professor Dean Hughes, Head of the Department of Arts, Northumbria University; and artist Nicola Singh.

The prize is free to enter and applications can be made via The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday 1 April 2019.

The Woon Foundation Painting & Sculpture Prize is made possible through the generosity of philanthropist and Northumbria alumnus, Mr Wee Teng Woon and his three brothers through the Woon Brothers Foundation.

Jean Brown, Director of Northumbria’s University Gallery, said: “The Woon Foundation Painting & Sculpture 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 all three winners to further develop their practice and I would urge final year fine art students from across the UK to apply.”

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, 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. 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 announcement of last year’s Woon Prize winner coincided with the reopening of Northumbria’s University Gallery, which included the unveiling of the new Woon Gallery of Asian Art – a rare and unique collection of Buddhist and Asian art worth more than £6.4m, which sits alongside contemporary pieces by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol.

It will provide the venue for the announcement on Thursday 4 July of this year’s Woon Prize winner and will also host an exhibition of work by last year’s Woon Tai Jee Fellow, Kara Chin, in September 2019.

Prize details:

1st Prize: the Woon Tai Jee Art Fellowship:

  • A year-long Woon Residency in the Woon Tai Jee Studio at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne for the duration of the Fellowship from September 2019 until October 2020
  • A bursary of £20,000 to be used to pay for the Fellowship in the Woon Tai Jee Studio, Northumbria University, and to contribute towards materials and subsistence
  • The requirement to work towards a body of new work, which will be exhibited in a solo show in Northumbria University’s Gallery North in October 2020
  • A mentor to support the critical and professional development of the Fellow

2nd Prize: the Lim Ai Fang Art Prize

  • £9,000

3rd Prize: the Cheong Kam Hee Art

  • £6,000

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About BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a major international gallery situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, England and has welcomed over seven million visitors since 2002.BALTIC presents outstanding, experimental and inspiring world-class contemporary art across 2600 square metres, making it the Europe’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution. 

BALTIC’s distinctive and ambitious programme of free entry, changing exhibitions has included the work of over 450 artists from 60 nationalities in 220 exhibitions including Michael Dean, Lubaina Himid, Heather Phillipson and Rasheed Araeen. BALTIC is a registered charity and its mission is to create greater understanding of the world through outstanding, experimental and inspiring contemporary art which has power, relevance and meaning for individuals and communities.