Less than a month to enter South Yorkshire’s prestigious art competition

Artists have less than a month to enter Cooper Prize 2023, the most prestigious art competition in South Yorkshire. The last date for artists to apply is Tuesday, 29 August.

The prize, presented by the Cooper Trustees, welcomes submissions from artists at all stages in their careers including professionals, amateurs, graduates, and students. 

Very much focused on supporting regional talent the tagline for the competition is “Celebrating artists across South Yorkshire”. The only stipulation is that entrants were born in the region (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, or Sheffield) or that entrants currently live or work within the South Yorkshire boundary.

All themes are welcome everything from abstract to figurative, contemporary to traditional, mediums can include anything from watercolours to sculpture. The previous winner from 2021, Kieran Ingram, was successful with his contemporary, dystopian look at Adam and Eve’s transgression and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. 

For those who are wanting to enter the competition, the entry fee has been reduced to help support local artists. The cost of entry to the main Cooper Prize is £10, The Sadler Award £5, and The Fox Gift for under-16s is free to enter for up to 3 submissions. A People’s Choice Award will also be awarded.

The Cooper Prize overall winner receives £1,000 in prize money, sponsored by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, along with a solo exhibition in Autumn 2024 in the intimate and elegant space of the Sadler Room. 

The Sadler Award winner receives £500, sponsored by the Mayor of Barnsley, plus there is an additional Barnsley College Special Award for Originality and Skills of £100, judged by Liz Leek, Deputy Principal of Barnsley College.

The Fox Gift winner for U16s will receive a £100 voucher for art materials. For the Cooper Prize 2023, the Cooper Trustees along with curators for the Gallery, will select a piece to purchase for the Cooper Gallery Collection.

Shortlisted entries will have the opportunity to be on display in an exhibition at Cooper Gallery opening on 28 October until 6 April 2024, after which the selected artworks will go on display in the South Yorkshire Mayors Office, in Sheffield.

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Barnsley is a creative hub and we value the importance of cultural experience and creativity. The Cooper Prize is just one way that we support local and regional artists, and we hope the competition will be a springboard for future successes. The Cooper Gallery is a stunning gallery with outstanding collections so to host an exhibition in the space is an exciting prospect. We hope artists from across South Yorkshire will take part and take advantage of this brilliant opportunity.”

To enter the Cooper Prize visit www.cooper-gallery.com/the-cooper-prize-2023

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