LONDON.- The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries is intended to recognise and celebrate originality and excellence in museums and galleries and increase public appreciation and enjoyment of all they have to offer. The coveted annual award is open to all museums and galleries in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. This is the second year that The Art Fund – the UK’s leading independent art charity - has sponsored this major arts prize.
The Prize criteria remain broadly-drawn, enabling the judges to consider a wide range of project size and type. The winner will be the entry that, in the opinion of the judges:
° demonstrates originality, imagination and excellence
° extends public access and understanding of works of art and artefacts from any era and culture
° has the capacity to promote wider public appreciation of museums and galleries
° shows imaginative development, display and interpretation of museum and gallery collections
° demonstrates excellence of design, whether in exhibitions or buildings
° has clearly won the support and enthusiasm of its visitors
° is likely to provide a lasting legacy
The closing date for entries is Friday 31 October 2008.
The winner and nominees will be chosen by an independent panel of judges – to be announced later in the year - comprising a mix of museum and gallery experts, artists, academics, journalists and well-known public faces.
The Art Fund Prize long list of ten will be announced in February 2009, followed by the announcement of the short list of four in April 2009. The winner will be announced during an awards ceremony in June.
The 2008 winner of The Art Fund Prize (formerly the Gulbenkian Prize) was The Lightbox museum and gallery in Woking, a community-initiated museum and gallery space that mixes local history, the visual arts and inspiring architecture. Previous winners were:
° 2007 - Pallant House Gallery in Chichester for its £8.6 million modern gallery extension, designed by Long and Kentish in association with the late Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson
° 2006 - Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Bristol, the world’s first great iron ocean liner
° 2005 - Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales, a preserved coal mine
° 2004 - the landscape sculpture Landform by Charles Jencks at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
° 2003 – the inaugural Prize was awarded to the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law at Nottingham’s Galleries of Justice for the education programme it ran with schools, young offenders and the local community.
In addition to a cheque for £100,000, the winning museum or gallery holds, for one year, the enamelled silver Prize bowl, commissioned from the artist Vladimir Böhm.