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Redefining Boundaries: The International Art Prize at Saint Mary's

Monday 17 Mar 2014

Aesthetica art prize   image by darren nisbett

One of the longlisted works by Darren Nisbett 

The Aesthetica Art Prize returns this spring with new and inspiring artworks that discuss some of the most poignant issues of our times. Critically acclaimed by the art world and loved by visitors in 2013, the Aesthetica Art Prize is set to become one of the key events in the UK for engaging with new talent. 

Organised by Aesthetica Magazine, the international art and culture publication, in partnership with York Museums Trust, the Art Prize is a platform for emerging contemporary artists from across the world to bring their work to a wider audience. Taking place in the exceptional setting of York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, the exhibition reframes the relationship between the historic and the contemporary by uniting the international rising stars of the art world in a major group show.

2013’s inaugural exhibition welcomed 10,000 visitors in seven weeks; this year’s exhibition features innovative and outstanding pieces from the shortlisted artists in the following categories: Photographic and Digital Art, Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture, Painting and Drawing, and Video, Installation and Performance. The works take 2014’s Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition to a new level, with many of the artists re-defining the boundaries of their medium; paint becomes a sculptural tool, brass an interactive musical installation and drawing is lifted into three dimensional reality. Click here to view all shortlisted artworks. 

Aesthetica Magazine Editor and Art Prize Director, Cherie Federico says: “We were thrilled with last year’s exhibition; it is a rare opportunity and a privilege to have the chance to view so many engaging and compelling works that comment so profoundly on life in the 21stcentury. I am delighted that through the Aesthetica Art Prize, we are able to connect artists to a wider audience and contribute to current discussions in contemporary art.”

From over 3,000 entries, eight artists have been selected for exhibition with a further 92 exhibiting work on the monitors within the gallery. 
Surveying present day concerns and focusing on the most relevant topics of our times, this show highlights artistic talent from across the globe with locations including Germany, Chile, Italy, New Zealand and the UK being represented.
Shortlisted work %c2%a9 sam heyolt

Longlisted work by photographer Sam Heyolt 

The Aesthetica Art Prize is truly a unique event, offering a window of opportunity to experience and appreciate the international breadth and range of artwork being produced today. The works address social and environmental issues, memory and history, identity and overall interrogate and play with form. Stimulating, vibrant and inspirational, the pieces on display engage on many levels and create a platform for further conversation.

Janet Barnes, Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, says: "I am delighted at, once again, having a truly international exhibition of contemporary art coming to York St Mary's. This chance to see some of the best of the new in art further enriches the development of our contemporary art programme." 

There are several events running alongside this year’s Art Prize from free lunchtime talks, Art Walks and activities for young people and families. All 100 artists’ works are available to view in the Aesthetica Art Prize publication, on sale at the exhibition, online and at select galleries nationwide. 

Aesthetica Art Prize partners and sponsors include York Museums Trust, York St John University, Barber Titleys Solicitors, The Hepworth Wakefield, Winsor & Newton, Thomas & Paul Gallery and Prestel. There are two prizes – Main Prize and Student Prize. The winner of the Main Prize receives £1, 000, 6 months studio space courtesy of the Thomas & Paul Gallery, art supplies courtesy of Winsor & Newton, and a collection of art books from Prestel. The Student Prize wins £500, art mentorship sessions courtesy of the Thomas & PaulGallery, art supplies courtesy of Winsor & Newton, and a collection of art books from Prestel.

The exhibition runs from 4 April – 22 June. Free Admission. 10am -5pm.