Neighboring city Hull is to host Europe’s most prestigious contemporary arts prize as part of its year as UK City of Culture 2017.
The Turner Prize is awarded each year to a British artist under 50 for an outstanding work of contemporary visual art. In 2017, the prize will leave Tate Britain in London for Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery, where it will be the cornerstone of a 365-day festival of world-class culture.
Martin Green, Chief Executive of the Hull 2017 Culture Company, said: "Securing the Turner Prize is a fantastic boost for Hull’s year as UK City of Culture. As a key pillar of our programme, and the first event to be announced, it underlines the scale of our artistic ambition and our determination to see Hull recognised as a cultural powerhouse of the North.
"Our vision is for Hull 2017 to be a truly transformative year of arts and culture that will engage people at local, national and international level.
"Working with the Tate and the outstanding team at the Ferens, we will not only present a world-class exhibition of contemporary visual art; we will also use the work created to inspire, challenge and engage local artists and new audiences, creating a partnership and legacy that will extend well beyond 2017."
Councillor Steven Bayes, Hull City Council cabinet portfolio holder for UK City of Culture added: "This is brilliant news and a credit to the work of the teams at the Ferens and Hull 2017 Company who have been working really hard behind the scenes to make this happen for the city.
"Hosting the Turner Prize will put Hull and the Ferens on the national and international cultural map. It is another game-changer that will help transform perceptions of the city, reinvigorate our economy and bring about positive change in people’s lives through the power of art and culture."
Nicholas Serota said: "We are delighted that the Turner Prize will be presented at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull as part of the vibrant UK City of Culture programme.
"Hull has a strong cultural heritage in the fields of literature, theatre, visual arts and contemporary music. Ferens has supported ARTIST ROOMS displays on three occasions and its young people, in particular, have imaginatively promoted art to new audiences.
"Alternating the prize between venues in the UK and Tate Britain has given the prize a new dynamic and deepened our relationships with audiences outside London."
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP commented: "The North of England is home to some of the country’s best cultural assets and investing in these is a vital part of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse.
"A few months ago the Prime Minister and I committed £1.5 million of support for the Ferens Gallery in Yorkshire and I am delighted to hear that it will host the Turner Prize. Having one of the country’s most prestigious arts events in Hull will play a big part in its success as the City of Culture in 2017."
The Ferens Art Gallery is one of the UK’s finest regional galleries and will be only the fourth venue outside London to present the Turner Prize, following in the footsteps of the Baltic in Gateshead, Ebrington in Derry-Londonderry and this year’s venue, Tramway in Glasgow.
With an outstanding permanent collection including works by Canaletto, Frans Hals, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and previous Turner prize winners Gillian Wearing and Mark Wallinger, the Ferens is one of the reasons why Hull was chosen to be the next UK City of Culture.
Opened in 1927, the gallery was gifted to the city by TR Ferens, a local industrialist who also established a purchasing fund that has allowed the Ferens’ collections to grow in quality and range. From the outset, the gallery has acquired and commissioned works by living artists and was the first public institution to acquire a work by David Hockney in 1962. More recent acquisitions include a neon artwork by Dutch contemporary artist Bikvan der Pol and a nationally significant 14th century masterpiece by Pietro Lorenzetti.
The Ferens attracts thousands of visitors each year to its permanent collection and, over the past two years, has seen attendances soar following visiting exhibitions from world-class artists including Warhol, Da Vinci and Martin Creed.
As part of Hull’s preparations for its year as UK City of Culture, the gallery will undergo a major £4m facelift. Funded by Hull City Council and a £1 million cash injection from the Treasury and £500k from Arts Council England small capital grants programme, the work will allow the Ferens to host higher calibre exhibitions and to secure the preservation of existing collections for future generations.
The Turner Prize 2017 will be presented at the Ferens from October 2017 to January 2018.