Holt Festival Art Prizes
Anwen Hurt James Glennie Robert Upstone Frances Blythe Eileen Cooper. Credit The Photographers Gallery.

Holt Festival: Sir John Hurt Art Prize and NEW prize for young artists open for entries

Sir John Hurt Art Prize, new prize for young artists and Open Studios invite entries

One of the east of England’s top art prizes, the Holt Festival-Sir John Hurt Art Prize, is now inviting entries for the 2019 contest. The winner will win a cash prize of £1,750 and their entry will also be exhibited at Norwich’s internationally renowned Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

The leading North Norfolk Festival, has also announced a new prize specifically aimed at younger artists. The Sworders Art Prize is open to artists between 16 and 23. It carries a prize of £750 for the winner, who will also be offered a commission-free exhibition by Holt’s new contemporary art space The Gallery in Lees Yard.

Both prizes are open to artists everywhere and in previous years there have been entries from across the region and beyond. All types of visual art are welcome and the closing date for entries to both competitions is midnight Sunday 16 June. Full submission details can be found at www.holtfestival.org

The winners will be announced at a private view on the evening of Sunday 21 July.

All shortlisted works will be displayed in a free exhibition in the Auden Theatre Foyer throughout Festival week from Saturday 20 – Sunday 27 July between 11am-5pm. The exhibition is part of the Holt Festival Art Trail that also takes in many other galleries and exhibition spaces around the town.

Last year’s Sir John Hurt Art Prize once again attracted an extremely high standard of entries with the winner coming from Norfolk artist Frances Blythe. Her oil on canvas painting Sunset, was unanimously selected by the judges.

Fine Art Director at the Festival James Glennie, of Arts and Antiques Appraisals, has also confirmed that after a successful inaugural year, Holt Festival Open Studios will return. Artists and craftsmen from around North Norfolk will be inviting the public into their studios. It will run from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 July, 11am to 5pm. Artists wishing to take part should also register at www.holtfestival.org before midnight Sunday 16 June or email [email protected].

James Glennie commented ‘We are delighted that we shall be adding several new features to the popular fine art programme this year, the first of which is the new art prize for 16-23 year olds alongside the Sir John Hurt Art Prize and the return of Open Studios. We shall be revealing further innovations when the full Festival programme is announced.’

This year’s Art Prize judges are Art Curator & Writer Ian Collins, Professor Paul Greenhalgh, Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art and Professor John Last, Vice Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts.

The 2019 Holt Festival runs from 21 – 27 July. The charming Norfolk Georgian country town comes alive for an exuberant week of international music, drama, visual art, dance, comedy and children’s and family events. New Artistic Director Anwen Hurt recently announced this year’s first highlights and the full programme will be revealed on 30 April. www.holtfestival.org