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Thursday, October 5, 2023

M&C Saatchi Group unveils Art for Change Prize for emerging artists

M&C Saatchi Group together with London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery has launched a new international art initiative – the inaugural Art for Change Prize. The initiative will give emerging artists the opportunity to exhibit their work at the globally recognized Saatchi Gallery.

The partnership is founded on the belief in the power of creativity to create meaningful change in the world. It aims to improve access to contemporary art, provide an opportunity for up-and-coming artists from around the world to realise their personal and professional ambitions while influencing real societal change.

This year’s award invites emerging artists from around the world to creatively respond to the theme of ‘Equality’.Applications will be invited through an open call online and the prize is available to emerging artists based in the UK, Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia, and Africa. A winner from each location will be decided by some of the best business and creative minds from M&C Saatchi Group globally and eminent guest judges.

A total prize fund of £20,000 (or around $35,200 AUD) will be split between six regional winners, five to receive £2,000 each and one overall winner to receive £10,000 ($17, 600 AUD). All artists will exhibit their winning works in a dedicated exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, a recognised authority in contemporary art, where the overall winner will be announced.

Paul Foster, director Saatchi Gallery, comments: “Art has the ability to help us understand ourselves; explore the issues we face as individuals and as a species; and to contribute fresh ideas for the future. We need those ideas more than ever. We need visionary artists and their creativity more than ever. Our aim is to nurture and develop this prize so that new voices from around the world are heard and progress might be realised.”

As part of this shared mission in making art, culture, and creativity accessible to everyone, this free-to-enter prize is a celebration of emerging artistic talent. It will highlight and stimulate dialogue around visual arts as a medium for positive global and social change and give exposure to emerging artists worldwide.

Blak Douglas, 2022 Archibald Prize Winner and Australian Judge of the inaugural Art for Change Prize, says, “I’m delighted to be involved in this judging process because ’emergence’ is the veritable seedling of a potentially rare and exquisite blossoming organism essential to the art ecosystem.”

Douglas will be supported in judging by Executive Creative Directors of M&C Saatchi Australia, Emma Robbins and Mandie van der Merwe.

Justin Graham, M&C Saatchi Group CEO says: “The disruption of the last few years meant there are less opportunities for emerging artists. I am excited that we can bring this network initiative to Australia, through our partnership with the Saatchi Gallery. It’s also great to have Blak join our own Executive Creative Directors in the judging. I am genuinely excited to see the emerging Aussie talent in the space.”

One overall winner will then be chosen by a grand jury, still to be announced, led by Saatchi Gallery.

To apply, artists must be based in Australia, aged 18 or over, within the first five years of what they hope will be a successful artistic career and be working in one or more of the following media: painting, drawing, illustration, photography, collage, 2D mixed-media, video or film.

Key Dates

– Call for entries open: Thursday 14 July 2022

– Deadline for entries: Thursday 8 September 2022, 11.59pm UK BST

– Regional winners announced: Friday 28 October 2022

– Overall winner announced: Wednesday 7 December 2022

– Exhibition dates: Thursday 8 December 2022 – Friday 6 January 2023


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