Sir John Hurt art prize opens for entries with increased prize money

Sir John Hurt.

Sir John Hurt. - Credit: Andi Sapey

As the Holt Festival enters its 10th year, the Sir John Hurt Art Prize and Sworders Prize have increased their prize money for artists, following a record number of entries last year.  

With the pandemic seeing cancellations and postponements for exhibitions and workshops, many artists have found inspiration to be hard to come by at times. 

Winner of Sir John Hurt Art Prize Eleanor Wood at Sainsbury Centre.

Winner of Sir John Hurt Art Prize Eleanor Wood at Sainsbury Centre. - Credit: Supplied by Eleanor Wood

The festival will see the Sir John Hurt Art Prize increase to £2,000, with the Sworders Prize offering a £500 prize for 16 to 18-year-olds and £750 for 19 to 23-year-olds. 

The winner of the Sir John Hurt Art Prize will be displayed at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the 19 to 23-year-old winner of the Sworders Prize will be offered an exhibition at The Gallery in Holt. 

2020 Sworders Art Prize Winner.

2020 Sworders Art Prize Winner. - Credit: Grace Alexander

Lady Hurt, wife of the late actor Sir John Hurt. Pictured with some of John's artwork.Picture: ANT

Lady Hurt, wife of the late actor Sir John Hurt. Pictured with some of his artwork. - Credit: ANTONY KELLY

Sir John Hurt spent many years of his life in North Norfolk. Whilst known for his roles such as as Mr Ollivander in Harry Potter, he was a large supporter of Sheringham Little Theatre and the chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts. 

Norwich University of the Arts NUA graduation ceremony 2015 in St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Chancellor

Norwich University of the Arts NUA graduation ceremony 2015 in St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Chancellor Sir John Hurt. - Credit: Steve Adams

One of last year’s judges and past winner of the Sovereign European Art Prize, Susan Gunn, said: “The quality and standard of entries increases year-on-year, with entries from regional and nationally renowned artists and amateur practitioners too. I look forward to seeing how the prize develops."

Sir John Hurt.

Sir John Hurt. - Credit: Andi Sapey

The online entries are open now and close on June 20. Shortlisted entries will be displayed at The Adrian Hill Gallery in Holt from the July 24, with winners being announced on the July 25.

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