This Art Award forms part of our global corporate responsibility programme, Clyde & Community, which supports local communities, charities and organisations with practical help from our staff and financial donations.
The Annual Cycle
For emerging artists, the transition from art school to the commercial world can be a daunting process. The Clyde & Co Art Award, now in its sixth year, continues to nurture and encourage emerging talent in the visual arts by supporting art graduates in their professional development and paying them fairly to show their work – both vital elements to enable them to sustain their practice.
The second aspect of the Clyde & Co Art Award is a national commission competition known as “The Blank Canvas”. A highly visible 18m wall, with enormous creative potential, is made available for a site-specific commission each year. The commission is open to all final year Fine Arts undergraduate students across the UK.
“We are delighted to continue to provide professional support for the emerging artist, to establish a firm foundation from which they may build a sustainable practice, while we enjoy vibrant, changing, contemporary art which engages our staff and clients.” Louise Zekaria, Global Community Investment Manager, Clyde & Co
A key feature of the Clyde & Co Art Award is the career and business advice offered to every participant. Emerging artists, unlike other professions, receive very little support after graduation and may have had only a couple of tutorials on the business aspects of being an artist while at art school.
Our programme now includes: art law workshops on copyright, contracts and studio leases; artist-led masterclasses on articulating their practice, exhibitions, residencies, pricing and curation; gallery tours of East London to gain an insight into how commercial galleries operate and regular networking and collaborative opportunities. One to one career mentoring sessions are also provided by Ian Chance, Director of the MA in Creative Entrepreneurship at the University of East Anglia.
Pro Bono Legal Support
Another key element of the Art Award is the free legal advice provided by Clyde & Co lawyers. It may take the form of reviewing the terms of gallery contracts, art agency agreements, intellectual property such as copyright and use of images, property legal advice regarding studio tenancies and visa applications for international artists. Last year, our lawyers provided 100 hours of pro bono legal advice, worth around £300,000.
All the selected students receive a cash prize and pro bono legal support, business mentoring and the opportunity to sell their work by means of an online auction for the year that their work is on display.
Cash prizes are awarded each year; a £5,000 prize to the student selected by an external panel of three judges, and a £2,000 Clyde & Co staff prize to a second student.
Emerging to Established
Holly Rees – 1 year on
Holly graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2015 with a first class BA in Fine Art Painting. She has since been featured in five London exhibitions and continues to sell her work. She currently works in a studio with Baltic39, where she lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.
“Participating in the Clyde Award has been fantastic. Having a painting on loan, and then auctioned off, with no commission taken by Clyde & Co is amazing, and the financial benefits have helped continue my art practice. It has also been a brilliant opportunity in terms of networking. I met a number of other artists with similar passions and interests – so much so that we worked together to put on our own show this year “The Mediated Landscape”. Without the Award we would never have met, and this wouldn’t have happened!
The free legal advice has also been invaluable. I used it when sorting out my studio contract and again when negotiating a possible contract with a gallery. The support of Clyde & Co lawyers, together with the network of other Clyde artists, and the mentoring sessions with Ian Chance, gave me an incredible opportunity to fully understand the implications of the gallery contract, which meant I didn’t rush into something I might later have regretted. I gained the confidence and knowledge to do what was right for my career.”
‘Untitled to Intermediate II’ 2015/16 Collection
Bartholomew Beal – 5 years on
Bartholomew Beal graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2012. After featuring in the Clyde & Co Award 2011-2012, he was awarded The Jonathan Vickers Award, a nine-month residency and solo show at the Derby Museum in 2013. He returned to London, and has since been included in numerous group shows and two solo exhibitions in the Fine Art Society, New Bond Street in 2014 and 2016. He was awarded the Landmark Plc Fine Art Award 2012, and was a finalist for the Signature Art Prize 2015. Beal has been featured in numerous publications and has been featured at international art fairs.
“Clyde & Co gave me an extra slice of confidence immediately after my degree show, and some very important legal advice which I still carry with me”.
‘A Dull Head Among Windy Spaces’ and ‘Sal Volatile’ 2012/13 Collection