The 2016 – 2017 Art Award Collection is live!

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The recent installation of the 2016 – 2017 Clyde & Co Arts Award collection is an amalgamation of far more than the yearly time frame in which the exhibition cycle runs. It represents the fruits of three years of creativity and hard work for the students selected from top London art schools. The dedication of the artists, their growth and often a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears is impossibly crystallised in a fleeting end of year exhibition at their respective universities. The Clyde & Co Art Award aims to extend and celebrate this creative flourish, whilst acknowledging the challenges that graduating artists face as they enter the working world. Clyde & Co pay the artists fairly for the loan of their work, facilitates a commission-free online auction and offer a comprehensive programme of workshops and lectures on business development and creative entrepreneurship. Alongside the pro bono legal support we offer, the Award celebrates emerging artistic talent whilst offering practical support to assist in the adaptation of this talent for the artistic industry and working world.

As the sixth year of running this scheme, it also represents a project that has grown and expanded whilst remaining dedicated to the original desire to enhance the space where the firm worked whilst offering much needed support to emerging artists. The scheme first responded to the need to decorate the new Clyde & Co offices at St Botolph’s Building, Aldgate, when the firm moved premises. Rather than buy new artworks or loan them, an opportunity was found. This was to support emerging artists and nurture talent as part of the Clyde & Co ‘Clyde & Community’ programme – the overarching corporate and social responsibility scheme for the firm that offers pro bono legal support, community volunteering, charity partnerships to external communities and, for the internal community, offers diversity, inclusion and wellbeing initiatives.

The installation weekend is often one the most exciting and intense periods, but the Clyde & Co Art Award endeavours to create a momentum and community to foster the artists throughout the whole year. The stage after graduating is always difficult for any former student, but for artists the lack of structure and formal career paths make this time crucial. Unlike the clear routes of progression available in professions such as law  or medicine, artists often have to find their own way. Encouragement and opportunities can make the difference between whether an artist can afford to continue their practice, take up a studio or lose confidence in their work all together. Thus, our programme of events runs throughout the year, from the staff private view, to the award evening, to our comprehensive programme of workshops and mentoring sessions and a final closing event to reflect on what has been achieved.

As the year progresses, the blog space will explore the collection, with in-depth features on individual artists, as well as explore the continuing programme of events that our artists undertake.

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