Bow Arts has announced the launch of the inaugural East London Art Prize sponsored by Minerva and
supported by the East Bank and other east London-based partners including V&A East, UCL, LCF and LLDC,
the Olympic Park charity. The East London Art Prize (ELAP) will be a major new biannual event designed to celebrate and showcase the quality of art by professional artists living or working
in east London.
The awards will include an exhibition of shortlisted artists at Bow Arts’ prestigious Nunnery Gallery in January 2023, at which the overall winner of a cash prize of £15,000 will be announced. In addition to the cash prize, the 2024 winner will receive a solo exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery, developed in collaboration with Bow Arts and run as part of the gallery’s program. A second prize of a free studio space at Bow Arts worth £2,000 will also be awarded.
LR Megan Piper, Sophie Hill, Louisa Buck and
The shortlist and winner will be selected by a jury of internationally recognized art experts
including artist Larry Achiampong, curator and director of The Line, Megan Piper, art critic and broadcaster, Louisa Buck and Ellie Pennick, director of Guts Gallery in East London. Chaired by Bow Arts Director, Sophie Hill, the jury will look for works that represent the diversity and rich cultural life of East London, one of the most vibrant and important cultural centers in Europe.
Bow Arts has been at the center of East London’s cultural community for 27 years, a major provider of studio space and currently supports a community of over 400 artists with affordable, secure creative jobs and affordable artist housing schemes. The Bow Arts Prize is an opportunity
to spotlight the work of this important and beloved East London institution and to provide a valuable opportunity for artists across the region, whether or not they are currently a ‘Bow Arts Artist’.
Bow Arts has always been an inclusive hub for artists in the “E” zip codes and the broader intentions for the award reflect this, including the opportunity for all artists participating in the award to have access to Bow-related workshops and events The charity’s Skills program supported by the LLDC’s Good Growth Hub.
Sophie Hill, Director of Bow Arts said:
“The artist community in East London is one of the largest in Europe and this award is the first
especially nurturing, exploring and bringing forth this teeming swarm of creativity. The exhibitions of the price will
be an incredible opportunity for people to discover and learn more about some of our city’s best artists;
It showcases art from the region but from the diversity of culture that thrives in our unique East London
The East London Arts Prize is expected to become a valuable part of East London’s arts calendar, with the shortlisted exhibition attracting audiences across London and internationally. With events and special programs to welcome local audiences, including schools, East London Art Prize and Bow Arts demonstrate how creativity can be an accessible and welcoming meeting place for a vibrant local community.
Selection Panel for the East London Art Prize
Louise Buck is an author and moderator for contemporary art. It was contemporary art
Correspondent and Associate Editor for The Art Newspaper since 1997 and regular reviewer
on BBC radio and television. Her books include Moving Targets 2: A User’s Guide to British Art Now (Tate
2000); Market Matters: The Dynamics of the Contemporary Art Market (Arts Council England 2004)
and Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector’s Handbook (co-authored with Judith Greer)
(Culture Shock Media 2006). Louisa was a judge for the 2005 Turner Prize.
Director and Founder of Guts Gallery, Ellie Pennick is one of the youngest gallerists moving in art
world today. A queer, working-class Northerner with no artistic background, Pennick has a foothold in the
The art world came through with their frustrations with the politics of the art education system and the lack of
opportunities available. However, having received a place at a prestigious institution in London, he could not
accepted her place because of her financial status, Pennick began to question the broader social austerity
within the arts. Pennick created Guts to develop a fair business model for art “that is worth far more
more important than a piece of paper with a master’s note on it”, and to advocate for emerging artists,
Helping artists claim the respect – and ownership – they deserve.?
Megan Piper is co-founder and director of London’s public arts walk, The Line, which opened in 2015 and connects the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2 and offers its outdoor exhibition programme
a journey through a dynamic urban landscape where everyone can discover art, nature and heritage
for free. Before founding The Line, Megan ran The Piper Gallery in Fitzrovia.
The East London Art Prize is open to professional artists with a Fine Arts degree or higher
Qualification currently living or working in an ‘E’ area of London. Submitted works can be in any
Media and artist collectives as well as joint submissions are also accepted.
Applications should be made via www.bowarts.org between 5th May and 31st August 2022 and an administration fee of £10 will apply.
The nominated artists will be published in September 2022, followed by an exhibition of the nominated artists at the Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts in January 2023, where an announcement of the first and second place winners will be made. The winner’s exhibition will be held at the Nunnery Gallery in January 2024. The East London Art Prize is a new biannual event that alternates between the prize exhibition and the public tender.
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- East London Art Prize