Staffordshire University graduate wins prestigious art prize

Staffordshire University fine art graduate Ali Reed has been named the overall winner of New Art West Midlands. The coveted award comes with a £1,000 cash prize and the chance to undertake a residency at A3 Project Space in Digbeth, leading to a solo exhibition in the future.

New Art West Midlands, Barber Institute. 27th February 2014.

Ali Reed impressed the judges with her site-specific installation at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. By using materials such as tape, geometric blocks, stacks of laser-cut wood and card, as well as wall drawings, she creates visual effects which seem to manipulate the shape of the building in which her artwork is situated.

In total five artist prizewinners were selected by the judges. Lucy Hutchinson (Coventry University), Morna Lockie-Anrig (BCU), Sikander Pervez (Staffordshire University) and Anna Smith (Wolverhampton University) take home £1000 each and win a residency at The Library of Birmingham, Airspace at Stoke on Trent, The New Art Gallery Walsall and mac birmingham, respectively.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham. The prizewinners were decided by a judging panel encompassing the curators of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Grand Union and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Wendy Law, Director of Turning Point West Midlands, commented: “Now in its second year, New Art West Midlands is going from strength to strength. The prizes awarded today will place the five artists in respected galleries and help to boost their careers as they work with curators to develop their work and make new contacts.”   

Law continued, “The West Midlands region has a varied and interested art scene of which its graduates form a very strong part. New Art West Midlands provides a much needed focus on the talented artists coming through our Art Schools as well as on new work being produced in the region. This year Turning Point West Midlands has worked with 14 partners as part of New Art West Midlands – the venue galleries, the university partners and this year the five arts organisations offering residencies. It is the involvement and support of our partners that makes New Art West Midlands so special and such a great opportunity for graduate artists.”

New Art West Midlands is an exhibition across four art institutions – Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Grand Union and Wolverhampton Art Gallery – showcasing the creative talent and new work of emerging artists in the West Midlands region.  A Turning Point West Midlands initiative, New Art West Midlands exhibits the work of 24 artists, all of whom have graduated from one of the region’s undergraduate and postgraduate fine art degree courses in the past three years: Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester.