The Prize 2017

The Greater Manchester Emerging Contemporary Arts Prize

The prize originated as a concept by Chamber staff who have academic and practical experience within the arts sector. Our ambition is to create a prize which has regional relevance, as well as national and international significance.

In providing this prize, we hope to help support and retain artists within Greater Manchester. As the UK’s largest Chamber of Commerce, the prize will connect artists with businesses, encouraging creative partnerships.

By presenting this prize at our Annual Dinner, which has been running for over 50 years and attended by over 800 representatives from the business community, we want to provide maximum exposure for the artists.

We want to build a legacy, a prize which Greater Manchester emerging contemporary artists can be proud to say they have won.


1 Overall Winner to be awarded:

£1500 Cash Prize

Supported by Fred Aldous with £150 of vouchers and paper products from G.F.Smith.

A Greater Manchester Emerging Contemporary Artist Prize 2017 Award

Winner’s artwork displayed in Pop Up Exhibition in Manchester, Summer 2017

3 Runners Up to be awarded:

£750 cash prize each

Supported by Fred Aldous with £50 of vouchers and paper products from G.F.Smith.

A Greater Manchester Emerging Contemporary Artist Prize 2017 Award

Runners up artwork displayed in Pop Up Exhibition in Manchester, Summer 2017

About the Supporters

Fred Aldous’ story began in Manchester in 1886 with a man called Fred. Fred had been working in a cotton mill, like many people in the city at the time, when he noticed that the cotton was being trundled around in baskets. This gave him the idea for a business, to start importing the cane for the baskets from abroad. Fred Aldous Ltd was born out of that idea.

Based in the Northern Quarter, Manchester, Fred Aldous support people who have the urge to pick up a pencil, brush or needle and want to create. That’s why they are constantly developing fresh ideas and coming up with new schemes and that’s why Fred Aldous can provide the right tool or material for whatever project you might be working on.


In 1885 George founded G . F Smith & Son as a paper merchant. It was his vision and ambition that steered the company through challenging times; his belief in the business saw him expand its horizons. These ambitions include the continued development and global expansion of business adding new chapters to what already stands as a great British success story.

With a distinct identity and a concerted marketing and sales push, the company is seeing growth in exports to new markets including Australia, China, Germany and America. G . F Smith offers paper products, special makes and highly bespoke services tailored specifically to the needs of the creative industries. The specialist team works to a level of craft and customisation and degrees of flexibility that are almost impossible to replicate.


About the Pop Up Exhibition

Shortlisted artists, the runners up and the overall winner will be invited to display their artwork in ‘The Greater Manchester Emerging Contemporary Arts Prize Summer Exhibition 2017.’ The popup exhibition will run from Wednesday 10th May to Friday 2nd June 2017, supported by a high profile opening, with attendees from the Greater Manchester business and arts community.

The exhibition will be supported by a handout, detailing the artist’s work, along with an opportunity for artists to sell/promote their work.

Judging Panel

The Greater Manchester Emerging Contemporary Arts Prize 2017 will be awarded to semi-professional or professional artists living or working in one of the 10 local authorities of the region (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

Entries will be judged on a range of criteria and not necessarily on the tastes of individual judges. Our main aim is to find emerging contemporary artists who show significant ability, captivating subject matter and emotive messaging

Our Judging Panel reflects an array of knowledge and specialisms, so as a collective will effectively identify the best entries. Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s aim in running the prize is to to find and build the careers of emerging Greater Manchester based contemporary emerging artists, encouraging commerce and business connectivity through the sale of artist’s work.

Helen Wewiora

Director of Castlefield Gallery

Helen Wewiora is Director of Castlefield Gallery. Founded in 1984, registered charity Castlefield Gallery | Agency is one of the longest established, and most active and successful organisations developing emerging contemporary artists and practice in the UK. The Gallery has a regional and national network of programme partnerships designed to aid career progression and talent development for the artists it engages from across Greater Manchester and the region, including its CG Associates – a professional development membership scheme.

Castlefield Gallery’s ambitious public exhibitions programme is housed in its permanent city centre gallery space. The curated programme responds to national and international trends and often societal concerns, promoting artists at pivotal moments in their careers.

Helen recently moved to Castlefield Gallery from Arts Council England where she was a Relationship Manager for Visual Arts. Whilst with the Arts Council she has led on strategic programmes with partners including the Forestry Commission, the National Trust, and with Local Authorities and Higher Education, holding portfolios of organisations including Grizedale Arts, Liverpool Biennial, the Whitworth, a-n, New Contemporaries, Bluecoat and many more. In recent time her role had focused on support for individual artists in the North West and nationally, including on matters of ‘fair pay’, practice and career development, the studio and production ecology.

Previously Helen has worked for Tate Education (London); Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT) (Liverpool); and Cornerhouse (now HOME) (Manchester). In 2013 Helen and Elizabeth Wewiora established a curatorial and producing agency, wewioraprojects.

Rachel Goodyear

Artist, represented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London. Resident and practising in Greater Manchester

Rachel Goodyear is a visual artist living and working in Manchester and Salford. Working predominantly in pencil and ink she creates intricate but sparse images that capture notions of fragmented recollections, false memories and unconscious fears and desires that emerge from the psyche. Goodyear works mostly on paper, but will often allow her practice to playfully expand into projections, animations and installation.
Goodyear will have a major solo exhibition opening at New Art Gallery Walsall in May 2017. Recent solo exhibitions include Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London (2016), The Lowry, Salford (2016), The Drawing Center, New York (2015-16) and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2011). She has also participated in the Innsbruck Biennale, Austria (2015) and the Curtiba Biennale, Brazil (2013) and has been in many group shows including Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; ICA, London; Tate Liverpool; The Drawing Room, London; Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; Manchester Art Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery; Neue Galerie, Innsbruck; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Her work is represented in many international collections including the V&A, London; Olbricht Collection, Essen; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and Museum Folkwang, Essen.

Paulette Terry Brien

Co-director of The International 3, and Co-curatorial co-ordinator of The Manchester Contemporary

Paulette Terry Brien is co-founder and co-director of The International 3. Based in Salford The International 3 presents a year-round programme of contemporary art exhibitions and events both on and off-site as well as representing artists and participating in national and international art fairs.  The International 3 also undertakes consultancy projects and delivers a range of professional development activities throughout the year.

Since 2010, The International 3 has acted as curatorial coordinator for The Manchester Contemporary, which outside London, is the largest art fair dedicated to providing a platform for critically engaged contemporary art in the UK. The International 3 is also an invited member of the international network, NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance). In addition to this work, over the last 20 years, Paulette has worked part-time and freelance for a number of organisations including Arts Council England and Creative Industries Development Service. Paulette is regularly invited to undertake studio visits, deliver presentations and talks within academic and professional development settings and has acted as an artist’s mentor.

Andrew Brooks

Photographer, digital artist and filmmaker. Resident and practising in Greater Manchester

Andrew Brooks is a visual artist who lives in Manchester and works on commissions and exhibitions internationally. His practice is based on photography, film making and digital processes. He was awarded the Greater Manchester Arts Prize in 2016 for his large format natural landscape photography of the Peak District. 

The major themes for his work are exploring and documenting the natural environment in vivid detail, looking at modern cities; from the widest views to forgotten spaces and creating invented views of imagined worlds by combining hundreds of photographs.
His Hidden Manchester show at URBIS in 2008 was one of the galleries most visited exhibitions and since that time he has exhibited in China, North America and the Netherlands as well as creating work in residence in Florida and Iceland. He regularly collaborates with artists, writers and organisations. Including recent projects working alongside David Ogle, Naomi Kendrick, Skyliner writer Hayley Flynn and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is currently working on the latest Secret Cities exhibition in Aberdeen. Exploring some of the cities most intriguing spaces with writer Adelle Stripe. This new exhibition will be shown in early 2017.

Louise Durose

General & Legal Counsel at MAN Diesel & Turbo UK Ltd, Collector of Northern Art

Louise Durose is General Counsel International Diesel for MAN Diesel & Turbo which has its global headquarters in Augsburg, Germany. Louise is based at the UK headquarters in Stockport. The MAN Diesel & Turbo Group designs and manufactures large diesel engines and turbo machinery.

Louise is responsible for legal services to the aftersales business worldwide which has annual revenue of €1 billion+ and operates in over 50 countries. Louise is a passionate advocator of the arts and maintains a personal collection of Northern Art.

The Timetable

Competition stages are below:

  • Entries Submitted: Artists will submit entries via the online entry form. Deadline for entries is: Wednesday 19th April 2017
  • Shortlisted Artworks: will be announced Wednesday 26th April 2017 along with a save the date for the Annual Dinner on the 18th May 2017, following which the shortlisted artists will be invited to send the original artworks to Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce for inclusion in the Summer 2017 Exhibition
  • Winners: will be announced on Wednesday 10th May 2017, during a VIP event at the exhibition, following which the winners will be invited to attend Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner on Thursday 18th May 2017, to collect their prize

Key dates are below:

  • Week commencing 30th January 2017: Competition open for entries via the online entry form
  • Wednesday 19th April 2017: Closing Date for Entries
  • Wednesday 26th April 2017: Shortlist will be announced
  • Thursday 27th April 2017 to Wednesday 3rd May 2017: Shortlisted pieces to be delivered to exhibition venue
  • Wednesday 10th May 2017: VIP exhibition launch, winners to be announced and invite to annual dinner
  • Thursday 18th May 2017: Prizes awarded at the annual dinner
  • Friday 2nd June 2017: Exhibition closes
  • Wednesday 7th June to Friday 9th June 2017: Shortlisted artists will be invited to collect their original artworks from the Pop-Up Exhibition

Criteria for Artworks & Artists

  • Artists submitting work to the competition must be resident or working within one of the 10 local authorities of Greater Manchester. All shortlisted entries will be asked for proof of residency/work location in the form of a utility bill in the entrant’s name. Failure to provide proof of residency/work location in Greater Manchester, by the required timescales, may result in your entry being withdrawn: entry fee/s will not be refunded if proof of residency/work location is not received by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
  • Artists must be semi-professional or professional in their craft.  Narrative of semi-professional/professional status will be expected to be included in the entrant’s application (whether in the form of a CV or in the Artist description or both).
  • Entries from third parties or individuals representing an Artist will not be accepted. Only direct entries from Artists themselves will be counted as valid submissions.
  • Artwork size must be less than 150cm x 150cm x 10cm (including frame) for artworks to be hung on the wall, and less than 100cm x 100cm x 100cm for sculptures. If you are unsure, please contact us: [email protected]
  • Once you have completed the online entry form, you will be sent to the payment page to pay the entry fee.
  • Entry Fee is £10 for first artwork, then £5 per additional artwork.
  • Further details are in the Terms and Conditions on the entry page.