The Prize

The Greater Manchester 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 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 Contemporary Artist Prize 2019 Award Winner’s artwork displayed in our Exhibition at the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

Platform Residency: In partnership with The University of Bolton School of the Arts at Platform Studios located in the renovated buildings at Bolton Railway Station. A  3 week residency followed by an exhibition of their work in the Platform Gallery.

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 Contemporary Artist Prize 2019 Award Winner’s artwork displayed in our Exhibition at the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

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 Contemporary Arts Prize Exhibition 2019.’ The exhibition will run from Thursday 6th June 2019 and Friday 5th July 2019, 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 Contemporary Arts Prize 2019 will be awarded to semi-professional or professional contemporary artists.

Entries will be judged on a range of criteria and not necessarily on the tastes of individual judges. Our main aim is to find 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 find and build the careers of contemporary artists, encouraging commerce and business connectivity through the sale of artist’s work.

Ghislaine Howard

Ghislaine Howard is a painter whose works chart and interpret shared human experience.

Ghislaine Howard is a painter whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2008 for her contribution to art and society, she has exhibited in many prestigious venues including Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth, Imperial War Museum North, Canterbury Cathedral and the British Museum. A monograph relating to her life and work, ‘The Human Touch’ written by her husband, the art historian Michael Howard was published by Manchester Metropolitan University in 2017.

Ghislaine is delighted that the GMCC  have asked her to curate a selection of her works throughout the impressive spaces of Elliot House.

Ian Hay

Ian Hay is Co-Founder and Director of Saul Hay Gallery

Ian Hay is Co-Founder and Director of Saul Hay Gallery and Saul Hay Fine Art Ltd. Since opening in Castlefield in 2016 Saul Hay Gallery is firmly established as a leading independent art gallery in Manchester supporting a great many local artists.

Saul Hay Fine Art provide art consultancy services to interior designers, architects, property developers and property management companies.

Jo Clements

Jo Clements is an artist based in Manchester, UK

Jo Clements is an artist based in Manchester, UK. She has a fine art, practice based PhD, lectures at the University of Salford, and was previously the Educational Director of Artists and Education CIC.

Clements’ work wrestles with common anxieties around incompleteness of knowledge, experience and achievements. Centred on the futile search for certainty of understanding and perceived hierarchies of knowledge, her humorous, reimaginings and reappropriations playfully explore the complex relationship between putative information and experiential understanding through sculpture, film and installation.

Louise Durose

General & Legal Counsel at MAN Energy Solutions, Collector of Northern Art

Louise Durose is General Counsel International Diesel for MAN Energy Solutions 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. Entries will open early February and deadline for entries is: Monday 6th May 2019
  • Shortlisted Artworks: will be announced Friday 17th May 2019 along with a ‘save the date’ for the Annual Dinner on the 13th June 2019, following which the shortlisted artists will be invited to send the original artworks to Bolton Museum and Art Gallery for inclusion in the 2019 Exhibition
  • Winners: will be announced on Thursday 6th June 2019, during a VIP event and exhibition launch at Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, following which the winners will be invited to attend Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner on Thursday 13th June 2019, to collect their prize

Key dates are below:

  • Week commencing 4th February 2019: Competition open for entries via the online entry form
  • Monday 6th May 2019: Closing Date for Entries
  • Friday 17th May 2019: Shortlist will be announced
  • Monday 3rd June 2019: Shortlisted pieces to be delivered to Bolton Museum and Art Gallery,  Le Mans Crescent, Bolton, BL1 1SE
  • Thursday 6th June 2019: VIP exhibition launch, winners to be announced and winners invited to the annual dinner
  • Thursday 13th June 2019: Prizes awarded at the annual dinner
  • Friday 5th July 2019: Exhibition closes
  • Monday 8th July 2019: Shortlisted artists will be invited to collect their original artworks from Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

Criteria for Artworks & Artists

  • 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.