Parishes invited to apply for £10,000 art prize

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PARISHES throughout England can apply for a £10,000 prize for the best developed proposal for commissioning a new work of art for their church.

The Church Buildings Council prize, generously funded by The Jerusalem Trust, will be offered to an excellently prepared proposal and not for a particular artwork.

The essential criterion is the requirement to use the process outlined in the Council’s recently published guidance on “Commissioning New Art for Churches”.

The deadline for the first stage of the competition is 29 February, 2012.

At this stage the parish must explain: Why? What? What is it for? Where? Will it be temporary or permanent?

Parishes submitting the most promising rationale for a commission will be invited to work up their proposal in detail while continuing to use the new guidelines. The deadline for the final stage will be 1 October, 2012.

The art to be commissioned can be a textile, metalwork, sculpture, an installation using mixed media, a painting or glass.

Using the guidance, richly illustrated with examples of recent commissions in these media throughout England, parishes will discover step-by-step advice on how to write briefs, how to commission and choose artists, the special considerations applying to temporary artworks, and how to take a creative proposal through the faculty system.

The Church of England hopes that the guide will make parishes realise that commissioning artwork can be very straightforward and rewarding.

Anne Sloman, Chair of the Church Buildings Council, said: “The Church has always been a significant Patron of the Arts in this country and we are determined that this tradition continues into the 21st Century. We are very grateful to the Jerusalem Trust for the Prize which will encourage parishes to use the guidelines creatively to work with artists to achieve a distinctive legacy.”