Next big thing
Founded in 2021, the Loewe Foundation/Studio Voltaire Award was established with the intention to support originality and excellence within contemporary art. Aiming to increase the profile of under-represented artists across class, race, gender, sexuality and disability, the prize has become all the more important this year as cost of living rises and funding within the arts becomes increasingly scarce.
Created in direct response to this time of economic disparity, the second edition of the fund awards seven artists of varying disciplines a rent-free workspace, a £5,000 bursary and a mentorship programme. Having received over 600 applicants, a panel of industry experts narrowed entries down to the final seven awardees.
Babajide Brian, Maz Murray, Emily Pope, Shamica Ruddock, Meera Shakti Osborne, Nick Smith and Ossie Williams are the chosen talents set to enrol on the enriching programme. Creating across drawing, film, sound, moving image, photography and installation, the seven artists will move into Studio Voltaire’s South London space from September, while the second phase of the award, a year-long residency for an international artist to take up residency at the studio, will be announced later this year.
Speaking on the award’s significance, Studio Voltaire’s curator Maggie Matić said: “As the cost of living crisis intensifies and has an increasingly adverse effect on artists, it was no surprise that we received such a high volume of strong applications. The level of need amongst artists is more pronounced than ever. We have a long way to go in overcoming the financial barriers and structural inequalities that are holding many brilliantly talented artists back, but we hope that this award can go some way in furthering this important ambition.”