LOEWE has launched an award to support London’s artists

The Loewe Foundation Studio Voltaire award will support and mentor artists from minority backgrounds struggling in the pandemic.

by Tom George
30 March 2021, 11:57am

Image courtesy of Loewe

Spanish fashion house Loewe has partnered with the Clapham-based art gallery Studio Voltaire on a new award for local artists. Seven winners will be supported for two years with rent-free studio space, professional mentoring and curatorial support, a £2000 bursary as well as having their work shown to local and international audiences. 

The awards will be given out based on both the artist’s talent and need with those from under-represented backgrounds strongly urged to apply in order to strengthen representation and equitable access across the industry. Later in the year a second phase of the award will also see an international artist be offered a year-long residency in the newly-refurbished Studio Voltaire, which plans to re-open its doors in October 2021.

The pandemic has hit artists hard, especially in the capital. With the amount of studio provision already in decline pre-pandemic, coronavirus has only exacerbated the situation, with cultural hubs like the Southbank Centre loaning out nearly 90% of its space to other organisations. “It’s estimated that more than a third of existing studio spaces will vanish by 2024” says Joe Scotland, director at Studio Voltaire in a statement. 

Furthermore, a recent report in the Guardian revealed that the government has only allocated £830 million of the one billion available in its culture recovery budget and of which just over half has actually been paid out. As a result, many artists and young people have been leaving the capital, unable to afford the staggering rent prices and costs of living. 

Applications for the award are open to all via an open call with nominations also being made by key figures within the industry. The judging panel for the award includes artists Anthea Hamiton and Elizabeth Price, Studio Voltaire director Joe Scotland and curator Maggie Matić. 

In a statement creative director of Loewe, Jonathan Anderson said: “supporting creativity is at the heart of all Loewe does and it is therefore a great privilege for the Loewe Foundation to support this vital new initiative, especially in light of the impact Covid-19 has had on the artistic community. I have long admired Studio Voltaire and the work it does and am delighted we can be a part of it.”

Applications for the LOEWE Foundation / Studio Voltaire award are now open here.

studio voltaire