The 2011 Charman Prize exhibit opens at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art this evening.
This year’s competition had 105 entries, of which 80 will be on show under the theme Bermuda Inspirations.
The show was established in 2008 by businessman and art collector John Charman as an opportunity to showcase the range of artistic talent on the Island.
“I have long believed that a nation lacking a vibrant art community is a nation missing a critical part of its soul,” he said. “All too often, our incredibly important local artists are taken for granted despite their valuable contribution to the heart and soul of our community.
“On such a relatively small Island like Bermuda, it is truly extraordinary to see the depth and breadth of artistic excellence throughout our population.”
Judges this year were Betty Krulik, an appraiser and private dealer in 19th and early 20th Century American art; Peter Higdon, collections curator at Ryerson Gallery and Research Center in Toronto, Ontario; Laszlo Cser, professional conservator; and Lucy Harwood, who recently worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and organised the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Works were judged based on fine use of the principles and elements of design and composition, technical mastery and skill in a chosen medium and a highly developed quality of creativity and originality. It was also important that artists’ submissions showed a clear intent and vision.
The grand prize is $10,000. Four prizes of $2,500 will also be awarded for works that are outstanding examples of each of the four criteria. There will also be 12 honourable mention prizes of $100 presented to notable artworks that embody strong elements of each of the four criteria.
Previous grand prize winners are Kathy Harriott in 2008, Graham Foster in 2009 and Sabrina Alexandria Powell in 2010. Their works now form part of the permanent Masterworks Bermudiana Collection. All works on display in the competition, apart from the grand prize-winning work, will be on sale to the public.
The artwork submitted this year for the 2011 Charman Prize illustrates the diverse talent born from great ideas right here in Bermuda, said Masterworks’ Tom Butterfield.
“The theme ‘Bermuda Inspirations’ has allowed our local artists to open up the possibilities of interpretation to all sorts of ideas,” he said. “Some may seem unpalatable, others agreeable, but all whet the appetite for those who want to better understand our Island.”
The Charman Prize opening will be held this evening, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.
The exhibit will remain open until December 3.