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Charman Prize countdown gets underway

The countdown is on to find out this year's winner of one of Bermuda's most coveted art prizes.

Masterworks Museum of Bermuda will finally announce the winner of the sixth annual $10,000 Charman Prize on Friday evening at a gala dinner and reception.

Established in 2008, the Charman Prize is an annual art competition for local artists based in Bermuda. The sponsor and patron of the Charman Prize, John Charman, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd, a local businessman and art collector.

“As always, it brings me great joy to sponsor the Charman Prize,” Mr Charman said. “The artistic talent on our Island is outstanding. It is vital in a community to provide an outlet for all artists of all abilities to exhibit their artwork.”

Last year's winner was Molly Godet, who caused great consternation by being abroad when the prize was announced. She'd entered the competition and left the Island, not really expecting to win. In previous years winners such as Andrew Stevenson were controversial because their entries, in his case a film about whales, challenged the community's notions about the nature of fine art.

The purpose of the Charman Prize is to exhibit artwork inspired by Bermuda and to honour and support artists in the creation of their artwork.

Along with displaying the range of artistic talent that exists within the community, the competition awards prizes to confer tangible recognition of excellence to the worthy recipients.

This year's competition had 102 entries, which will be displayed in the Butterfield Family Gallery and offers Masterworks the opportunity to recognise the significant contribution that Bermuda's contemporary artists contribute to the community.

Since its inception, the Charman Prize has become a well-established highlight of the annual art calendar in Bermuda.

“Six years provides a substantial amount of time for our competition to flourish,” said Mr Charman. “Each year there are numerous improvements made. This year all of our artists have raised the collective standards of the competition. The artists should all take pride in their work. I believe this artwork has the potential to attract collectors from around the world, as it has done in the past.”

Artwork in the 2013 Charman Prize competition will be judged by a panel of experts on four criteria points falling under the theme Art in Bermuda; Bermuda in Art. This years three judges are Ron Rizzi, Senior lecturer at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Robert Cozzolino, Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Laszlo Cser, Art Restorer.

Judging criteria includes things like design and composition, originality and style.

The $10,000 grand-prize will be awarded to the artist whose artwork embodies an outstanding example of the judging criteria and this year the winning piece will be available for purchase. Another new twist will be the Masterworks Collection Prize. Members of the Collection Committee will choose and purchase a piece to be accessioned into the Bermudiana Collection. Four prizes of $2,500 will be awarded for artworks that are outstanding examples of each of the four criteria, and 12 honourable mentions of $100 will be awarded for notable artworks that embody strong elements of each of the four criteria.

Previous grand-prize winners include; Kathy Harriot in 2008, Graham Foster in 2009, Sabrina Alexandria Powell in 2010, and Andrew Stevenson in 2011. Their works now form part of the permanent Masterwork's Bermudiana Collection. All works on display in the competition will be for sale.

The awards ceremony is by invitation only and commences at 6.30pm. The exhibit will be held in the Butterfield Gallery and opens to the general public beginning October 12, 2013. The show will be displayed until January 1.

Charman winner: Molly Godet's 'Green Man Gombey', which won the 2012 competition.

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Published October 05, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 06, 2013 at 8:56 pm)

Charman Prize countdown gets underway

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