The Golden Fleece Award celebrates 20 years of supporting Irish artists and makers, and announces the shortlist for its coveted 2021 prize:
Venue: Virtual Award ceremony
Date: Wednesday 31 March
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
More information: goldenfleeceaward.com
The annual Golden Fleece Award is the largest art prize open to artists and makers in Ireland. 2021 is a special year for the Golden Fleece Trust as it marks twenty years since the establishment of the Award through the bequest of its founder, Lillias Mitchell. The Award has established itself as one of the most central and supportive awards for artists and craftspeople at a pivotal moment of their careers. And as an independent artistic prize fund, the mission of the Golden Fleece Award is to provide resources for Irish artists to innovate and develop their creative vision.
The Board of Trustees for this coveted art prize is pleased to announce its shortlist of artists and makers qualifying for the 2021 Award. To celebrate the Award’s 20th anniversary and in recognition of the very difficult times being faced by creative practitioners this past year the Trustees have generously increased the prize fund for 2021. This years Award will be a virtual event profiling the artists and announcing the winners one Wednesday 31 March.
The creative sector is in crisis at present, and individual artists, makers and craftspeople face exceptional challenges amid increased financial uncertainty due to the on-going pandemic. In recognition of these exceptionally difficult circumstances, the Trustees of the Golden Fleece Award have decided to celebrate Lillias Mitchell’s legacy by increasing the twentieth anniversary prize fund to €60,000. Ten applicants have been shortlisted for the Golden Fleece Award 2021: of these, six will receive an award of €10,000 each.
Angela O’Kelly, the Advisory Panel Chairperson for the Award said: “The Golden Fleece is one of the most supportive awards for emerging and established artists and craftspeople at pivotal moments of their careers. In recognition of the Golden Fleece’s 20th Anniversary in 2021, the fund is equally distributed between six applicants. This is a substantial contribution to art and craft practitioners especially in this exceptionally difficult time for the creative sector. The standard of applications this year was outstanding and a tribute to the professionalism within the creative sector. I would urge all that applied but were not winners this year to continue to apply in the future.”
The Golden Fleece Award was initially restricted to craft and figurative visual art. In 2018 the criteria were broadened to include artists working across all forms of visual, craft and applied arts.
On applying, artists are asked to submit images of recent work along with a statement outlining how the Award would make a decisive difference to their careers. Past winners have cited needs varying from preparing for future exhibitions to developing their practice, acquiring new studio space and tools or travelling abroad to learn new skills.
The Golden Fleece Award has a distinguished Advisory Panel each year whose knowledge and experience are invaluable in guiding the development of the Award. These include Angela O’Kelly (Panel Chair, jeweller and Head of Design for Body & Environment, NCAD), Dr Declan Long (art critic and Co-Director of the MA ‘Art in the Contemporary World’, NCAD), Catherine Marshall (art historian, editor and curator), Ann Mulrooney (creative industries leader), and Dr. Audrey Whitty (Head of Collections and Learning, National Museum of Ireland).