Jerwood Drawing Prize is an annual exhibition and cash prize opportunity for artists at all stages of their careers working with drawing, and has run since 1994. It supports excellence and promotes and celebrates the breadth of contemporary drawing practice in the UK. Drawings are selected for the exhibition by a panel of three selectors including an artist, a curator and a writer. The selection panel changes each year and the resulting exhibitions reflect each panel’s taxonomy of contemporary drawing practice. There are four cash prizes awarded each year with no stipulations as to use: First Prize of £8,000, Second Prize of £5,000 and two Student Awards of £2,000 each. In 2017 Evelyn Williams Trust provided the new Evelyn Williams Drawing Award of £10,000.
The initiative celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014. We became the principal benefactor in 2001 responding to a need for the continuation of the Prize which champions the inherent value of drawing in contemporary art practice.
The winners of the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017 were: Gary Lawrence, First Prize; Ana Mendes, Second Prize; and Jade Montserrat and Dejan Mrdja, Student Awards. Barbara Walker is the recipient of the newly introduced Evelyn Williams Drawing Award.
The selectors were: Dr David Dibosa, writer, researcher and Reader in Museology at the University of the Arts London, Helen Legg, Director of Spike Island and Michael Simpson, artist.
Following 17 significant and successful years of support, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Bath Spa University have announced that 2017 will be Jerwood Charitable Foundation’s final year as the key partner and funder for the Jerwood Drawing Prize. The exhibition project will continue to be led and developed by Professor Anita Taylor at Bath Spa University. The visual arts in the UK has benefited enormously from the prestige of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, which has championed the careers of many emerging and established artists and this legacy will continue as the project moves forward into a new phase with new supporters.