The Royal Academy of Arts and Claridge’s have announced a partnership to create The Claridge’s/Royal Academy Schools Art Prize. The prize will be awarded annually to a graduating student at the Royal Academy Schools. In its inaugural year, the award will be presented by Marina Abramović Hon RA to coincide with her major exhibition at the RA this autumn.
The prize winner will be selected by a panel of judges during the RA Schools Show in June 2023 and announced at an event at Claridge’s in September 2023. The winner will receive £30,000, a production fund and a solo exhibition at Claridge’s ArtSpace the following year.
The Royal Academy and Claridge’s have been friends and neighbours for over a century. Both institutions pride themselves in a commitment to excellence and being home to artists and creatives. Claridge’s recently extended its arts programme significantly with the opening of Claridge’s ArtSpace, a new gallery designed by John Pawson adjacent to the hotel presenting an ambitious programme of rotating exhibitions.
The RA Schools have been a crucial part of the Royal Academy since its foundation in 1769. The RA Schools offer a full-time, three-year programme to 17 early career artists annually. There are no fees to living artists: Lynnette Yiadom-Boakye, Michael Armitage RA, Kobby Adi Graduates of the RA Schools have contributed to art and culture in the UK and internationally through art practice, education, research, curatorial practice and collaboration. Returning to 1769, graduates include William Blake and JMW Turner, Eddie Peake, Prem Sahib, Rebecca Ackroyd, and Ayo Akingbade, who exemplify the range of recent
Eliza Bonham Carter, Curator and Director, Royal Academy Schools, said: “The partnership with Claridge’s does two vitally important things. First, it directly sponsors the Royal Academy Schools, meaning we can remain free for students to attend. They are selecting the artists based on merit rather than economic background. Second, this generous prize ensures that the recipient receives financial security and a platform for their work as they graduate. During economic uncertainty, this is an essential vote of confidence in the importance of our creative future.”
Paul Jackson, General Manager, Claridge’s, said: “Claridge’s has long been at the heart of the thriving London art community. We have seen lobby installations by Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst during Frieze, the appointment of our very own Artist in Residence, David Downton, over ten years ago, and, of course, the unveiling of Claridge’s ArtSpace gallery in 2021, which truly cemented the hotel’s commitment to art. In addition, we are proud and honoured to announce today The Claridge’s Royal Academy Schools Art Prize, ensuring Claridge’s will support and inspire a whole new generation of artists.”
Marc Socker, the joint CEO of Maybourne Hotel Group, said: “World-class artwork and groundbreaking installations have always formed an integral role in the creative DNA of Maybourne Hotel Group. Walk into any of our hotels, and you will discover standout masterpieces, part of our ongoing determination to create inspiring and memorable experiences for our guests. The announcement of The Claridge’s Royal Academy Schools Art Prize reinforces the importance we place on the art world at Maybourne Hotel Group.”
At the centre of London’s Mayfair, Claridge’s, part of the Maybourne Hotel Group, embodies grand English style, timeless glamour and impeccable, intuitive and highly tailored service. It is London’s art deco jewel and home to elegant rooms and suites. From London’s finest afternoon tea in The Foyer to vintage champagnes at Claridge’s Bar and The Fumoir and bespoke cocktails at The Painter’s Room, all are part of the hotel’s unique splendour and charm.
The Royal Academy School is an independent school of contemporary art that offers up to 17 artists each year to participate in a free, three-year postgraduate programme. Founded in 1769, the RA Schools remain independent to this day. This independence enables the postgraduate programme to adapt to each student’s needs constantly. Discussion and debate is fuelled by various lectures, artist talks, group critiques and tutorials from leading contemporary artists, Royal Academicians, critics, writers and theorists.
The RA Schools Show 2023 will present the work of 14 contemporary artists graduating from the Royal Academy Schools and will run from 8 – 25 June 2023 at the Royal Academy of Arts. Axel Rüger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Claridge’s to create this new prize for the Royal Academy Schools. We are committed to supporting art education and the development of our students at the RA Schools. This prize will enable us to continue supporting our artists beyond graduation.”
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects who aim to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. The Royal Academy is an independent charity. It does not receive government revenue funding, so it relies upon the support of its visitors, donors, sponsors, patrons and loyal Friends.