The Artists' Collecting Society Studio Prize's Past Winners
The ACS Studio Prize was founded in 2017 to offer an artist financial support towards the cost of an artist's studio in the UK.
The Studio Prize was established to help artists with the costs of rising studio rents. It recognises the need for studio space and financial stability for emerging artists at the pivotal stage of beginning their careers.
2019: Araminta Blue Wieloch
This year judges Lady Bridgeman CBE, founder of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS), renowned artist Cathie Pilkington RA and Director & Curator of the Ingram Collection Jo Baring awarded the ACS Studio Prize to painter Araminta Blue Wieloch.
In 2019, the judges deliberated over an initial longlist of 26 artists from throughout the UK and Europe.
The Prize was awarded to Araminta Blue Wieloch, a graduate of Chelsea College of Art (2009), the Ruskin School of Art (2012) and the Slade School of Fine Art (2019). Araminta is a painter whose work draws on memories to explore human nature in imagined scenes. In addition to the ACS Studio Prize, she was also awarded the Lionel Anthony Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2019.
Judge Cathie Pilkington RA said: “The ACS Studio Prize is establishing itself as one of the most significant national awards for practising visual artists at early career stage. As an artist with a studio based practice I know how much difference this generous award will make to the winner, enabling them to concentrate on the critical development of their work at such an exciting and crucial stage.”
2018: Rebecca Harper
Renowned artists Eileen Cooper RA and Rob and Nick Carter, alongside ACS' Viscountess Bridgeman, awarded the ACS Studio Prize 2018 to painter Rebecca Harper.
Five finalists were chosen from a national open competition which attracted 330 submissions, marking a huge increase in applications from the inaugural Prize in 2017. The judges awarded the Prize to Rebecca, a graduate of UWE Bristol (2011), the Royal Drawing School (2014) and Turps Art School (2018). Her work is largely observed from life, yet often reconstructs memories and dreams to rearrange fictional fragments as plausible happenings.
Judge Eileen Cooper RA said: "The overall standard of applications was very high indeed and the range of work impressive, with great breadth of practice evident. This made the selection both hugely enjoyable and very difficult. I would have like the selectors to be giving out at least half a dozen prizes!
I particularly responded to the ambition of Rebecca's works in scale and subject matter, together with her warmth and observations, the paintings had real depth. I really felt connected to the world she portrayed."
Rebecca is now represented by established contemporary galleries Anima Mundi and Huxley Parlour and was this year exhibited at the prestigious London Art Fair 2020.
To find out more about Rebecca Harper, visit the artists' website here.
2017: Marco Miehling
The inaugural ACS Studio Prize, judged by the artist Maggi Hambling CBE, Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy and ACS' Viscountess Bridgeman, was awarded to sculptor Marco Miehling.
A London-based artist born in Germany, Marco graduated in 2017 with a Masters degree in Sculpture from the prestigious Royal College of Art. The judges were highly impressed by the multidisciplinary inventiveness of his sculptural practice.
On receiving the Prize, Marco explained “The economic challenges faced by early career artists have never been so demanding. Paradoxically, as one of the most important human activities, artistic work is becoming more and more precarious. As a multidisciplinary sculptor, winning the ACS Studio Prize [will] grant me valuable time and space to continue questioning my artistic practice.”
Marco has since completed a residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and he has received a Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award.
In 2019, the artist’s installation, A Tree is a Big Plant with a Stick Up in the Middle, was shown in NIROX Sculpture Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. The artwork was also a part of Selfridges London Artblock Commission in Partnership with Yorkshire Sculpture Park the same year.
To find out more about Marco Miehling, visit the artist's website here.