The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) was established in 2003 with a twin focus: to recognise the growing wealth of contemporary art talent in Asia and to raise funds to bring the proven benefits of expressive arts to disadvantaged children.
SAF organises the annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize, which is now widely recognised as the highest-profile art prize in the Asia-Pacific region. It also has a uniquely sustainable model – the artworks that reach the final stage of the competition are auctioned off after they have been exhibited. The proceeds are then shared equally between the artists and the Foundation. Since its inception, SAF has raised over US$6 million for charities and artists worldwide.
In order to inspire, encourage and reward young artists in the community and to raise funds for a local charity, SAF launched a Students Prize in Hong Kong in 2012. As with the Asian Art Prize, the twin aim was both to celebrate the importance of art and to raise funds.
Such was the success of this formula that a growing number of Sovereign offices have sought to replicate the model in their own jurisdictions. In Europe, we have since launched student prizes open to secondary school pupils in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, the Portuguese Algarve and now Malta.
The Guernsey Students Prize, which was launched in 2015, invites all secondary schools in Guernsey to submit ten of the best artworks produced by its students. A judging panel reviews all the entries and shortlists 12 finalists. The three prizewinners are then selected by the public through online voting and votes cast at the exhibition. This year’s Prize will be launched in the spring.
The Algarve Secondary Schools Art Prize, organised by Sovereign – Consultoria together with media partner Open Media, is now entering its second year. The first and second prize winners chosen by the judges will be announced at the event final at Galeria de Arte in Lagoa in April 2018. The third prize will be awarded to the artwork that receives the most votes from the public, both online and directly during the public exhibition. After the prize giving, the final 20 artworks will be auctioned to the public with the proceeds being divided between the artists and ‘School Art Projects – Art and Poetry Workshops’ organised by local artists, David Trubshaw and Gudrun Bartels, with the support of Silves Rotary Club which will raise funds for Casa do Povo in Messines.
The Isle of Man Students Prize, which first launched last year, is now inviting teachers from secondary schools in the Isle of Man to nominate three of the best artworks produced by students within the academic year. A judging panel will review all the entries and shortlist 12 finalists, which will then be exhibited in Douglas. The three prizewinners will be selected by the public through online voting and votes cast at the exhibition. All proceeds will support the Rebecca House Children’s Hospice.
The Malta Students Prize has just been launched and is open to all students attending Years 9, 10 and 11 of all secondary schools as well as students attending post-secondary schools in Malta and Gozo. A judging panel has now reviewed all the entries and shortlisted 12 finalists. The three prizewinners will be selected by the public through online voting and votes cast at the roving exhibition. This opened at the Duke Shopping Mall on Gozo and has now moved to the Malta Chamber of Commerce in Valetta. Finally, the artworks will move to The Point Shopping Mall in Sliema.
SAF would like to thank all the students across Europe for submitting such amazing artwork, all the schools and teachers that have encouraged and assisted them, and to all the Sovereign staff and their sponsors for getting involved and making this wonderful initiative happen. Please take time to visit the exhibitions and view the artworks if they are accessible to you, or to view and vote for the entries online if they are not. You will not be disappointed.
Further details about these prizes and galleries of the artworks can be accessed via the following links: