A record number of artists have entered the Cooper Prize, an art competition hosted by the town centre Gallery, which rewards and celebrates the outstanding artistic talent that South Yorkshire has to offer.

The competition was open to artists who were born, live or work in South Yorkshire with amazing prizes to be won including a £1000 cash prize, sponsored by the Cooper Trustees, space in the Gallery’s newly refurbished artists’ studios, a solo exhibition plus many more.

There were over three hundred and fifty entries to the competition with one hundred and fifty-two artists taking part.  Entrants came from all corners of the region with many from Barnsley and Sheffield and even further afield like Nottingham, London and Devon.

Artists were invited to submit up to three pieces of artwork across mixed mediums which could include abstract, figurative, contemporary or traditional work.

Shortlisted entries will be included in an online exhibition with the very best included in an exhibition on display  at the Cooper Gallery from Saturday, 20 March until Saturday, 12 June 2021 (Covid restrictions depending).

A expert panel of judges, who have been handpicked for their expertise, are currently reviewing submissions and will evaluate all artwork via the competition’s new digital portal. Artwork is of an exceptionally high standard with judging to find a winner a difficult process.

Winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday 20 March .

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Regeneration and Culture) said:

We are delighted to have had such a brilliant response to the competition and we would like to thank all of those artists who have taken part.  The Cooper Gallery is dedicated to supporting and showcasing local talent and we hope the competition will be a real springboard for artists in their career.  The prizes are phenomenal and support such as this is critical for those in the arts, now more than ever.

For more information about the exhibition visit www.cooper-gallery.com