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FIRST@108: Public Art Award

Applications are now open for the 2017 FIRST@108: Public Art Award - a unique biennial award designed to offer sculptors an opportunity to extend their practice into competing for public art commissions. 

The award is open to any artist working in 3 dimensions in any media who has not yet won an open (or closed) competition for a commission to create a work for a public space above the value of £15,000. The winning sculptor is awarded £10,000 towards the cost of producing a large scale site-specific sculpture or installation. Over the following six months the fabrication of the winning work is supported by the award and the winner is mentored by a team of experienced professionals - engineers, consultants and artists - to ensure the concept is delivered to the exacting standards required of work to be installed in public spaces.

Like most public art commissions, we have given the 2017 Award a theme: ‘The Poetics of Structure’. Open to multiple interpretations and approaches, the theme lends itself to responses from artists interested in the structural and the engineered as a way to convey meaning. The brief for the award is to create an innovative work for temporary exhibition in a busy urban public space (initially the RBS forecourt with the potential of a second site afterwards). 

Following the application deadline five proposals will be selected by an eminent jury comprising Clare Burnett, RBS President, Bill Price, director at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Conrad Shawcross RA sculptor, and Hannele Tilles, curator. The five shortlisted artists will be invited to develop their proposal and create a maquette which will be exhibited at in the RBS gallery before the winner is selected. 

Further details about the award process can be found in the application form on the left of this page.

Deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 6th January 2017.

This award is generously supported by the Mirisch & Lebenheim Charitable Foundation.