Thursday, October 6, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR NUTTER ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF WEST COLLECTS CONTEMPORARY ART PRIZE
West Collects offers $100,000 for Philadelphia Artists

Philadelphia, October 6, 2011— Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined Paige West, Founder and Curator of the West Collection of Contemporary Art, to launch one of the largest art acquisition awards in the world: West Collects. West Collects provides $300,000 to bring emerging contemporary artists into the West Collection, with $100,000 reserved for Philadelphia-area artists. There is no fee for artists to apply to West Collects.

“Philadelphia is quickly becoming well known for its many artists. We’re also an innovative city where people want to live and do business,” said Mayor Nutter. “We are excited about this partnership with West Collects and the opportunities it will afford to artists in our community.” 

Artists over the age of eighteen working in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation or video mediums may apply. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2012. Winners will be announced on May 15, 2012. Paige West will choose all winning artists by determining who appropriately stretches, strengthens, and redefines her family’s collection when choosing the winners of West Collects 2012. 

“I am thrilled to unveil this initiative and help support Philadelphia’s vibrant and growing contemporary art scene,” said Paige West. “For the past fifteen years, we have built a collection with many important international artists, and we are proud to showcase the world-class talent of Philadelphia artists. Mayor Nutter’s support for the arts plays a critical role, and I thank him for working with us to show the Philadelphia West Collects artists at City Hall next year.”

The City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy will feature a six month long exhibit of the winning Philadelphia art-works at the Art Gallery at City Hall. 

“We are honored to showcase the talent of Philadelphia artists here in City Hall, and to bring the spirit and innovation of West Collects to the City of Philadelphia,” said Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia. “For more than 25 years, City Hall has provided thousands of emerging Philadelphia area artists a professional venue to showcase their talent through a juried process. This upcoming year, we are thrilled to partner with West Collects to present this exciting new opportunity.” 

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About the Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy

The mission of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is to support and promote arts, culture and creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the City. The Art Gallery at City Hall is located in the OACCE offices on the first floor of City Hall in Room 116, the hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. 

About the West Collection

During the past 15 years, the West Collection has grown to become one of the largest and most respected contemporary collections in the world – with 675 artists and over 3,000 works. Loans of West Collection exhibitions and works have been made to the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the Corcoran, the Whitney, as well as numerous regional museums and Philadelphia institutions. For more information click here.

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