Grantley Hall chosen as launch for New Light art program

Grantley Hall was chosen to launch the New Light program. Photo by Simon Hulme

An art collection that aims to make the most of contemporary art in the gallery and in the community has been launched by New Light, a charity supporting artists from the north of England.

The New Light collection is available on loan to schools, hospitals, prisons and other government agencies and charities across the region.

The collection was recently launched at a prestigious event at Grantley Hall, near Ripon, whose owner Valeria Sykes is the patron saint of New Light and has generously supported the organization from the start.

New Light President Annette Petchey said, “Using arts participation as a therapeutic tool is not a new idea.

“However, the national recognition of the importance of ‘well-being’, particularly in the wake of the Covid pandemic, has created a refocus and has underlined the important role that museums and galleries can have in encouraging individuals to engage more socially.

“New Light aims to go further, bringing the best of northern art out of the gallery and straight into the heart of the community to encourage sensory, emotional and intellectual engagement.

“With the firm belief that access to the visual arts improves the environment and improves health and well-being, the New Light Collection will enable public bodies and charities to borrow the best of contemporary Nordic art for free. (with costs borne through sponsorship), giving everyone the chance to experience the region’s wealth of artistic talent.

Victor Wood, co-founder of personal investment managers McInroy and Wood, who sponsored the Collection’s launch, said:.

“We have long recognized the power of the arts to uplift spirits and express creativity. The work of creative and performance artists deserves to be understood much better and re-evaluated accordingly: New Light meets exactly this need.

The collection was kept for ten years, by acquisition, bequest and donation.

Many of the works of art in the collection have been generously donated by previous entrants to the New Light Prize.

Winner of the Valeria Sykes Prize in the current New Light Prize exhibition, Sheffield-based artist Joanna Whittle has donated her oil on canvas, Leaf Black Arch.

She said: “It was such an honor to be chosen for the Valeria Sykes Award alongside so many other strong Nordic artists with such beautiful work.

“It has been invaluable to my practice during these difficult times and allowed me to focus on developing ideas and creating new work that created a multitude of new opportunities and connections.

“It is a privilege to donate a piece to a collection that allows charities, schools and others to benefit from the sense of well-being that contemporary art can bring.

Paintings in the New Light collection can be borrowed free of charge, although New Light cannot cover shipping, hanging or insurance costs. It is hoped that the costs will be covered by the sponsorship.

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