Welcome to New Lights, a charity formed in 2010 to support talented contemporary artists in the North of England and to make art accessible to everyone, through the New Lights ‘Art for All’ programme.
New Lights has evolved into a scheme that supports a wide range of established and emerging artists working in the North of England. It is a celebration of the rich, artistic heritage of the area, which is home to many internationally acclaimed artists and world class gallery spaces. However, many Northern-based artists often face difficulty in establishing themselves professionally due to the dominance of the London and South East art scene.

Our main event is a biennial touring Open Exhibition, with prizes totalling £15,000 awarded.  The main award is ‘The Valeria Sykes Award’ of £10,000, alongside this there are also opportunities for younger, emerging artists – with guidance, mentoring and exposure in some of the region’s best galleries. Additionally, we organise a number of exhibitions and events nationwide to raise the profile of Northern artists. This year will see our first group show in London, an exhibition  featuring some of the North’s most respected contemporary artists, exhibiting alongside a selection of artists at the start of their careers.

Art is life-enhancing, enjoyable and rewarding, but many people are put off trying to enjoy art for fear of saying or thinking ‘the wrong thing’ or not being as knowledgeable as others. Through New Lights’ ‘Art for All’ programme – a series of workshops, lectures and guided viewings, New Lights seeks to foster the enjoyment and appreciation of contemporary art amongst sections of the community who may feel excluded by standard art environments. 

New Lights aims to inspire people from all walks of life to actively engage in art, either by learning to create art or by enjoying viewing and learning about art.