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Art Award Streets Ahead

Art Award Streets Ahead

Writer, broadcaster and Editor at Large of the Independent on Sunday, Janet Street-Porter, is to chair the judging panel of the next Rouse Kent Public Art Award.

Janet, who appears on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘F-Word’ and was a contestant in ‘I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here’, trained as an architect before entering journalism and is a regular commentator on the arts. She said: “It's important that art in public spaces is of a really high standard and I am happy to help achieve that.”

The Rouse Kent Public Art Award, which is given by Kent County Council and Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd (formerly Rouse Kent), will now be given bi-annually for the best piece of art created in the county in the previous 24 months and to which the public has free and permanent access.

Founded in 1994, the award has recently undergone a re-evaluation by an independent art consultant funded by Arts Council England and one of the recommendations for the ‘new-look award’ was that it should be given every two years to allow artists more time to complete their works. The 2009 award will be for works completed between April 2007 and March 2009.

The judging panel will include experts from the art world as well as representatives of the people of Kent and Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd.

To be eligible to enter the award, the artworks must:

  • be in a public space in Kent (excluding any entry-paying estates or sites)
  • be the work of any professional artist(s), with or without a commissioner
  • be completed within the previous 24 months (in this case from April 2007 to 30 March 2009 inclusive.)
  • raise expectations of art in the public realm by being innovative, distinctive and surprising
  • enhance the environment and encourage a sense of pride and place-making within the community
  • have a lasting impact on the surrounding community by providing opportunities for engagement and participation.

The total prize money for the award is £15,000, funded by Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd and Kent County Council. The first prize of £7,000 will go to the winning artist, with £5,000 to the winning work’s commissioner and a second prize of £3,000 will go to the runner up artist.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from www.rousekentpublicartaward.co.uk and the closing date for entries, which will be for works completed within the last two years, will be 30 March 2009. Judging will take place in April, with the winner being announced at a VIP ceremony at Kings Hill in May.

“It is a tremendous honour for us that such a high-profile personality as Janet Street-Porter has agreed to chair our judging panel,” said Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd. “The award attracts some wonderful entries and it is good to see that so much hard work is going into giving the people of Kent a sense of pride in their surroundings by introducing art into the community.”

“We are looking forward to sharing some of the outstanding public art created across Kent with Janet Street-Porter,” said Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Communities. “I’m confident she will make an excellent chair of the judging panel for the Rouse Kent Public Art competition.”

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