The Aims of the Award are to:

  • recognise talented individuals and groups at the beginning of their career in the creative arts, craft and design fields
  • offer tailored business mentoring/business skills experience to the Award winner, to enable their business to be both creatively and financially successful in the future

The Award is open to individuals or groups who:

Applications are sought from emerging artists, whether individuals or groups, who have the skills to design, make and install their concept of the commission brief

Applicants may be:

  • students/apprentices/undergraduates from any background in the United Kingdom studying at a specialist school, further education college or university
  • individuals who have graduated/completed their vocational education within the last 7 years
  • self-taught and have set up their business within the last 7 years

What is the Award?

The Award was established in 2017 as a 20-year project, and will operate as an annual arts, craft and design competition. The winner will receive a commission to create their winning design, which may be created in any medium or combination which fulfils the commission brief.

Each year, Valerie Seager will choose the beneficiary of the Award. This will be a charity, organisation (including not-for-profit), or community project, whose work she feels would benefit from the additional publicity generated by the Award, and where the beneficiary feels that the commissioned work would be of lasting benefit for their members and the public.

The commissioning brief will be drawn up by the chosen organisation and the Judges, and will be advertised on this website and other websites relevant to the commission. The Judges will include at least one person representing the views of the organisation receiving the completed commission.

The organisation chosen for 2020 is The English Folk Dance and Song Society, the organisation representing the UK’s folk heritage, which celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2020.

In 2021 the Award will partner with the Crafts Council to commemorate their 50 years of supporting and promoting talent in the craft sector.

The winner will be commissioned to create their winning design, working with the beneficiary organisations’ staff and volunteers, from being awarded the commission through to the official opening event.

A key component of the Award will be the bespoke business mentoring and practical business skills experience which will be made available to the winner throughout the making process by the Judges.