Medha Kapur of Saffronart shares a note on The Sovereign Art Foundation and its esteemed Prize
Established in 2003, The Sovereign Art Foundation is a registered charity in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. The Foundation works with M’Lop Tapang, Kalki Welfare Society, Kids Company, and many more charities and funds to raise money to help disadvantaged children using the arts as rehabilitation, education and therapy. The Foundation was set up by Howard Bilton, a tax lawyer who turned his art-collecting hobby into the Foundation, which also runs what is now Asia’s largest art prize. Howard is also the chairman of The Sovereign Group.
The Foundation annual Sovereign European and Asian Art Prizes give recognition to some of the most important artists of our time. They essentially invite established artists to enter the competition which carries a first prize of US$ 25,000. All artists that enter the competition are judged by a panel of art experts, and the longlisted 30 show their work at an exhibition. The announcement of the prize winner is made during the exhibition or at the Foundation’s charity auction dinner. A US$ 1,000 Public Prize is also awarded by the Foundation based on votes cast by the public at the exhibition or through the Foundation’s website.
In 2011, the Sovereign Foundation launched the Sovereign African Art Prize which aims at raising public awareness about African art, offering recognition and opportunity to African artists, and raising significant funding for charities in Africa.
Sarnath Banerjee is an Indian graphic artist who has made it to the top 20 of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize this year. His artwork at the Foundation is mainly text and image based, with the intention of simplifying complex systems chiefly to understand them. In the process, he brings levity and emotional depth to otherwise incomprehensible subjects. You can vote for Sarnath Banerjee on the Foundation website, and read an earlier interview with him on this blog here.