New £10,000 Castlegate Prize open for entries

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New £10,000 Castlegate Prize open for entries

National open art prize launched in aid of YoungMinds mental health charity

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A new £10,000 national open art prize has been launched by a northern art gallery – with all entry fees going to leading mental health charity YoungMinds.

The Castlegate Prize opened for entries on November 23, and its organisers, Cumbrian gallery owners Steve and Christine Swallow, believe an art prize of this size with a charitable mission is unique in the UK.

For the inaugural £10,000 prize, funded by the Cockermouth-based gallery, artists must take the word ‘hope’ as the inspiration for their painting or drawing.

All the £20 entry fees will be donated to YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health.

Judges for the prize with Steve and Christine will be the Lake District-based former John Moores Painting Prize winner Martin Greenland, British contemporary painter and printmaker Eileen Cooper RA, OBE, and writer, broadcaster and journalist Stuart Maconie.

'Mental health charities are very close to our hearts, and those supporting youth mental health in particular,' says Steve. 'We believe this truly is a unique art competition, one that can inspire artists and do some actual good at the same time.'

YoungMinds works with young people throughout the UK, campaigning for change and raising awareness so that all young people get the help and support they need for their mental health. The charity also runs a free Parents Helpline that supports parents and carers who are worried about a young person.

'YoungMinds is a truly excellent charity whose work brings hope to young people and also their families who may be going through difficult times too,' says Steve. 'Because of this, we chose ‘hope’ as the most appropriate word to inspire the art entries for the inaugural Castlegate Prize. It’s up to each artist to take that inspiration in whatever manner they see fit.'

Castlegate House Gallery specialises in the best 20th century and contemporary British artists such as David Hockney, Sheila Fell, Frank Auerbach, Grayson Perry, Leon Kossoff, Winifred Nicholson, and Norman Cornish. It also champions young talented artists such as Alex Hain, William Reinsch and Louis Appleby.

Vanessa Longley, Director of Development at YoungMinds, said: 'We are thrilled to receive support from Castlegate House Gallery through The Castlegate Prize. 'Their contribution will ensure that we can continue our vital work fighting for the mental health of children and young people across the UK. We look forward to seeing how the artists interpret the theme of the prize.'

Entries for the first Castlegate Prize open on November 23 and close on February 14. The winner will be revealed at the gallery on May 2 with the best 30 works exhibited for the following three weeks. Entrants must be 16 or over.

For more information see


Something very close to my heart great idea to support and treat mental health during the early stages.

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