Dover Prize Fund

Background to the Dover Prize

The Dover Prize Exhibition began in 1998 and it was a replacement to the Silver Longboat Competition, which ran from 1985 and had been set up by Hydro Polymers -a plastics manufacturer in Newton Aycliffe and Darlington. The Longboat made reference to the Norwegian origins of Hydro Polymers, Norsk Hydro. The annual art award, which attracted an average of 300 applicants from across the North East, provided prize money of £500 to the winner along with a silver longboat trophy. In 1998, Peggy Nonhebel (née Dover) set up an endowment - the Dover Family Fund - to help the Silver Longboat competition to continue in perpetuity, and to promote art and the education of art in and around Darlington.

Dover Prize 2016

The Dover Prize today is a 2-year bursary of £10,000 that will support excellence and experimentation in the arts and creative industries. The bursary will be awarded to an artist or artists to provide them with time to think, research, reflect and/or experiment with new ideas that will create work to be premiered in Darlington. This opportunity is open to any UK-based creative practitioner, individual or collective and will be awarded for work that meets the aims of the Dover Prize in raising the profile of contemporary arts in Darlington to make a positive impact on the town.

Artists applying must meet a minimum of 3 of the following:

  • The artist is regularly making and exhibiting artwork
  • The artist has received professional grants or awards
  • Is involved in organising self-created professional opportunities, for example, running an artist-led studio or project
  • The artist has a degree in visual or applied arts at undergraduate and/or post-graduate level
  • The artist has been commissioned by a public institution
  • The artist’s work has been previously purchased by a public collection
  • The artist’s work has been previously reviewed or featured in an art journal, magazine, newspaper or on-line curated platform
  • The artist is represented by a gallery
  • The artist has taken part in a recognised residency or artist placement scheme

Purpose of the award

Every application to the Dover Prize will need to show how funding would help move artistic practice forward. As such, during the assessment process, consideration would be made as to whether the proposal, if awarded support, was likely to offer the applicant opportunities to develop their practice either in terms of subject matter, research, media, or profile by virtue of their exhibition.

The award of a bursary is intended to allow for time to:

  • Consolidate current ideas and build on existing work
  • Explore new collaborations and contexts for making work
  • Experiment with new approaches and fresh perspectives
  • Generate new ideas
  • Discover new sources of inspiration

The bursary can be in any art form, including digital technology and new media. Applications are welcome from artists working in the visual arts fields including painting, sculpture, ceramics, print-making, photography, digital art, film-making and installations. We are interested in extending the reach of the Dover prize to engage with traditional as well as new or ‘non-traditional’ arts audiences. As such, it is not a requirement that the final exhibition or show is necessarily site-specific or within a traditional art space or gallery; we are open to artists exploring the creative potential of digital technologies and new media to help meet this goal.

On applying to the Dover Prize, applicants must state what they would use the bursary for in developing their practice and profile. The financial award should therefore be used to pay for costs directly related to developing work for a premiere, which might include but are not restricted to:

  • Travel to other art practices, galleries, (including other countries where it can be shown that there would be a specific benefit)
  • Training/workshop costs attached to developing the work
  • Items of equipment
  • Art materials
  • Materials for the final exhibition or premiere

Applying to the Fund

To apply to the Dover Prize, applicants should complete the online application form including a supporting statement that qualifies their submission (experience and eligibility) and their intent (proposal). They will also provide examples of their work via an attached JPEG or for installations/digital art, a link to an appropriate website.

A shortlist of 3 artists will be chosen for interview and should bring an example of their work with them and a brief narrative of how their work meets the aims of the Dover Prize. Artists will be selected on the strength of their work and their potential to raise the profile of creative and visual arts in the Darlington. All three shortlisted artists will be advised of the outcome, winning artist(s) will then be contacted by letter to inform them of the Panel’s decision.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for receipt of applications to the Dover Fund 2016 is Friday 30th September 2016. We recommend that you complete your application as soon as possible.

What will happen next?

Your application will be reviewed and checked to make sure it meets the eligibility criteria. The Dover Prize Panel will assess your application in line with the fund criteria and make a recommendation as to whether your application should proceed to the next stage. Once a decision has been made you will receive that decision via email. If shortlisted, you will receive an offer by email to attend an interview.

If you are successful in being awarded a bursary you will receive a letter outlining the terms and conditions, which you will need to sign and return to CDCF. These documents will explain how any funding awarded will be released. If you are unsuccessful you will receive a letter via email.

Steps to apply for this grant

This fund is now closed for applications.