thecentre:mk Launches National Art Competition : First Prize £5,000

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, March 25, 2009 --( Shopping for Art at thecentre:mk? This may seem to be an unusual proposition but the regional shopping destination will be 30 years old this year and to help celebrate the fact it has joined forces with MK Fringe to launch ‘thecentre:mk Annual Painting Prize‘. The prize is a national initiative which has been established to promote contemporary painting and drawing. There are over £8,000 worth of prizes on offer, including a first place prize of £5,000. Deadline for submission is the 30 June 2009 with the winners being announced on the 25 of September.

‘thecentre:mk Annual Painting Prize’ is a major survey of British painting and drawing in 2009 and will establish itself as a major national art competition. It will be open to all artists, over 18 years of age, throughout the UK, and encourages the use of all 2D media including: oil, acrylic, industrial paints, ink, vinyl, watercolour, graphite, pencil, printing of various forms. The submissions can have any form of support and the maximum size permitted in a two-dimensional format is 2.5 x 2.5 metres including any framing.

Jackie Tracey, Events and Commercialisation and Events Manager from thecentre:mk commented on the announcement, “As part of thecentre:mk’s birthday celebrations we wanted to establish something substantial for the art community in Milton Keynes raising the profile of the city to a national level. The award is similar in prize fund and stature to the major national art competitions in the UK and as a result we expect to see entries from some of the most exciting established and emerging artists in the UK.

The winning work will be sited in the heart of one of Europe’s busiest shopping centres to maximise the audience as thecentre:mk enjoys around 30 million visitors per year.”

The works will be selected by three professionals from the art world all with personal links to Milton Keynes. Michael Stanley, Director of Modern Art Oxford, Phoebe Unwin, international artist who received her first solo exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery in 2007 and Sally Annett, Creative Director of FRINGEMK will all view the submitted pieces and select the finalists.

Sally Annett, commented on the prize; “The prize is a superb gift from thecentre:mk. Milton Keynes has a vibrant art scene with Milton Keynes Gallery hosting international contemporary art exhibitions and thecentre:mk also engaging new audiences with its innovative exhibition space Whitewall. However, until now we have not had a prizes and opportunities which will attract artists from the highest levels… We have now.”

For more information on thecentre:mk Annual Painting Prize visit


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Media information: Mike Graham, PR Officer on 01908 398132 or or the Marketing Team on 01908 678641 or visit

Please note: When referring to thecentre:mk please ensure that it is spelt only in lower case and as one word with no spaces.

thecentre:mk is a regional shopping centre situated in the heart of Milton Keynes. With over 240 stores, cafes and restaurants all under one roof, it is anchored by John Lewis, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer and Next. As the premier shopping destination in the region between London and Birmingham, Cambridge and Oxford, thecentre:mk enjoys around 30 million visits every year and is unrivalled in its customer service. Included in the overall proposition are civic spaces and events venues; City Square, Queens Court and Middleton Hall which offer a varied programme of free events throughout the year, including bridal shows, fashion events, motor shows and the award winning Christmas display. The CACI Retail Footprint Report 2005 ranked thecentre:mk as the Number One Town Centre Shopping Centre in the UK.
the centre:mk
Mike Chambers
0870 890 2530
PR & Communications Officer