Slideshow: Opening of the New Light prize exhibition at the Mercer Gallery, Harrogate

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With several prizes up for grabs, including the £10,000 Valerie Sykes Prize, the standard of shortlisted entries in this year’s New Light exhibition was of a rare and high standard, writes Graham Chalmers.

NADV 1602191AM4 New Light Exhibition.Heather Goodall, the artist Joshua Waterhouse the artist's model Jo Marland and Tony Goodall.(1602191AM4)

NADV 1602191AM4 New Light Exhibition.Heather Goodall, the artist Joshua Waterhouse the artist's model Jo Marland and Tony Goodall.(1602191AM4)

Valerie Sykes herself was among the audience at the private viewing last Friday to hear the Mercer Art Gallery’s curator Jane Sellars praise the quality of the exhibits, which numbered nearly 60 in total.

New Light chief executive Annette Petchey was pleased to announce the exhibition would be travelling to London after Harrogate, having already been on show at its regular home at Bowes Museum.

Designed to celebrate artistic talent of all types by northern artists, the prize exhibition included work by the little-known and well-known such as Mandy Payne, who won the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award for her work titled “Broken Brutalism”.

During the evening the Visitors’ Choice Award from The Bowes Museum was announced.

Sponsored by Yorkshire-based marketing agency TIG, the award goes to the artist whose work was deemed the most popular by visitors to the Bowes Museum, with James Naughton’s oil painting “Cavern” winning.

The New Light exhibition also featured work by celebrated Yorkshire artist Tom Wood, who currently has a show running at the Mercer.

l The New Light Prize exhibition runs at Mercer Gallery until June 12. Admission is free.