Shortlist announced for 2nd year of the MAC’s Art Prize

We are excited to launch MAC International Ulster Bank Prize 2016 - the biggest contemporary art prize in Ireland and one of the most significant prizes in the UK. The award offers professional artists across the world the opportunity to exhibit at the MAC, as well as a prize fund of £20,000 sponsored by Ulster Bank for the overall winner.

An international judging panel including Katerina Gregos Art Historian, Curator, and Writer from Brussels and Marta Dziewańska from the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw today announced the shortlist of the 18 artists who have successfully made it through the open submission. The call for entrants attracted almost 1,000 submissions from some 40 countries across the world.

An exhibition, running across all three MAC galleries from 27 October 2016 until 19 February 2017, will showcase the work of all finalists and offer visitors the very best in contemporary visual art including painting, photography, film and installation.

The shortlisted artists from countries including Brazil, Iceland, France, the US, the UK and Northern Ireland, now have three months to prepare their artworks for the upcoming exhibition which will be judged by a jury of international curators. The winner of the £20,000 MAC International Ulster Bank prize will be announced at the opening ceremony on 27 October 2016.

Sean Murphy, Managing Director of Branch and Private Banking, Ulster Bank, said: “MAC International enhances Belfast’s reputation on the global stage, and brings world-class work to a local audience - inspiring up-and-coming talent, widening access to the arts, and enriching our cultural fabric. Ulster Bank is really pleased to support this important prize and to help bring the exhibition free of charge to people from across Northern Ireland.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “As principal funder of the MAC, we are delighted to lend our support to MAC International. This project puts the pursuit of excellence in the arts to the fore and in particular, reminds us of the important role of Artists in producing great work that attracts audiences from home and abroad. MAC International is helping to build a valuable reputation for Belfast, and indeed Northern Ireland, as a place of note for international contemporary art practice. It is a great addition to our cultural treasure trove of attractions worth visiting Belfast to see and experience. I would encourage everyone to go along; it offers a terrific opportunity for people to engage with high-quality art and culture of an international standard.”