First winners of Testing Media announced

Galleries in Preston and Leicester have won £30,000 to acquire contemporary art in challenging media, as part of a new initiative launched by the Art Fund.

Set up in association with the Contemporary Art Society, Testing Media is an initiative which supports institutions across the UK to acquire contemporary art in new or challenging media.

The project has been created to support the acquisition of contemporary works lying outside the traditional boundaries of fine art. This includes performance art, works using digital technologies, and works in materials which are challenging to display and store.

The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester and a partnership of two galleries in Preston – Peter Scott Gallery and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery – have been named as the first winners. Each of the museums will receive £30,000 to research and purchase new work.

Sarah Philp, Head of Programmes at the Art Fund, said: “The quality of the proposals submitted to Testing Media was fantastic, and it is extremely exciting that the museums selected have decided to focus on collecting performance art, a particularly fertile and challenging area of current artistic practice.

"We are looking forward to working closely with the Contemporary Art Society and the selected museums, and cannot wait to see how their projects develop.”

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