The Manchester Contemporary, the only UK invitational art fair for critically engaged contemporary art outside London, today announced artists William Mackrell and Emma Price as the first to benefit from its newly-launched The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund.

Created by a set of local business people passionate about their city and its cultural heritage, The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund seeks to support rising artists, providing them with a platform through which to achieve critical acclaim and greater popularity.

William Mackrell, represented by The RYDER, and Emma Price, represented by Two Queens, were selected from over 150 artists by Fund founders and the curatorial team of Manchester Art Gallery following an exhaustive panel discussion.

William’s piece – Aquarius, and Emma’s pieces – Mike I and Mike II, are to be displayed in the gallery.

Speaking on behalf of The Manchester Contemporary its CEO, Thom Hetherington, said: “This is an exciting moment in Manchester’s cultural history as we invest in pieces for the future which generations will go on to enjoy.”

“As a trustee of Manchester Art Gallery I am well aware of the importance of its permanent collection and for the need for it to remain current, acquiring works from the most daring and relevant contemporary artists. Today’s addition of both Emma and William’s work adds some important new pieces to that collection.”

Curator of Manchester Art Gallery, Kate Jesson, added: “We are this city’s gallery and our world-famous collection of art belongs to the people of Manchester. The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund has enabled us to continue to add to our collection a contemporary and exciting new piece. The Fund is an excellent innovation, gifting brilliant new pieces to art lovers both here in Manchester and further afield.”

The £4,000 Fund was awarded to the two artists on the opening evening of this year’s Manchester Contemporary.

Pati Lara, founder of The RYDER gallery, commented: “Of all the artists we now work with, William was the first we ever exhibited. We work closely together to ensure his art, when it is exhibited, can be enjoyed to its fullest. The fact that his work will now be displayed in Manchester Art Gallery is a very significant moment for all of us.”

Speaking on the achievement, Emma Price, from Leicester, said: “It’s really exciting to have my work displayed in Manchester Art Gallery, especially with Flemish interiors, which I’ve studied from during my painting degree in Edinburgh. This is the first Fund to purchase my work for a gallery collection.”

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