Staffs graduate scoops top art prize

“I always knew that my true passion was for art and the course really helped me gain confidence as an artist and explore different styles. The lecturers were, and still are, so supportive.”

Kyle Cartlidge, BA (Hons) Fine Art

A Staffordshire University graduate has been identified as a rising star of the art world after scooping a prestigious industry prize.

Kyle Cartlidge is one of just five emerging artists to receive a £1000 cash prize by New Art West Midlands, an initiative which supports artists who have graduated from the region's fine art degree courses within the last three years.

Kyle is among 43 artists who was chosen by a panel of leading figures in the art world to display their work across four galleries.

27-year-old Kyle graduated from Staffordshire University with a degree in Fine Art two years ago and caught the attention of the judges with his paintings of featureless heads referencing 'suggested' Facebook friends.

“I was really surprised to win, there's some brilliant work in the exhibition. It's a great platform to make connections and the prize will really help with art materials so I can keep doing what I'm doing.”

Kyle worked as graphic designer before deciding to give up his day job to study at the University. Stoke born Kyle has stayed in the city and now works from an art studio at the Airspace gallery.

“I always knew that my true passion was for art and the course really helped me gain confidence as an artist and explore different styles. The lecturers were, and still are, so supportive.”

Four fellow Staffordshire University graduates - Jessica Thornton, Angela Dawn Cope, Ali Gibson and Corey Whyte - were also selected for the exhibition. Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Anna Francis said: “Kyle was a fantastic student and thoroughly deserves this recognition. We're immensely proud that he has won such a prestigious award.”

“It's wonderful that Kyle has stayed in Stoke, working at the Airspace Gallery and we've been able to see him develop into a really interesting artist.”

The exhibition can be seen at Waterhall Gallery at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, mac birmingham and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Find more information here.

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