Artes Mundi is a biennial exhibition of contemporary art that lasts about six months, usually beginning in February or March. This year, it takes place from March 15 to September 5. This exhibition is also a competition that aims to bring arts from all over the world to Wales and provide opportunities to artists from around the world. The exhibition and prize are known internationally and are extremely prestigious events that offer artists and art enthusiasts the opportunity to interact with each other, build relationships, and network as well as educate. Talks, tours, and other outreach projects form an important part of the Artes Mundi exhibition and prize.
History of Artes Mundi
Artes Mundi (UK) is organized and stays up for about six months in the first half of the year, beginning in either February or March. This exhibition and competition are biennial, which means that it occurs once in two years.
‘Artes Mundi’ is Latin, and the words mean ‘arts of the world.’ The name of the competition and exhibition is also the name of the non-profit arts charity that organizes it.
This contemporary art exhibition and prize is held at the National Museum Cardiff. The focus of the exhibition is on artists with conceptual approaches and practices, presenting the best and latest in contemporary art from around the world. However, there are some artists represented in the exhibition who use traditional ink and other media as well.
Artes Mundi was conceptualized to bring international artists to Wales. So even though the competition is held in Cardiff, primarily international artists are featured in the exhibition.
Apart from the Artes Mundi Prize, the organization uses the exhibition to use the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize to acquire art. The organization works with the National Museum Cardiff to acquire pieces from the exhibition that could become part of the contemporary art collection at the museum.
Artes Mundi was started to bring art to Wales by the cultural entrepreneur and artist William Wilkin CBE.
Artes Mundi timeline
William Wilkin C.B.E. gets the support of the Welsh Assembly Government, Arts Council Wales, the City of Cardiff, and B.B.C. Cymru to establish the non-profit organization.
The first Artes Mundi exhibition and competition for contemporary artists from around the world is held at the National Museum Cardiff, where it would be held every two years.
The exhibition becomes large enough that it is hosted in two other places apart from the museum — the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, and Turner House Gallery, Penarth.
Nigel Price, former Executive Director at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver becomes the new Director of the Artes Mundi organization, exhibition, and competition.
Artes Mundi FAQs
Who organizes Artes Mundi?
Artes Mundi is organized by an arts charity of the same name.
Is there a guide to the art?
The organization puts together guides on all the artists in the competition on its website.
When are artists nominated?
Artists are usually nominated from the latter two months of the year before the competition to a month before the exhibition formally starts. For Artes 10, the nominations were open from December 2021 to February 2022.
Artes Mundi Activities
Visit the exhibition
The best way to celebrate the biggest exhibition and competition for contemporary art is to visit it. Head over and have a look at all the wonderful art exhibited at the National Museum Cardiff.
Tell your friends
It’s no fun to visit an exhibition alone. Get your friends together and explore the exhibits that interest all of you, so you can discuss them together!
Donate to the organization
The Artes Mundi organization is sustained by public funds, including donations. Keep the greatest exhibition of contemporary art alive by donating to the organization that does the work!
5 Facts About Artes Mundi (U.K.) That You Probably Didn’t Know
It has the biggest cash prize
The cash prize for the competition is about £40,000, which is the largest in the U.K.
Hundreds send nominations
Artes Mundi 7 received over 700 nominations for the Artes Mundi Prize from artists of varying ethnicities and nationalities.
One winner shared his money
Theaster Gates from the U.S.A. who won the prize in 2015 shared his prize money with the other nominees.
A lot of artists receive commissions
After their introduction through the prize, the organization frequently works with the artist they met by commissioning the arts themselves or referring other organizations.
Exhibitions are becoming innovative
Depending on the circumstances, the Artes Mundi organization adapts, even putting on a virtual exhibition for Artes Mundi 9.
Why We Love Artes Mundi
We think the competition is amazing
The Artes Mundi (U.K.) is one of the biggest competitions for contemporary arts in the world. We think it’s a fantastic opportunity for artists and art lovers alike!
We love the art
Artes Mundi brings together some of the best in the contemporary arts together in one place. We love the exhibits and how they’re curated every year.
We want to support the arts
The arts never have enough support. We want to do everything we can to support artists and the people who organize exhibitions and competitions like this one!
Artes Mundi dates