Billy Wilson People’s Choice Award Winner Announced
On Thursday 31st August, Liverpool Art Fair hosted the second annual Billy Wilson People’s Choice Award. The award was created to celebrate the region’s leading artistic and creative talent in memory of the late Billy Wilson, owner of The Gallery Liverpool where Liverpool Art Fair has its roots.
The hugely popular People’s Choice Award received over 6,000 votes from both locals and tourists with each putting forward the name of their favourite artist whose work can be found on display in the purpose-built gallery on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront. Local artists Hazel Thomson and John Sharp were revealed as runners up, with the winning artist, Alan Murray, a painter, announced by Billy Wilson’s daughter.
Toxteth-born Murray has three artworks showcased at Liverpool Art Fair with piece, ‘The Damned Parade’ receiving the highest number of votes. This piece featured alongside another provocative artwork, ‘Welcome to Your Breakfast, which if sold, the artist’s will donate all proceeds to the Grenfell Tower charity.
Prize Winner Alan Murray said: “Years ago I was at a point in my career where I was frustrated with the art world and I wanted stop painting altogether. I decided to get in touch with Billy for some advice and he was the one who encouraged me to keep going and to continue creating art, so for me receiving this award from Billy’s daughter is incredibly valuable and holds huge sentiment.”
Organiser, Lucy Byrne added: “We know how hard it is for artists to make a living, especially outside London, so with Liverpool Art Fair we aim to give local talent a much needed platform and access to buyers and collectors. The huge popularity of the People’s Choice Prize with visitors just goes to show the appetite for contemporary art is alive and well in the city!”
The winning artist received a generous £250 prize from independent art supplies retailer Cass Art. This is in addition to a new prize which has been put forward following a partnership with the Independents Biennial who have offered the top three artists a showcase at the George Henry Lees Building for the whole of October.