High-profile support for city's Turner Prize hopes
PLYMOUTH'S push to host the world's most famous modern art award has won influential backing.
The bid for the 2015 Turner Prize – exclusively revealed in The Herald on Saturday – is being supported by international award-winning citymedia company Twofour and a trustee of the Tate St Ives.
The application made to prize organisers the Tate, London – parent gallery of the Cornish offshoot – envisages the finalists' exhibition and the award ceremony as part of a range of cultural activities in Plymouth centred on the prestigious award.
Teaching and learning would be central and there would be a series of events, workshops and activities across the city tagged Turner +.
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"Global exposure" from a successful bid could help establish Plymouth University's Roland Levinsky Building – the main base – as a "world renowned" arts venue, organisers say.
The university has formally submitted the bid, which is supported by partners in the city.
Associate professor in fine art, Phil Power, said: "We want Plymouth to be a leading urban space for contemporary art, and there is the potential to establish the Roland Levinsky Building as a world-renowned venue.
"There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't be positioning Plymouth as a city of culture for the future."
The university's under-construction £6.7million Performing Arts building forms part of the submission, as does the exhibition space and cinema in the Levinsky Building, home to the Faculty of Arts.
Turner + events would include interpretation workshops, invitations to meet artists and educational evenings. Some of the university arts degree programmes would be changed so students could learn from the finalists' work.
Interest in the Turner is intense. Last year's show, hosted in Gateshead, attracted 150,000 visitors.
The announcement of the winner is shown live on national television and media organisations around the world report on the show.
The bid organisers say that the British Art Show and the America's Cup World Series yacht race last year, and the current Plymouth International Book Festival, demonstrate that the city is capable of hosting major events with an impact beyond the UK.
"The Turner Prize would bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city helping to boost our local and regional economy," said Richard Adams, of the university's research and innovation directorate.
"The Turner Prize would lead to truly global exposure, but we feel we are ready to step into this space."
Plymouth's competitors are not yet known: the deadline for entries is September 28 and the Tate will announce a shortlist in October.
The finalists will pitch to a panel in London in November, before the 2015 host is announced in December.
The Plymouth bid's backers include Sir Richard Carew Pole, who is a a trustee of Tate St Ives.