Skip to main content

Student Art Prize winners

The winners of the 2021 Durham Student Art Prize were announced at a special hybrid celebration event which saw 45 people watching online and a further 40 attending in person at the Teaching and Learning Centre in June.

The evening was one to celebrate, with Richard Roberts, the alumnus who makes the Student Art Prize possible through his generous funding, being awarded the Dunelmensis Award by Vice-Chancellor Stuart Corbridge.

The VC’s new portrait was also unofficially unveiled at the event. Anna Horwich, who finished third in last year's Student Art Prize was selected by the VC to create the official portrait.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘heroism’ and students from across the University created a range of artworks to celebrate the theme. Richard Roberts’ generous funding allows a first place prize of £1500, a second of £1000 and a third of £500, in addition to a ‘highly commended’ award and a peoples vote. Our winners this year are:

1st Place
Emma Newnham, Charlotte Perkins Gilman with Gold Wallpaper

2nd Place
Matthew Fackrell, Agapē or Love Unconditional

Joint 3rd Place
Aelfred Hillman, Self-Portrait as Judith and Holofernes
Ellen Fasham , Milkman Steve

Highly Commended & People’s Vote
 Shoun Obana, John Hume, Derry, 21st April 1969, 2021

To accompany our Student Art Prize this year, we curated an ‘Art School Art School’, running from December to to February 2021. The Art School offered opportunities for our student artists to engage with this year’s theme of heroism, expand their practice and support their development as artists. As part of the Art School we commissioned and collaborated with regional artists, practitioners and arts educators (including Turner-prize winner Jeremy Deller) to contribute to an online programme of freely accessible talks, workshops, downloadable resources for both students and the wider public to engage with.

We’re delighted to have recently secured funding from our alumnus sponsor to be able to deliver the Student Art Prize for the next 12 years, firmly embedding its place within our expanding arts programme, and expanding the potential of the prize moving forward.

You can view the online Student Art Prize exhibition here: Student Art Prize 2020-21 – Summer in the City ONLINE festival (

Find out more about the ‘Art School Art School’: Art Prize Art School – Summer in the City ONLINE festival (