Join us for the Announcement of the Winner of the Suki Tea Art Prize on Friday 9th 2017 at 6pm in Suki Tea HQ, 6 Twin Spires, Belfast, BT12 3JF.

The 2017 Suki Tea Art Prize offers professional artists a chance to win a two month, fully-funded, artist residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, including flights, accommodation, studio space, a monthly stipend, and superb networking opportunities. The 2017 prize is worth over £4,000 and aims to provide artists with an opportunity to respond to a new environment and develop new work.

The prize was open to all professional artists resident in Northern Ireland and all Visual Artists Ireland members in the Republic of Ireland working in all visual art forms at all career stages. Colin Darke was announced as the innaugual winner of the £2000 prize at Stormont in October 2015. This years winner will be announced at 6.30pm at the Suki Tea Factory based on the peace line in the Gaeltacht Quarter.

Colin Darke, the 2016 winner said "Being shortlisted for the first Suki Tea Art Prize was in itself a privilege, but when I was announced as the overall winner it was a real delight to have my career recognised by such a renowned panel of judges. Awards such as this mean a great deal, as artists often work in their own 'bubbles', with critical response a peripheral entity. My receiving the prize was followed by a heightened visibility and an increase in engagement. I think the decision to confer on this year's winner a placement with CCI is an excellent move, as I know from experience how residencies can impact enormously on artists' practice."

Visual Artists Ireland is the Representative Body for Visual Artists in Ireland. They provide practical support to visual artists in all art forms throughout their careers. Their Advocacy, Advice, and Membership services combine with their Professional Development and Art News Centre to be the most comprehensive support and information service available to visual artists in the island of Ireland today.

The Centre Culturel Irlandais residency programme offers great opportunities for artists of all disciplines to tap into the resources of Paris and the CCI, as well as being an important means of showcasing Ireland's dynamic contemporary culture on an international stage.

The Arts & Business NI Investment programme is an open application scheme designed to support and encourage businesses and the arts organisations they sponsor to try something new, or to broaden and deepen an existing partnership.

Noel Kelly, CEO of Visual Artists Ireland said “It has been a great pleasure working with Suki Tea and the Centre Culturel Irlandais in the development of this great opportunity. The winner will follow in the footsteps of well known artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso,  and Henry Matisse who all spent at least part of their careers being inspired by the unique atmosphere that Paris offers to those seeking inspiration. The winner will enjoy two months during which they can engage and immerse themselves in a city that defines the word creativity for many.”

Oscar Woolley, Co-Founder of Suki Tea added “It's been a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening couple of years working in partnership with VAI to support and assist in the delivery of the Suki Tea Arts Prize. We couldn't be more excited about the imminent announcement of the 2017 winner of The Suki Tea Arts Prize and are delighted to be hosting the reception at the tea factory - Suki Tea HQ