Cold Shell © Araminta Blue Wieloch

ACS Studio Prize 2019 Winner

The ACS Studio Prize returned in 2019 to offer one student or recent graduate a £6,000 prize to help secure studio space in a UK city of their choice.

Five finalists were chosen from a national open competition which attracted almost 300 submissions - a huge increase in applications from the inaugural Prize in 2017.


This year judges Lady Bridgeman CBE, founder of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS), renowned artist Cathie Pilkington RA and Director & Curator of the Ingram Collection Jo Baring deliberated over an initial longlist of 26 artists from throughout the UK and Europe.


The judges awarded the £6,000 Prize to Araminta Blue Wieloch, a graduate of Chelsea College of Art (2009), the Ruskin School of Art (2012) and the Slade School of Fine Art (2019). Araminta is a painter whose work draws on memories to explore human nature in imagined scenes. Alongside the ACS Studio Prize, she has been awarded the Lionel Anthony Award for Excellence in the Arts this year.


Judge Cathie Pilkington RA said: “The ACS Studio Prize is establishing itself as one of the most significant national awards for practising visual artists at early career stage. As an artist with a studio based practice I know how much difference this generous award will make to the winner, enabling them to concentrate on the critical development of their work at such an exciting and crucial stage”


Lady Bridgeman said of the Prize and the finalists: “We were delighted with the number of entrants for the Studio Prize this year, and from a wide range of artists, art colleges and countries. The standard was exceptionally high and we were very grateful to have two such highly experienced judges as Cathie Pilkington and Jo Baring to reduce the entrants to the final five, all of whom showed great promise”


Alongside winner Araminta Blue Wieloch, the highly commended finalists were photographer Benjamin Jones of Bath School of Art and Design (2016), sculptor Christopher Mayer of Royal College of Art (2019), filmmaker and choreographer Grzegorz Stefanski of Slade School of Fine Art (2018) and painter Mohammed Sami of Goldsmiths, University of London (2018).


Find out more about the finalists below:


Benjamin Jones

Benjamin Jones graduated from Bath School of Art and Design in 2016. He is a photographer who uses traditional processes to create experimental imagery.  He is a recipient of a GANE Trust award and was a Spike Island Fellow from 2016 – 17.

Christopher Mayer

Christopher Mayer is a sculptor who explores narratives inspired by historic and societal changes. He graduated from Wimbledon College of Art (2011) and the Royal College of Art (2019). He was selected for the MilesKm residency, 2014 in La Rioja, Spain and he has won the Elizabeth Wright Prize for Art. In 2018, his work featured in the AaBKC: Film Screening at Aarhus Centre for Visual Art, Denmark.

Grzegorz Stefanski

Grzegorz Stefanski is a filmmaker and choreographer who examines the psychology of introspection and external observations. He graduated from the University of Arts in Poznan, Poland (2013), Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Poland (2016), and the Slade School of Fine Art (2018). In 2017, he won the Ivan Juritz Prize in London and the Grand Prix at the Biennale of Young Art, Poland.

Mohammed Sami

Mohammed Sami graduated from the Baghdad College of Fine Arts (2005), Belfast School of Art (2015), and Goldsmiths, University of London (2018). He is a painter who explores the effects of conflict through reflections on domestic scenes. He was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries, 2018 and was awarded the Hottinger Prize for Excellence in 2019.