The front of Tate St Ives' gallery building on a sunny day

© Rikard Österlund

Tate St Ives announces it will use the £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 prize money to develop a new community strategy with artists at its heart. The funds will support artist-led projects designed for, and in collaboration with, the communities of St Ives, alongside specially-commissioned public artworks in and around the gallery. The programme will deepen the gallery’s longstanding commitment to local audiences, as well as honouring the unique history of St Ives as a place where artists put down roots.

In the coming year, Tate St Ives will embed public art projects, devised for and with the town of St Ives, into the gallery’s future programme. This will build on the success of pilot projects with artists who have enriched existing relationships with the town and engaged new audiences through dialogue and collaboration. Most recently this has included Another Hurling of the Silver Ball, a public art performance in June 2019 developed with the town and jointly choreographed with local community members and residency artist Allard van Hoorn.

A second strand will enable Tate St Ives to work with artists on a series of inspiring public commissions crossing the boundaries between the gallery’s interior and exterior spaces. The first of these new works will be presented in the winter of 2019 as part of the annual St Ives Winter Festival, with more details due to be announced later this year.

The Art Fund Museum of the Year prize was awarded in 2018, in recognition of the four-year building project which transformed Tate St Ives. The launch of its expanded galleries and learning facilities in October 2017 was the culmination of an in-depth consultation process with residents of the St Ives and the larger community of Cornwall. In 2018, Tate St Ives attracted more than 300,000 visitors, a record number since it opened in 1993.

Anne Barlow, Director Tate St Ives said: ‘Winning the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 award was an incredible honour and recognised the transformative nature of the expansion of Tate St Ives. The deep relationship between art, place and community directly informed that project, and we wanted to embed this in our programme in an active way for the long-term benefit of Cornwall and our local audiences.’

Tate St Ives aims to reflect the dynamic spirit of St Ives, a famous centre for abstract art in the 20th century in its exhibitions, collection displays and events, embracing the best of British and international modern and contemporary art. The new Tate St Ives, which launched in October 2017, doubled the space for showing art, adding almost 600 square metres of galleries, providing a permanent presence for those iconic 20th century artists who lived and worked in the town, and demonstrating the role of St Ives in the story of modern art. This is now combined with an ambitious programme of large-scale temporary exhibitions, applying the same spirit of internationalism and experimentation that distinguished the work of the St Ives modernists alongside a distinctive programme of contemporary exhibitions, commissions, and artist residencies.

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 151,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by Tate St Ives in 2018) and a range of digital platforms.

Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at

Art Fund Museum of the Year is awarded annually to a truly visionary organisation – one that readily rethinks established ways of working and offers great quality and ingenuity in all its activities. Art Fund has supported Museum of the Year since 2008. Its forerunner was the Prize for Museums and Galleries, administered by the Museum Prize Trust and sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation from 2003-2007. The prize champions what museums do, encourages more people to visit and gets to the heart of what makes a truly outstanding public facility. The judges present the prize to the museum or gallery that has shown how their achievements of the preceding year stand out, demonstrated what makes their work innovative, and the impact it has had on audiences. These achievements might include:

  • Bold and imaginative exhibitions, collection displays or collection conservation projects
  • Learning programmes that have developed the skills, knowledge and enjoyment of children, young people and adults in new ways
  • Exceptional acquisitions that have had a real impact on the museum and its audiences
  • Audience engagement, diversity or access initiatives that have greatly broadened participation, and creative use of technology or digital media
  • Substantial programmes of modernisation, reorganisation or reinterpretation that have had a transformative impact
  • New building, refurbishments or reinventions of existing spaces that have had a strong impact on the museum and its audiences

Winners over the past eight years were: Tate St Ives (2018), the Hepworth Wakefield (2017); V&A (2016); the Whitworth (2015); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2014); William Morris Gallery (2013); Royal Albert Memorial Museum (2012); and the British Museum (2011).

For press information please contact Arwen Fitch at or call +44(0)1736 791124.