Art Prize Judges 2024

Art Prizes Judges 2024

The Sir John Hurt Art Prize

Amanda Geitner

Amanda Geitner studied Art History and Literature at the University of Western Australia, Perth and began her career there, at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. In 1995 she moved to the UK for the role of Assistant Curator at the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, before moving to Norwich in 1998 to be the Chief Curator at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia. In 2015 she was appointed Director of the East Anglia Art Fund.


Nic Stratton Tyler

Nic is an artist, art writer, museum trustee, curator and valuer. She read History of Art at Edinburgh then trained at Christies and has worked in the art valuation and appraisals business for over twenty-five years, including work for many of the UK’s major institutions. She has curated numerous exhibitions and is co-curator of German Expressionists & The Third Reich at the festival. Over the years she has written about many artists, currently she is co-editing and contributing to German Expressionists & The Important Collection at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, which will be launched at the festival this year. She is a trustee of the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden – a beacon of 20th Century art in East Anglia.

As an artist, she was the first entrant in the first Holt Festival Art Prize, fifteen years ago. Her Cornish & East Anglian land and seascapes have been shortlisted on several occasions here and elsewhere. Her work is represented in the National Trust collection and in private collections internationally. In 2022 she was the Circles of Art, runner up – Artist of the Year. She was awarded associate membership of the Society of Women Artists earlier this year.

Sworders Art Prizes for Emerging Artists

Dulcie Humphrey

For the last decade Dulcie has directed the programme of exhibitions and events at the much loved Fairhurst Gallery in the Norwich Lanes and has brought a wide array of arts to the city. With a background in arts, youth arts and theatre Dulcie gained her Fine Art Degree at Norwich University of The Arts and then went on to lead their Student Union. She has curated a number of external events including The River Waveney Sculpture Trail in 2016 and has helped create a hub for artists with the Fairhurst artist studio spaces, alongside the framing and restoration.  She has a passion for youth arts and engagement and offers schemes for students, giving them a chance to gain experience, within a commercial gallery setting, providing prizes for MA and Degree level students and is excited that the Fairhurst Gallery will be the venue that will showcase this year’s Sworders Prize for Emerging Artists winner.

Guy Schooling

Guy Schooling has been involved in fine art  auctioneering for well over forty years and with Sworders since 1986, where he has been Chairman for many years. When he joined them he was one of three employees, now there are over sixty.  

Sworders are leading auctioneers in many fields, but Modern & Contemporary pictures are a speciality.

Charlotte Fraser Ceramics & Glass Prize

Charlotte Fraser

Charlotte has been involved for a number of years with both the Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music awarding scholarships and bursaries to post graduate students. After Brighton Art School and picking up pins in a couture house, Charlotte started work designing dresses before moving on to knitwear in the seventies. The eighties brought a radical change of direction when she and her husband bought a vinyard in southwest France. Charlotte has also been awarding scholarships and bursaries at the RCA Ceramics & Glass Department for the last twenty years. Many of the recipients have gone on to achieve great sucess in their careers. These include Zemer Peled, Katherine Morling, James Lethbridge, Amy Lax, Katie Spragg, Celia Dowson, Luke Fuller & Bryony Applegate.

Linda Theophilus

Linda Theophilus was an exhibition organiser, curator and elected craft buyer for the Contemporary Art Society in the ‘90s, purchasing works that were presented to UK public museums, going on to be Head of Exhibitions & Collections for five years. She trained as an artist at Kent Institute of Art and Design (2004-05). She was then Associate Director of the British Ceramics Biennial for a decade until 2019. She is currently chairwoman of Cuckoo Farm Studios, near Colchester, which has over 30 studios for professional artists, the Benham Gallery exhibition space and supports emerging artists with its own Graduate Award Scheme.

Her own work which captures the essence of place, time and impermanence, has been exhibited widely over the last two decades. More recently she has been working in conversation with Cornwall-based artist Sara Bowler, each producing site-based work, sparked and encouraged by each other.


Shortlist Exhibition Curators

Anwen, Lady Hurt who has been involved in the arts for more years than she is willing to admit.

Prof Polly Binns PhD

Polly is an artist, academic and arts adviser. A degree in sculpture and post-grad diploma in ceramics led to a practice which engages with the material properties of canvas, paint and thread. Work is held in international collections – MOMA Kyoto Japan, in UK public collections – Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester, gifted by Contemporary Arts Society, as well as significatnt private collections – The House on Evening Hill, Poole, Dorset, Architect Richard Horden. Her work has received both Arts Council and British Council grant support.

An Academic career has involved teaching and examining at Foundation, BA and MA level in numerous UK Universities across a wide range of contemporary studio material based subject disciplines including ceramics and glass, textiles and the fine arts. A midcareer PhD by Practice led to research development and PhD supervision and examination. She was awarded a Research Professorship in 2001 and formed a cross disciplinary Research Group in Material Knowledge in the Faculty of Design at Buckinghamshire New University before stepping down in 2007 and subsequently moving to Holt.

An early career post as Crafts Officer for the Southern Regional Arts Board led afterwards to multiple Arts Advisory roles – as a member of Council with the Crafts Council including at various stages chairing committees including the Purchasing and Index committee, the Makers Setting up Grant Scheme and Makers development Award committee. In conjunction with her academic posts she served as an assessor and panel member for the Arts and Humanities research Board, now Council.