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On 31 August 2022, Erarta Museum inaugurated an annual contemporary art Prize. According to the Prize Rules and Regulations, the total prize value of 3.2 million rubles was to be divided between artists (2.5 million rubles) and viewers (700,000 rubles). For the first time in history, the Prize is awarded through a public vote rather than by a closed board of experts.

This premise is consistent with Erarta’s core philosophy: art is being created by the artist, but it is the viewers’ perception that makes it truly powerful. The Erarta Prize offered the viewers an opportunity to not only vote for the artworks of their choice, but to actively campaign for them and promote them using any creative methods imaginable.

Following an open call for entries, the museum’s team selected a total of 61 Prize nominees. Their artworks were showcased at the special exhibition organised to determine the winners through a public viewer vote. The 2023 Erarta Prize exhibition featured paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, photographs, video art, as well as other contemporary art media. The show was on display from 9 February through 11 June 2023 – over the span of four months, exhibition visitors voted for their favourite artists.

There were a total of two voting rounds. In the course of the first round that lasted through 9 April, the viewers shortlisted the participants of the second round – the 10 winning artists whose works secured the majority of viewer votes over the span of two months. The second voting round came to a close on 8 June. Its outcome finalised the exact distribution of prize money: the final prize amount depended not on the ranking among the 10 winners, but on the exact number of viewer votes. The 2.5 million rubles of prize money were distributed among the artists in proportion to the number of viewer votes received. The 700,000 rubles worth of prize money was distributed among the viewers deemed by Erarta to be the most committed to and creative in supporting their favourite artworks.

Erarta would like to thank everyone who took an active part in determining the prize winners!