Happy New Year from Art UK!

And what better way to start the year than with the news that numerous artists and people from the world of arts have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. 

Bob and Roberta Smith, a trustee of Art UK, has received an OBE for his services to art, and Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili has similarly been awarded a CBE. Ofili was one of the few British artists of African descent to form part of the Young British Artists movement in the 1990s, and this is reflected by a year where the honours are the most diverse they’ve ever been: 9.3% of the successful candidates have come from a BAME background.

Make Art Not War

Make Art Not War 1997

Bob and Roberta Smith (b.1963)


Other honours recipients for services to the arts include:

  • Jenny Waldman, the Director of 14–18 NOW, the collection of arts experiences commemorating the First World War
  • Performance artist Ryan Gander, for Services to Contemporary Art
  • Nicholas Logsdail, the founder and Director of the Lisson Gallery

They join the ranks of eminent artists who have already received honours, notably:

Three Women

Three Women 1988

David Remfry (b.1942)

Newport Museum and Art Gallery

Interestingly, a Freedom of Information request from the BBC led to the government publishing a list of those who had been offered, but declined to accept, honours. Among them were Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. The artist L. S. Lowry holds the record for refusing the most honours, having turned down an OBE, a CBE, a knighthood and two appointments to the Order of the Companions of Honour.

It’s great to see the work of those in the art world recognised in the New Year’s Honours list, and hopefully 2017 will continue to see them flourish.

Molly Tresadern, Art UK