Imagine all Indian contemporary art on one single platform. Next imagine a process that identifies the best of these and awards the artists with Indian and global exposure. That’s ‘The ŠKODA Prize’ for Indian Contemporary Art, the most prestigious award in the Indian visual arts scene.
Founded in 2010, The ŠKODA Prize is a contemporary art award instituted in 2010 to recognise and reward an Indian artist under the age of 45, with an outstanding solo exhibition the preceding year. The winner takes away the prestigious title of ‘The ŠKODA Prize Winner’ and a prize money of Rs. 10 lakhs, whereas the runners-up are invited to participate in international residencies supported by the Swiss Arts council.
If you are eligible, you can participate by downloading the form available on the ŠKODA Prize Facebook page here. As seen in the screenshot, you can click on ‘download’ button after filling in the details. A nomination from will start downloading in PDF format, with instructions about the competition. Additionally, you can check out the website for more details.
The ŠKODA Prize 2012 on social media
The ŠKODA Prize has a decent presence on Facebook as well as Twitter and Pinterest. A Google Plus brand page has been created too but is not active at present. Some videos have been uploaded on the YouTube page of the organizers.
Content on Facebook is centred around contemporary art and is almost visual than textual, except for a few updates. The page is updated with information regarding the ŠKODA Prize, exhibition information by contemporary artists and past winners achievements too but seems to be lacking in engagement. Most of the updates have a few likes but no comments at all unless there is a query. However, the page admin is seen answering to the queries as and when they come. The page has a community of more than 5000 fans and can certainly do more to engage them on Facebook.
The Twitter page is being wasted altogether. Content is only focussed on links being shared from the Pinterest page. Twitter is a wonderful tool for connecting and creating conversations but @theskodaprize hasn’t really leveraged it to this effect. The page has about 72 odd followers.
Using a visual medium like Pinterest is a great move by Skoda prize. There are 7 boards with 236 pins in all and names such as ‘Artists and Design Quotes’, ‘New Age Art’, ‘The ŠKODA Prize 2010’, ‘World Contemporary Art’, etc. Again, like Twitter, the number of followers on Pinterest is only 8.
The ŠKODA Prize needs to have a blog of all networks first. The blog could have served as an excellent tool for storytelling and showcasing the ‘human’ side of the awards. Apart from what is the award all about, fans and artists would love to know how it has changed lives since its foundation. It could be used to portray the journey of the shortlisted artists and the winners before and after the awards. I was actually on the lookout for a blog when I visited the website, just to be able to read stories and get better acquainted with the brand.
Although the ŠKODA Prize has a decent Facebook presence, it could do much more to improve upon engagement. The strategy on Twitter needs to be completely revamped if it wants to reap the 140-character medium.
The last date for entries is August 31 and remember you can nominate an artist too. What do you think of The ŠKODA Prize 2012 hunt for artists on Facebook?