M17 Sculpture Prize 2020

M17 Sculpture Prize 2020

04.08.2019 - 28.03.2021 Buy a ticket
About the project
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The M17 Sculpture Prize is the first Ukrainian professional award in the field of three-dimensional art. In 2019, it was launched by the M17 Contemporary Art Center together with Adamovskiy Foundation within the M17 Sculpture Project research direction. The Prize is held with the involvement of international experts and is aimed at identifying and supporting talented contemporary artists from Ukraine.

The winner receives a prize
of 250 000 UAH

Based on the selection, a shortlist of nominees is formed. This time, there were 12 applicants (11 individual artists and 1 creative tandem).

Every nominee, except for the ones have submitted already finished works, receive funding for the implementation of the project selected by the expert jury (according to the author’s sketch).

The finished works of all the nominees are displayed at the M17 CAC. And the winner, which is determined based on the evaluation of implemented projects, receives a prize of 250 000 UAH*.

The focus of the Prize: sculpture, installation and other three-dimensional art

* the amount before deduction of all taxes and fees (obligatory payments) provided by the legislation of Ukraine, in particular paragraphs. 168.2.1 Art. 168 Tax Code of Ukraine


M17 Sculpture Prize 2020 topic:

Roots and Pollen

This time, the project invites to reflect on what the concept of the “roots” is to society in the contemporary world. Does the origin of the individual affect (directly or indirectly) his life, activity, creativity, worldview. What is it the nature of constant motion, of searching for new territories, motivation to diffuse? The roots grow deeper and deeper. Pollen, for its part, can’t be contained or controlled, it flies at a wind speed to distant territories. But, settling down, takes root again.

Where are the roots in the globalized world? And how durable something that unrooted is? Where is the fulcrum, on which the art that lives in time and experiences it is focused? What will the artist see when he looks back, drenched deep in meanings of the cultures that raised him and gave him strength? What is his perception of beauty, his ideas about the origin of the world based? How is private correlated with the overall global?

M17 Sculpture Prize nominees:

Nominees’ finished works are presented in the M17 CAC at the M17 Sculpture Prize: Roots and Pollen exhibition, from December 17, 2020, to March 28, 2021.



  • 26/05/19
    presentation of the M17 Sculpture Prize
  • 04/08/19
    call for applications, opening date
  • 25/11/19
    call for applications, closing date


  • 01/02/20
    announcement of the nominees for the M17 Sculpture Prize
  • 01/09/20 — 10/12/20
    execution of nominees’ contest projects
  • 17/12/20
    the exhibition M17 Sculpture Prize: Roots and Pollen with nominees’ works opening


Selection Jury

Marianne Wagner (Germany)

Curator, PhD, since 2017 — Head of the Skulptur Projekte Archives (archive of the Sculpture Projects Münster), author of numerous publications on art since the 1960s, above all on performance art, the sociology of art, and artistic production as a form of institutional critique. For her dissertation Lecture Performance. Speech Acts as Performance Art Since 1950, Marianne was awarded the prestigious Joseph Beuys Research Prize in 2014. In 2015, she became the Curator of Contemporary Art and Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur (Westphalian State Museum of Art and Cultural History). The work on the sculpture project — a set of events that every ten years turn the whole of Münster into a public exhibition space and stimulate a qualitative rethinking of the social exploitation of public places — has contributed to the widespread recognition and approval of Marianne among the international professional community.

“The entries for the judging of the M17 Sculpture Prize 2020 were very different in their approach. The most convincing in terms of content were the drafts and proposals of planned outdoor projects dealing with the city and the political situation in Ukraine. And many of them contained their own form and aesthetic idea dedicated to a certain topic. Being a member of the jury, it was a challenge to evaluate the proposals without knowing the site-specific character of places of implementation, which now, due to the pandemic, are experiencing completely different locations anyway in terms of an institutional exhibition. I very much hope that in the future, some of the outstanding proposals can be executed in the urban space and will draw the attention of a critical and interested audience during the exhibition at the M17.”

Lisa Parola (Italy)

Independent curator, consultant to Fondazione Merz (established as a Center for Contemporary Art) in Turin, named after the artist Mario Merz; author of publications and research on cultural policy, the connection between art and the territories. She is a member of the a.titolo association of curators, critics and historians of art, founded in 1997 to investigate and promote the relationship between the visual arts, society and the urban space. In 2001, she became a co-founder of the non-profit organization of the same name. Today, the a.titolo curates and produces public art and site-specific projects, educational programs. Also, a.titolo provides consulting services to the Nuovi Committenti (New Patrons) program, which is now being replicated throughout Italy and aims to produce “social” art objects for citizens.

“Believing that the artistic contribution evaluated on the contest does not only constitute a highly challenging, interesting solution in and of itself but that it also holds the reasonable potential for high-quality creative solutions in the future, I wanted to sense an overall current in the works as a whole but was unable to sense one. I felt the difference between two types, those who put the artistic nature and concept of the work to the forefront and those who work with the minimal idea. It is not a matter of which one is better, but there was considerable latitude in how they used the idea of sculpture itself. The great and high level of training visible in the works by participants was an approach that was extremely stimulating for me.”

Helen Pheby (England)

International curator, PhD, Head of Curatorial Programme at the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), with almost 20 years of experience in this position. She is an advisor to Art Role, Kurdistan-Iraq registered non-profit, non-governmental organisation founded in the United Kingdom, an organisation dedicated to building a cultural bridge between the Iraq — Middle East and rest of the world through contemporary art. Advises the NIROX Foundation, which manages the NIROX Sculpture Park, located in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa. In 2016-2017, she served on the Arts Council Collection Acquisition Committee. Helen is the initiator of many projects in the arts and social field, including the YSP project Beyond Boundaries: Art by Email for artists from the Middle East and North Africa who lacked the chance to come to YSP due to various migration barriers.

In selecting the top proposals I considered the quality of the concept and evidence in the portfolio of technical skill to realise it well. I also considered originality and innovation, how contemporary the proposal was and how well it related to the competition theme and aims. The overall quality was very high and impressive, evidence that great artists are working in Ukraine today.


Project Team

Kateryna Ray — Curator
Natalia Shpytkovska — Coordinator, Director of the M17 CAC
Valeriia Dіachek — Project Manager
Marharyta Yakymenko — Project Manager
Eugenia Gavrylenko — Content Manager, Public Programs Manager
Polina Herashchenko — PR Manager
Anton Pribytkin — Designer
Olha Vashchevska — Designer
Fedir Sehin — Technical Manager
Vasyl Grublyak — Lighting Designer
Natalia Vozna — Financial Curator

To the M17 Sculpture Project page

6.2.2020 Sculpture and infrastructure: how business, supporting culture, affects the city // Antiquarian

In Ukraine, the initiator of the first sculptural award among young artists was the M17 Sculpture Prize with the support of businessman and collector Andriy Adamovsky. This is the first sculptural award not only for M17, but also for Ukraine. Available in Russian

30.12.2020 Live and online. Eight bright Ukrainian art projects that will remember 2020 // NV

The selection also includes our project - M17 Sculpture Prize. Available in Ukrainian and Russian

24.12.2020 An exhibition of young Ukrainian artists has opened at the M17 Center for Contemporary Art // Novy Channel

The M17 Sculpture Prize: Roots and Pollen, which opened on December 17, features 12 works from 13 nominees (11 individual artists and one creative tandem). Available in Ukrainian and Russian

24.12.2020 The first professional sculptural award in Ukraine - an interview with Andriy Adamovsky // Channel 33

The initiative is supported by the Andriy Adamovsky Foundation. Available in Ukrainian

23.12.2020 Exhibition of works by nominees of the professional sculpture award M17 SculpturePrize // STB

An exhibition of works by nominees for the M17 SculpturePrize professional sculpture award has opened these days in the heart of the capital to introduce visitors to the works of the finalists. Available in Ukrainian and Russian

22.12.2020 The M17 Sculpture Prize of Contemporary Art was held in Kyiv // ICTV

The artists presented not only sculptures, but also installations, sculptural installations, sound land art and media works. Available in Ukrainian and Russian

21.12.2020 M17 Sculpture Prize opened in Kyiv // Espresso

Natalia Shpytkovska spoke about the opening of the M17 Sculpture Prize on the air of the Espresso TV channel. Available in Ukrainian

12.12.2020 A guide to modern Ukrainian sculpture: 13 artists about their works and what inspires them // Life.Pravda

We offer to "visit" the workshops of 13 contemporary artists to get a complete enough impression of what images are born in artists and sculptors in 2020. Available in Ukrainian

6.12 5 main exhibitions of December in Kyiv and not only // Vogue

For two whole months, an exhibition of works by the nominees for the M17 Sculpture Prize will be held in Kyiv. Available in Ukrainian and Russian

2.12 An exhibition of works by nominees for the first professional sculptural award will be held in Ukraine // Platfor.ma

From December 17, 2020 to February 21, 2021, the M17 Center for Contemporary Art will host a long-awaited exhibition of works by nominees for the first professional sculpture award in Ukraine - M17 Sculpture Prize! Available in Ukrainian

26.11 An exhibition of nominees for the first sculpture award in Ukraine - M17 Sculpture Prize will open in December // The Village

The works of the nominees of the first M17 Sculpture Prize in Ukraine will be on view at the M17 Center for Contemporary Art in Kyiv from December 17 to February 21. Available in Ukrainian

May 17, 2020 Space and Volume // The Ukrainian Week

Material by Kateryna Ray, curator of M17 Sculpture Project, that can provide you with insight into how three-dimensional art is transformed in times of global change. Available in Ukrainian

May 06, 2020 The first award for sculptures, the M17 Sculpture Prize, will be held in Ukraine. This is important for all art // Platfor.ma

A big event for all Ukrainian art. M17 joined the world process of studying and developing contemporary sculpture. A new research direction, the M17 Sculpture Project, and the first professional award for sculptors in Ukraine, the M17 Sculpture Prize. What will happen? Available in Ukrainian

May 05, 2020 Coronavirus in culture: how this quarantine will affect art. Artists predictions // IOD.media

What land artists are thinking of when they don't have access to public land. Interview with Anna Taradina and Bogdan Lokatyr, nominees for the M17 Sculpture Prize. Available in Ukrainian and Russian

May 01, 2020 Kateryna Ray: "We are moving into a new world – fictional" // Your Art

When discussing the institutional crisis and the expansion of the virtual, Kateryna Ray shared her thoughts on the "rootedness" of Ukrainian three-dimensional art in place and told how this art is seen by foreign experts – members of the M17 Sculpture Prize jury. Available in Ukrainian

Mar 24, 2020 For the first time in Ukraine: M17 Sculpture Prize, a professional award for sculptors // ELLE

A new page of Ukrainian art. Announcement. Available in Ukrainian