In 2015, as Aon moved into its new global headquarters in London, The Leadenhall Building, the Aon Community Art Awards programme was born, bringing together our focus on community and talent development.
The programme supports young artists graduating from three UK art schools - Glasgow School of Art; Leeds Arts University; and Manchester School of Art - helping them to transition from student life to the commercial art world.
The programme provides workshops and mentoring for the artist for a period of one year, while their art is exhibited in Aon’s client suite in London, for clients, colleagues and around 400 visitors a day to see.
We are now displaying work in our Leeds and Manchester offices with plans to display further work in our Glasgow office in the future. This brings the art back to the cities in which it was created and where the artists studied.
At the end of the 12-month period, the artwork is put up for sale with all proceeds of sales going back to the artist.
All selected artists also receive a cash award for being selected to be on the programme, and two cash prizes are awarded: a £5,000 prize to the artist selected by an external panel of judges as the most promising, and a £2,000 prize for Aon employees’ favourite piece of work.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to host the auction and prize giving event as we had planned. We approached our artists and asked if they would be happy to remain with us for a further 12 months giving them the best opportunity to have their work on display and to be sold at the auction hopefully in May 2021. We are delighted that every artist agreed to remain with us. They are also receiving a further year of mentoring and monthly workshops.