It was announced this morning that the Hunting Art Prize is no more, at least for the time being. The juried prize, which for each of the past ten years has awarded a winning Texas-based artist $50,000, was established in the UK in 1981 and relocated to Houston in 2006. Apparently Hunting PLC, the parent company of the prize, has taken a hit from the recent low oil prices:
We at Hunting PLC have made the difficult decision to suspend the annual Hunting Art Prize. Like many others with interests in the energy sector, Hunting – an oilfield services company – has been confronted with a number of challenges related to the current oil price environment. As much as we would like to continue the competition this year – and continue our support of the Texas arts community – it is in the best interests of our shareholders and employees that we suspend the Hunting Art Prize at this time.
The statement, however, remains hopeful that the prize will rise again:
We value the contributions of those whose paintings and drawings have helped make the Hunting Art Prize one of the most respected competitions in North America, and we look forward to the time when we are better positioned to once again recognize the creative talents of the Texas arts community.