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Best Art Vinyl Award 2020 Goes Virtual

Bringing contemporary cover art to the public in a lockdown


Best Art Vinyl 2020, the annual search for the most creative and well-designed record cover of the year, is underway and the 50 nominations shortlist has been curated as a unique Virtual Exhibition in the south coast’s cultural hub of Folkestone that goes live today:

Not to be beaten by Lockdown2 with planned exhibitions being put on hold, Art Vinyl looked to Folkestone’s cultural heart, the Creative Quarter, to be sure to bring this year’s stunning record cover artworks to the public. Folkestone Harbour’s Customs House, a unique space curated by Diane Dever, that would usually host cultural events, workshops and discussions, has opened its doors back up to host the Best Art Vinyl 2020 Virtual Exhibition that visitors can wander through online for a highly immersive 360-experience.

The 50 nominations shortlist reflects a year of lockdowns and self-isolation across the globe, and as visitors take a digital amble through the cyber-exhibition, they will note a range of artists submitting covers with self-portraits including Marilyn Manson and American singer, songwriter and painter Frances Quinlan, best known for leading the indie band Hop Along.

Art Vinyl founder Andrew Heeps comments, “From a creative perspective we’re very proud to be delivering an insightful virtual gallery, having had our planned physical exhibitions cancelled at such short notice. We have a great history with Folkestone having exhibited in the Creative Quarter before, so it’s fitting that Customs House has generously given its space to allow us to offer a unique opportunity to see 50 pieces of contemporary art in an actual gallery setting, albeit virtually. We’ve turned to technology to hopefully reach a wider audience for this year’s Best Art Vinyl Award. Who said lockdown couldn’t be cultural?!”

Curator of Folkestone Harbour Arm Diane Dever said; “We’re delighted to be able to host to this award, especially in this innovative, virtual way. Art and Music have played an important part in Folkestone’s history and is a key part of its developing identity as a hub of creativity on the South East Coast. To be able to continue to showcase quality artwork despite the current restrictions is very inspiring. The Customs House has gone through an extensive restoration in recent years, as has much of the Folkestone Harbour site. We’re thrilled that the Best Art Vinyl Award has chosen this impressive building to host their virtual award.”

Throughout the virtual tour, the public is invited to vote for their three favourite covers, by clicking the VOTE NOW hot spots taking them to the voting page. Their votes ultimately decide the overall winner, who will be announced and presented with the coveted Best Art Vinyl Award in January 2021.

As a regular touring exhibition, the Best Art Vinyl Award winners will also be on show, starting with Bologna, Italy as soon as restrictions allow and throughout 2021 in various galleries and public spaces across the UK and Europe.

Last year, Best Art Vinyl 2019 saw over 9,000 public votes for the best in art, photography and graphic design in modern music culture. The public vote awarded French band Klones’ sleeve art, depicting the broken symmetry of sun and clouds for the album Le Grand Voyage, as the overall winner.

Previous winners include early work by Dan Hillier, for Royal Blood’s eponymous album, plus work from the sixteenth century for The Fleet Foxes’ LP by Dutch artist, Pieter Bruegel and a design for rock legend David Gilmour, who always had a strong association with album art through Pink Floyd and the Hipgnosis design team.



Public voting is open on

The winners will be announced in January 2021.

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