Collective wins art’s Turner Prize for neighborhood revival

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LONDON (AP) — A collective of young architects and designers who regenerated a rundown inner-city area has won art’s prestigious Turner Prize.

The group Assemble received the 25,000-pound ($37,000) prize at a ceremony in Glasgow Monday, accompanied by residents of the Liverpool neighborhood they helped revitalize.

The group, whose members are under 30, restored derelict homes in the poor district of Toxteth and started a workshop employing local people to make tiles, fireplaces and other products.

The Turner Prize, founded in 1984 and given annually to a Britain-based artist under 50, often sparks heated debate.

Named for 19th-century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, the award helped make stars of potter Grayson Perry, shark pickler Damien Hirst and “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen.

But it is also routinely mocked as pretentious and impenetrable, and critics accuse it of rewarding conceptual work far from mainstream definitions of “art.”

Assemble member Lewis Jones said its work was both art and social project.

“These labels don’t replace other meanings,” he said.

“For some people it is art, but also through that project houses have been provided and products made.”

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