Street artist Banksy is set to be made an honorary professor at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in July for his contribution to the global art scene.
The elusive artist — who has never revealed his identity — will be awarded by the university on July 6 in a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Banksy has been recognised by the university, which has campuses in both Kent and Surrey, for his contribution to arts and his "humanitarian efforts” through the years.
UCA will also award him for "the impact he has had on the global arts scene.” According to the university, the artist will not be attending the ceremony and will only be conferred on an empty chair.
“Banksy has been overlooked in the past. He's a bit of an art world outsider in terms of the elite of the art world,” said UCA’s assistant vice-chancellor, Terry Perk, speaking to BBC Radio Surrey.
“But he's certainly impacted the art world and the general public's imagination, and we wanted to mark that at our university."
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Despite not attending the ceremony, Perk told the radio station that Banksy had “acknowledged” the university’s intention to confer the award after UCA had been in touch with the artist’s representatives.
Speaking on the artist, UCA’s president and vice-chancellor Professor Bashir Makhoul said that Banksy is an example that UCA students "can look up to”.
He added that Banksy is an artist “who uses his talents to disrupt the status quo while challenging us all to confront some of the key issues of our time - war and peace, inequality - and art's role as a vehicle of social expression."
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter