AN arts prize is to be awarded in memory of Wallasey antiques expert and artist Joe Bampton.

The 2013 Liverpool Art Prize 'People's Choice Award' will be presented in tribute to Joe, who was tragically killed in February of this year in a hot air balloon disaster at Luxor, Egypt. His Hungarian-born partner Suzanna Gyetvai, also tragically died in the incident.

His mother Maureen has donated £1000 to the development of Liverpool Art Prize in Joe's memory as he was keen to support the progress of Liverpool artists.

Maureen told the Globe: "I wanted to have an involvement in my late son's name and I think this award is something Joe would have approved of.

"He was very active on the national and international art scene and this award is very appropriate."

The prize was inspired by the Turner Prize coming to Liverpool during the Capital of Culture year in 2008.

The competition is open to all professional artists based or born in Liverpool City region, including the surrounding boroughs of Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley, Halton and Sefton.

The exhibition is being held at The Grand Hall, Albert Dock and is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11-5pm, until June 8.

The 'People's Choice Award', will be presented on May 29, alongside the main award for Liverpool Art Prize 2013.

Previous Liverpool Art Prize winners include Robyn Woolston, Imogen Stidworthy, AL and AL, David Jacques and Marcus Soukup who exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery as part of his prize in 2012.

Robyn Woolston, last year’s winner, is presenting her exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, 'Stranger in a Strange Land'.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events and exhibitions happening in and around the city centre programmed by a consortium of the city’s studio groups and independent arts organisations for Liverpool Art Month.

This year’s highlights include the Arena Art Auction, 'The Drifter's Escape' exhibition at the Bridewell featuring work inspired by the music of Bob Dylan, and the Lowe Photo Booth project at Matt Ford Studio for Light Night, amongst many other exciting events involving local artists throughout the month of May.

Joe was a former pupil of St Mary's College, Wallasey, where staff said he would be remembered for his great talent as an artist.

Joe and Suzanna worked at Lots Road Auctions in Chelsea, West London, where they met a few years ago.