Monday, November 14, 2011

John Moore Painting Prize 2012: Call For Entries

The John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize is the UK's best-known painting competition.  It's a competition which is open to all UK-based artists working with paint.

You can register to enter the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize any time up until Friday 20 January 2012

Previous winners have included David Hockney (1967), Euan Uglow (1972) and Peter Doig (1993).  It also has an illustrious list of prizewinners who didn't win the first prize - Howard Hodgkin has come second twice!  In the last 54 years more than 2,000 artists have exhibited and more than 100 people have sat on the jury.  Selectors have included singer Jarvis Cocker, writer Germaine Greer and artists Peter Blake, Tracey Emin and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Read on to find out more about how to enter.
Call for Entries

What's the aim of this art competition?

The aim is to showcase and bring to Liverpool the best in new painting produced in the UK today.

The JM2012 is also a key part of Liverpool Biennial’s 6th International festival which launches on 14 September and runs until 25 November 2012.  (This is The Biennial Blog)

Who can enter?

Any artist who lives or is professionally based in the United Kingdom.  In other words this is NOT an international art competition - although artists of other nationalities can enter if they have permission to live and work in this country.

There were 2,880 entries in 2010.

What can you enter?

You can only enter one painting - so give it your "best shot"! "Substitutes cannot be accepted" means you can't paint another one or submit a different painting if you sell your entry before you hear the result.  So whatever you enter make sure it's not sold and unavailable to exhibit until you hear from the selectors.  

Entry is via digital images of the submitted work. 
  • One image showing the complete painting must be submitted.  An optional second image can also be submitted.
  • The digital image:
    • must be a JPEG file no larger than 5 MB in size.
    • should be a minimum of 1000 x 1000 pixels
    • must not be manipulated in anyway
    • must be of the painting entered.
  • All slides will be converted to a digital image - so if you want control over that process make sure you submit your own digital image.
The painting MUST be:
  • new or recent work, preferably within the last 12 months
  • wholly or partly executed in any painted medium.
  • designed to hang on a wall.
  • the original work of the artist named on the registration form.  (I'd assume "original" in this context means "not derivative" ie you are able to assert copyright over the image - but you can always ask)
  • the same work as that submitted as an image viewed at Stage 1
Note that there are very specific requirements as to size - both when packed and unpacked.

This is the link to the full conditions of entry

How to enter

To enter the competition you must register and pay the entry fee of £25 by Friday 20 January 2012.  You have the option of paying online, by post or in person.  You are asked to not submit images until you have received Confirmation of Registration.

To register you can either:
If you are unable to enter or submit images online, you can post your image (via CD or 35mm colour slide) to the Project Manager with a completed entry form.

These are the links to important information about the competition in 2012:
Key dates
  • Registration: Deadline Friday 20 January 2012
  • Submission Stage 1 (all digital images are viewed by selectors): Deadline 3 February 2012
  • Notification of selection for Stage 2:  w/c 2 April
  • Submission Stage 2 (actual paintings reviewed by selectors): Deadline 27 April 2012
  • Sending In Days: Sending in week for works chosen to be viewed at Stage 2 is 30 April - 5 May 2012.  Dates vary according to the 6 regional depots.
  • Notification of selection for exhibition: by letter by 29 June 2012.
  • Announcement of winners: the winner will be announced on 13 September 2012
  • Exhibition at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool:  15 September 2012 until 6 January 2013
Social Media

The 2012 competition has a Twitter account @JohnMoores2012.  There is no official Facebook Page.

Awards and Fee

As I indicated last year, the trade-off between the fee to enter (£25) and the size of the first prize (£25,000) looks about right to me.  I still maintain that the runner-up cash prizes are a tad stingy compared to those associated with some other leading art competitions in the UK.  Surely sponsorship is something that might be considered?
  • There is a first prize of £25,000 (cash prize) and four further prizes of £2500 each for runners up. 
  • The Visitors’ Choice prize is voted for by the public and this year is £2012.

For 2012, the jury are artists Fiona Banner, Angela de la Cruz and George Shaw, director of Whitechapel Art Gallery Iwona Blazwick and the BBC’s Alan Yentob.  (Guess who will have a documentary waiting in the wings?).  Find out more on the jury page.


The exhibition will be held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and be part of the Liverpool Biennial.  It will open on 15 September 2012 and close on 6 January 2013

Work sold from the exhibition is subject to a 20% commission charge.  All sales during the period the painting is held by the competition must be executed by the Walker Art Gallery.

More info. about John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize
  • These are the paintings which have won the prize in previous years. Obviously it's always dependent on both the submissions and the selectors in any given year.
  • This is the FAQs page on the website which provides information about this competition in past years
  • The Prize started in 1957 and is named after Sir John Moores (1896 - 1993), the founder of the prize.  Littlewoods founder Sir John Moores, a keen painter, started the exhibition in 1957.  The Moores family remain involved through the Walker’s partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust.

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