Monday, July 27, 2015

The Columbia Threadneedle Prize - Call for Entries

There are major changes for the next Threadneedle Prize for Figurative and Representational Art. 

These include:
  • a change in name and branding - it's now called The Columbia Threadneedle Prize
  • a change of year - there's no exhibition this year, the next one is in February 2016
  • an additional exhibition in Florence, Italy
  • plus a brand new website which is looking a bit too much like a corporate bank website for my taste (this is an art competition!) but I'm sure they'll be able to improve on this in time.
However it's still the UK’s leading open annual competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture.

Below you can find out all the basics
  • who can enter
  • what you can enter
  • how to enter
  • the timeline of key dates
  • all about the prizes and the exhibitions
  • the selection panel
Plus access my archive of blog posts about all the Threadneedle Prize exhibitions to date.

About the Columbia Threadneedle Prize

The new website for The Columbia Threadneedle Prize
We would normally have an exhibition in September 2015 but the change in ownership of the company sponsoring the prize (now the Columbia Threadneedle Foundation) meant a change in timing was required as well as a change in name - hence the exhibition moves forward six months.

So the next exhibitions - there's now TWO - will be 2016:
  • Exhibition at Mall Galleries including Visitors’ Choice Award: 3rd - 20th February 2016
  • PLUS an  Exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence: 27th June to 24th July 2016


There are a number of prizes. 
  • The winner of The Columbia Threadneedle Prize receives a £20,000 Prize plus a a solo exhibition in the Threadneedle Space at Mall Galleries (valued at £10,000)
Winning a major art prize represents a great achievement, however this chance to exhibit a wider body of work in your own exhibition in Central London represents a huge opportunity for your profile and reputation.
  • Shortlisted artists receive £1,000 - there will be five in total (that means if you get  for the exhibition that's how you should describe it - i.e 'selected' NOT 'shortlisted'
  • The Visitors' Choice Award is worth £10,000 to the winning artist. They are selected by visitors to the London exhibition who vote for the artwork they like best.
Following the London exhibition, a selection of works from The Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2016 will be exhibited in the Strozzina (contemporary) space at Palazzo Strozzi, for four weeks from 27 June, providing further exposure for the featured artists.

The Selectors

The Selection Panel comprises five judges who are:
  • Emma Crichton-Miller - a freelance journalist and TV producer specialising in the arts. She writes for 'how to spend it' for the FT, is a columnist for Apollo magazine, f and writes for The Wall Street Journal Europe and the RA Magazine
  • David Dawson - artist, writer and photographer but perhaps best known as Lucian Freud's studio assistant and sometime model and photographer. He is also a well regarded painter who studied at Chelsea School of Art between 1984 and 1987, followed by the Royal College of Art between 1987 and 1989. He exhibits with Marlborough Fine Art
  • Tim Knox - Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Prior to this he was Director of the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London
  • Arturo Galansino - Director General of Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi
  • Lewis McNaught (Selection Panel Chair) - Director of the Mall Galleries and 

Call for Entries 

Who can enter

To enter this exhibition you need to be
  • an artist of any nationality,
  • aged 18 or over on 1 January 2015,
  • presently living or working in the UK or Europe
Those who have previously won a prize can submit up to five works but are not eligible to win a prize for at least three years after their award.

If you live in Europe you can submit work but if your work is sold at exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs.

What you can enter

Artists are encouraged to submit fresh and intriguing figurative or representational works that are strong and topical observations on, or interpretations of, the world around us.
These are the Full Terms and Conditions. In summary......

You can enter 
  • paintings, drawings, original prints, sculpture, mixed media constructions, small scale installations and reliefs.
  • up to six works (at a fee of £15 per work - including VAT)
  • unframed works - in exhibition condition (ie ready to be hung)
  • diptychs/triptychs and works consisting of a number of elements. These MUST be photographed together as one image and numbered appropriately when submitted (eg #1 of 3)
All works MUST be:
  • completed after 1 January 2014
  • not previously exhibited in any other prize or competition in the UK or elsewhere
  • smaller than 2.4 metres along the longest dimension
  • for sale - with a minimum price of £300 (which includes commission of 45% plus VAT)
  • minus any hanging devices - all hooks, wires and other hanging devices must be removed
  • unwrapped prior to delivery 
  • delivered for exhibition complete with forms and labels

How to enter

All artists must submit online in the first instance using images under 1MB in jpeg format. 

There are two approaches to entry. In summary:

Artists working and living in the UK wanting to submit two dimensional work must submit images online in the first instance. Artwork will then be screened and then artists will be asked to submit longlisted work for review in person by the selection panel. Key dates are:
  • 13th July - online submission starts at
  • Friday 16th October (12 noon) - deadline for entries
  • 23rd October (12 noon) - check to see if work pre-selected
  • 21st November (10am - 5pm) - deliver your work to Mall Galleries
  • 26 November (12 noon) check to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition
  • 28 November, 10am - 5pm - collect work not selected for exhibition
Artists living/working outside the UK and those producing three dimensional work will have their entries screened and assessed for selection for the exhibition online. Key dates are:
  • 13th July - online submission starts at
  • Friday 16th October (12 noon) - deadline for entries
  • 26 November (12 noon) check to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition
  • If accepted, your work must de delivered to Mall Galleries prior to the exhibition installation on a date to be arranged with the Exhibition Administrators


  • The Shortlist will be announced on Monday 7th December 2015.
  • The Winner of The Columbia Threadneedle Prize will be announced on Tuesday 2nd February 2016

Mall Galleries Exhibition

  • Private view date: 03 February 2016
  • Open to public: 03 February 2016
  • Closes: 20 February 2016
Note: The Columbia Threadneedle Prize is supported by Columbia Threadneedle Foundation, the charitable foundation of global investment manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Columbia Threadneedle has funded the Prize since its inception, demonstrating the firm’s long- term commitment to supporting the arts.


Threadneedle Prize 2014

Threadneedle Prize 2013

Threadneedle Prize 2012

2011 Threadneedle Prize

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