Friday, February 20, 2009

Major art competitions in the UK in 2009 - dates and deadlines

"Katie" and Craig Wylie - winner of the BP Portrait Award 2008
photograph copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Following on from yesterday's post National Art Societies in the UK - Open Exhibition dates and deadlines about the open exhibitions of national art societies, this post highlights the major art competitions in the UK in 2009 and their dates and deadlines - as announced to date. Plus it announces the publication of Art Competitions in the UK - Resources for Artists.

The major art competitions are usually independent of any art society and attract major sponsorship. They typically attract a very significant number of applications.

Some may wonder at the inclusion of the Royal Academy here rather than in yesterday's post. It might be thought that the Royal Academy as a rather grand art society. However in relation to their major Open Exhibition I tend to I think of the Summer Exhibition as having more of the characteristics of a very large art competition. It's certainly one that a number of the other major competitions measure themselves against in terms of number of entries.

I've not included the Turner Prize in the list below as people shortlisted for the Prize are derived from nominations only and the Prize is opaque in the extreme as to process. Also excluded are competitions which are specific to one area of the UK and/or more minor competitions.

Major art competitions in 2009 (and 2010)
Yet again, some of the competitions managed to have their dates and details posted well in advance of the deadline for entries. This is extremely helpful to artists wanting to plan ahead.

You can expect to see reviews of most of the exhibitions associated with the above competitions on this blog later in the year. I've included links to past reviews of those I reviewed in 2008.

I've also developed another information site Art Competitions in the UK - Resources for Artists. In part this is because I've never found a site before which lists the major art competitions in the UK for all to see. On my site the major art competitions are grouped by type (eg portraiture; watercolour; figurative). The site has links to related websites and my past blog posts about both entry requirements and reviews of the shows I went to see. It also includes tips about and comments on juried art competitions.



  1. Hi Katherine and readers,

    It's good to see a steady number of art competitions, namely international ones, bringing together new and known talents.
    The featured portrait shows a great knowledge of colour properties in order to achieve such quality.

    Have a nice weekend,


  2. Hi Katherine,
    I've just found your blog and will follow it with interest. Really helpful and informative in so many ways.

  3. Katherine, thank you so much for sharing this with us. Really appreciate the time and effort you've put into the publicaiton


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