Tuesday, December 01, 2009

BP Portrait Award 2010 - Call For Entries

BP Portrait Award 2010
National Portrait Gallery website

The National Portrait Gallery in London has published the Call for Entries for the BP Portrait Award 2010. The closing date for this very prestigious competition is 14th February 2010 and you can find out who can enter and how to enter below.
The Portrait Award, now in its thirty-first year at the National Portrait Gallery and twenty-first year of sponsorship by BP, is an annual event aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop the theme of portraiture in their work.
Who can enter

Basically if you are over 18, live anywhere in the world and can paint a portrait of a human figure then you should study the entry requirements. Winners of this competition tend to enjoy very significant benefits to their careers after winning the BP Portrait Award. Just to be selected for the exhibition is a very real and significant achievement.
Many artists who have had their work exhibited have gained commissions as a result of the considerable interest in the Portrait Award and the resulting exhibition.
BP Portrait Prize: The competition is open to all artists living anywhere in the world who are aged 18 and over on 1st January 2010. This is in recognition of the outstanding and innovative work currently being produced by artists of all ages working in portraiture.

BP Young Artists Award: All entrants from the 18-30 age group will automatically be considered for both the BP Young Artist Award and the BP Portrait Award, but an individual cannot win both. Artists must be 30 years of age or under on 1 January 2010 to be eligible for the BP Young Artist Award.

BP Travel Award: All 2010 exhibitors will be eligible to submit a proposal for the BP Travel Award. The aim of the Award is to provide the opportunity for an artist to experience working in a different environment, in Britain or abroad, on a project related to portraiture which will then be shown as part of the BP Portrait Award 2011 exhibition and tour in 2011-12.


As always, the winners and selected entries will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, London before touring the country. Dates and venues are as follows
  • National Portrait Gallery - 24 June to 19 September 2010
  • Usher Gallery, Lincoln - dates in 2010-11 to be announced
  • Aberdeen Art Gallery - dates in 2010-11 to be announced

The awards are as follows:
  • the first prize is a cash award of £25,000, plus, at the judges' discretion, a commission worth £4,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.
  • two runner-up prizes (2nd Prize £8,000; 3rd prize £6,000)
  • the BP Young Artist Award of £5,000 for entrants under the age of 30 on the 1st January 2009 - which aims to continue to competition's role as a showcase for young artistic talent.
  • BP Travel Award 2009: £5,000.
How to Enter


Last things first - the deadline for your entry is Sunday 14th February 2010.

Entry forms

You can obtain an entry form by post or complete your entry form online.

The Rules

There are a lot of rules and they're written in small type on the website so do take the time to read them very carefully. (Remember also that using the Control and + key can enlarge type on your screen). There is nothing more frustrating than to create a work for a competition and then to realise that it isn't eligible or you can't present it in the right way at the right time!

Note in particular that works can be disqualified even if selected for exhibition if they have not adhered to the rules!

In brief the rules are:
  • the competition is open to all those aged over 18 on 1.1.10.
  • each artist is limited one entry per artist.
  • The work must have been completed after 1 January 2009.
  • the work entered
    • MUST be predominantly painted in oil, tempera or acrylic and MUST be on a stretcher or board, preferably framed and unglazed. (No watercolours, works on paper or pastels will be considered.)
    • SHOULD be a painting based on a sitting or study from life; the human figure must predominate.
  • Minimum size: 25 x 20cm (10” x 8”) unframed. Smaller works will not be considered.
  • Those not eligible for entry are employees of the National Portrait Gallery, BP, and their agents, and previous first prize-winners of the Portrait Award since 1980.
  • The entire competition is judged, on an equal and anonymous basis, from original paintings. There is no segregated judging by region or country
  • Entry forms and registration fees must be submitted to the NPG by 14th February 2010
  • All entrants will be notified if their work is selected (or not) for exhibition by 7 April 2010
  • There are lots of very detailed requirements as to submission and collection of the actual painting - my advice is to read it all very carefully!
  • All artists will need to insure their works
  • International artists should also pay particular attention to their financial liabilities (eg import duities etc) and what they are required to do.
  • The Gallery is not be responsible for wrapping works or providing wrapping materials
    for any works being returned to artists located in the UK and charges a fee to international artists.
New rules this year (I think) include:
  • All correspondence with artists will be via email!
Delivery Dates

Delivery dates: Regional and courier to London
  • Belfast Mon 15 – Wed 17 March 10.00–16.00
  • Bristol Mon 15 – Wed 17 March 10.00–16.00
  • Coatbridge, near Glasgow Mon 15 – Wed 17 March 10.00–18.00
  • Leeds Mon 15 – Wed 17 March 12.30–17.30
  • London For works arriving by post or courier: Wed 17–Thurs 25 March, 09.00–17.00 (excluding weekends)
Delivery Dates - Hand delivery to London Collection Point

For works delivered to the London collection point in person:
  • Mon 22 March 09.00–17.00
  • Tues 23 March 09.00–17.00
  • Wed 24 March 09.00–20.00
  • Thurs 25 March 09.00–20.00
  • No entries will be accepted at the London collection point after 20.00 on Thursday 25 March 2010. A Gallery representative will provide a receipt on delivery of the work.
Further Information from the NPG

If your question is not answered by information provided on the website or in the information leaflet you can contact: BP Portrait Award 2010
  • National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE
  • 020 7321 6600
  • bpaward@npg.org.uk
So you want to know more about the BP Portrait Award ?

For those wanting to find out more about artists who have won this award in the past, my information site Portraiture - Resources for Artists now includes a module which provides a complete listing of all the BP Portrait Award winners - then and now.

This section of the website lists:
  1. links to the image which won the first prize in the BP Portrait Awards (if available - for some reason the NPG website seems to failed to archive some of the exhibitions and winners) and
  2. the winning artist's current website (if available).
You can also find out more about past competitions in my posts from previous years detailed below

So that's it - good luck if you decide to enter!


These are all posts on Making A Mark. You can find all posts on Portraiture - Resources for Artists

BP Portrait Award 2009
BP Portrait Award 2008 and 2007

1 comment:

  1. Katherine, thanks very much for the thorough heads-up on the next BP Portrait show call for entries. I first learned about this competition from your previous post on it.


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of too much spam.
My blog posts are always posted to my Making A Mark Facebook Page and you can comment there if you wish.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.