Thursday, January 06, 2011

Major Art Competitions in the UK 2011 - a timetable

This is my annual post listing all the Major Art Competitions in the UK.  

[Update:  If you want my listing of Major Art Competitions in the UK 2012 click this red link]

It excludes:
You can find further information on Art Competitions in the UK - Resources for Artists which I update as details are announced during the course of the year.

    Major Art Competitions in the UK in 2011

    The Turner Prize 2011 Not an Open Competition.  Nominations are invited.

    John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2012: the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize is the UK's best-known painting competition with a first prize of £25,000.  The next prize will be held in 2012.

    BP Portrait Award 2011: The leading portrait award is a major international open competition  - with a hefty prize, an exhibition in the National portrait Gallery and submissions from all over the world.

    The work entered should be a painting based on a sitting or study from life and the human figure must predominate.
    I've never noticed the box before which now requires you to tick to say you have met the sitter.

    The "photographic" portrait has been rampant in the past few years.  So I'm reading this (new?) condition as code which probably means something like "do not embarass us and reveal that you are totally incapable of undertaking a commission and working from life if you win".  I think the Award may be trying to get back to its basic presumption that this a competition for "proper" portrait artists ie people who can work from life for at least part of the painting.

    BP portrait - Visitors Choice Award 2010: iDeath by Michal Ozibko
    Oil with acrylic background on canvas 2200 x 1700 mm

    The Royal Academy of Art - Summer Exhibition 2011: The largest annual exhibition in the UK which lasts several weeks during the summer at the Royal Academy of Art.  Any artist may enter work for selection - over 12,000 works are submitted for consideration every year and around 1200 are exhibited. Top prizes include: The Charles Wollaston Award for the most distinguished work (£25,000) and The Jack Goldhill Award for a sculpture (£10,000)
    The Threadneedle Prize for figurative painting and sculpture. A Major Prize for contemporary figurative and representational art.  The first prize is £25,000.  Lost its USP for 2010 when the major prize was awarded by the selectors rather than via a public vote - but 2011 looks as if it could be interesting!
    New for 2011
    • Easy digital image submission for all artists in the first stage of our new two-stage selection process.
    • All exhibiting artists qualify for the £10,000 Visitors’ Choice prize.
    • Free admission for all visitors to the exhibition.
    • Plans for an international tour of selected work from the 2011 exhibition – more news later!
    Sunday Times Watercolour Competition:  Now generously sponsored by Smith & Williamson and The Sunday Times, and with prizes worth £20,000 on offer, this prestigious competition aims to encourage the use of watercolour and water based media paintings among both amateur and professional artists. 
    Lynn Painter Stainers Prize:  Created in 2005 with the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and the Lynn Foundation with The Spectator as media sponsor. The purpose of the Prize is to encourage creative representational painting and promote the skill of draughtsmanship. This annual exhibition is open to all UK artists with prize money totalling £22,500 and an engraved gold medal for the winner.

    ING Discerning Eye:  The ING Discerning Eye aims to produce a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artist, two collectors and two critics. Work is selected from open submission and with works by artists invited by the individual selectors. The ING Purchase Prize is £5,000 plus there are a variety of other prizes.
    Jerwood Drawing Prize:  The Jerwood Drawing Prize (£6,000) is the country’s leading award in drawing, and is the largest and longest running annual open exhibition dedicated to drawing in the UK. Open to artists resident or domiciled within the UK, the Prize aims to recognise and support both established and emerging artists.  Each year between 60 and 70 artists are selected for the exhibition
    • Registration opens on the Jerwood Visual Arts - Artists Opportunities website on 1 April 2011.  Closes 17 June 2011
    • Registered artists are invited to submit work through one of the regional collection centres: London, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Liverpool and Norwich.
    • First prize: £6,000 plus various smaller prizes
    • Details also available from Parker Harris - when posted
    • Exhibitions dates:  unknown (usually Autumn) 
    • Exhibition venue: usually Jerwoood Space
    • 2011 my blog posts 
      Wildlife Artist of the Year  :  This show is run by the David Shephard Foundation and has five categories
      BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year:  All of the category winners will be exhibited at the prestigious annual exhibition of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society in August 2011, in a special display alongside 200 other artists and sculptors.

      I have a resource site which lists all these prizes (and others) and provides links to current art competitions and past blog posts and sites of relevance.

      Consult the links identified above 


      1. i dont suppose you know of any Major International Competitions. Specifically America. Am going over there next year and was considering entering some wile I was over there.

      2. There's an absolutely huge number of art competitions in the USA Rob. Why not try subscribing to some of the American art journals?

      3. Art design
        Hi Katherine, love the site!  Im looking to get as many art/design idea's as possible for greeting cards & gifts which best represent Britain. Not sure if it's practical to create a competition for art or/& design students at or previously at college with a reasonable prize for the winner, or if you can suggest previous entries of work submitted which may suit my need?
        Many thanks, Lynn

      4. There's masses of work which might be suitable.

        I'm assuming you want to licence images for a commercial purpose.

        I suggest you think about an art competition - it's always a good way of surfacing good images.

        A prize is one way of getting images - but wouldn't you need to have a prize for every image you use? Wouldn't it be better to just offer the opportunity to have a normal commercial licensing contract for the use of the images?

        I see you're new to Blogger and your profile has no information. Any competition needs to be run by somebody who is identifiable and reputable on the internet.

        I'd suggest that:
        1) You say who you are, what you're doing and what are the potential benefits for the artists
        1) You make the entry digital - which makes life easy for everyone
        2) You are explicit about the copyright arrangements eg
        * entries do not assign away copyright via entry but only do so once a licensing agreement has been concluded.
        * That also means you need to give an assurance that you won't either use or store entries not used once the competition is complete
        3) what the fee will be for the licence to be reproduce (good to have this info upfront to avoid people wasting their time) and whether remuneration for the artists will vary according to the sales.


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