Monday, June 03, 2013

One month left to enter £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2013

Artists wanting to enter the Threadneedle Prize 2013 have just one month left to register an entry for this prestigious £30,000 prize for painting and sculpture.

The deadline to register an entry is 4th July 2013.
  • This post unpicks and summarises the "call for entries"
  • highlights the key dates in the processes for submission, selection and exhibition
  • At the end you can find links to all the posts I wrote about the Threadneedle Prize last year
  • You can find a complete archive of my past posts about the Threadneedle Prize - with lots of images - on Art Competitions in the UK (2013) - Resources for Artists
Ben Greener, Winner of the 2012 Threadneedle Prize with "My Feet"

About the Threadneedle Prize

The PURPOSE - my emphasis (in red) highlights the focus of the competition

The Threadneedle Prize is the leading competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture for artists working in the UK and Continental Europe.

The Threadneedle Prize is one of the UK’s largest prizes for contemporary painting and sculpture

The competition is open to all artists working in the UK and Continental Europe who use figurative and representational art as a starting point for their work.

You may submit up to three works, completed since 1 January 2012, including paintings, sculptures, original prints, drawings and mixed media installations.

Works that have been selected for other prizes or competitions in the UK or continental Europe are not eligible to enter.

Past Winners

This is the sixth year of the competition. Click the links to see previous winners who are:
  • 2008: Nina Murdoch, Untitled (71 works exhibited) 
  • 2009: Sheila Wallis, Self Portrait (87 works selected for exhibition) 
  • 2010: Patricia Cain, Building the Riverside Museum (46 works selected) 
  • 2011: Henrietta Simson, Bad Government (After Lorenzetti) (52 works in exhibition)
  • 2012: Ben Greener My Feet (153 works in the exhibition)
I have to say the Threadneedle has changed every year so far so looking backward is probably no guide to the selectors choices this year.  It would be nice to see a continuation of:
  • the strong trend towards having women artists shortlisted (they've won 4 of the 5 competitions to date)
  • a repeat of the number of works selected last year.  I think the vast majority of the people I knew who saw the exhibition commented on how much better the exhibition was in 2012 after a weird year in 2011.

The 2013 selectors 

The selectors this year comprise a painter, a sculptor, a critic and a Museum curator. They are:
  • Tim Shaw - Sculptor shortlisted for the first Threadneedle Prize in 1908, he won the FBA Selectors Choice prize with a wax sculpture entitled Tank on Fire.
  • Paul Benney - a painter who has exhibited in 8 BP Portrait Exhibitions
  • Laura Gasgoigne - a freelance critic and writer who comments on the visual arts
  • Barnaby Wright is the Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art at The Courtauld Gallery, London

How it works

Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Key Features of the Call for Entries

  1. This is an OPEN art competition (with some restrictions)
  2. In 2012
    • 4,062 works were submitted by 2,441 artists (an average of 1.66 artworks per artist
    • Last year 145 artists had 153 artworks selected for exhibition (triple the figures of previous years!)
    • which means 3.7% of artwork by 5.9% of the artists was selected for exhibition 
    • (Last year I crunched the numbers after the work had been selected - see Threadneedle Prize 2012: Analysis of entries)
  3. Every single entry selected for the final exhibition is sourced through a proper open competition process
    • There are no invited artists
    • There should be no entries promoted by the Selectors or the Gallery or the Sponsors
    • The selection panel is changed every year
    • Everybody has an equal chance - and the rest is up to the merit and judgement of the selectors - which is always highly personal.
  4. Initial entry is digital.  Artwork only needs to be dispatched to London if it gets through the screening stage.  This has generated a big increase in entry from places outside London and the south east. No artist has to incur the costs associated with a trip to London or using a courier without being in with a reasonable chance of being selected.
  5. There seem to be no major changes in the rules this year!
Below you can find out who can enter and progress through to what you can enter.

Am I eligible to enter artwork? 

Artists living or working in the UK or Continental Europe are eligible to enter this competition. (see Official Page: Who is eligible to enter?)
  • you can be any nationality 
  • you MUST be aged 18 or over on 1 January 2012 
  • BUT you cannot enter if you are an employee of the Federation of British Artists and Threadneedle, and their agents. 
Unlike the BP Portrait you can enter again even if you have won before (as can any of the previous prizewinners). You can also submit up to three works, but they are not eligible to win the same prize for a period of three years.

What type of artwork can I enter?

In each section I provide a link to the official related page on the Threadneedle Prize website which provides further information
The Threadneedle Prize promotes excellence in figurative and representational art. Strong, fresh and topical observations on the contemporary world, created using a variety of different mediums, styles and approaches are all welcome. Threadneedle Prize - What to Submit
Does it need to be new work? Yes.  It must have been completed AFTER 1 January 2012. All artwork must be recent - old artwork is NOT eligible 

Can I have exhibited it elsewhere? No. Works must NOT have been exhibited in any other prize or competition in the UK or elsewhere.

What sort of media is eligible?  In terms of painting you can submit:
  • work in a variety of mediums, including oil, tempera, acrylic, ink, vinyl, watercolour and other dry mediums - so long as the work is dry by the second pre-selection viewing stage and is ready to hang. (Can't you just tell the organisers are not thrilled by work being submitted which is still wet or sticky) 
  • work on any form of support (canvas, paper, wood, plastic etc). 
Other media you can enter include:
  • original drawings 
  • original prints 
  • sculptures 
  • mixed media constructions (photography and video is only eligible within the context of a mixed media installation) 
  • small-scale installations and 
  • reliefs 
If you're not sure whether your work fits a category contact the organisers.
Presentation, size and format all matter! All work pre-selected for handing-in must be received in exhibition condition (i.e. all canvases must be dry and mounted on stretchers or board) but with no hanging devices.
Our selectors will pay special attention to the quality and finish of each submitted work.Threadneedle Prize - What to Submit
How big can it be? With respect to size:
  • diptychs and triptychs can be entered as one work 
  • the unpacked size of works must smaller than 2.4m (and works must be delivered UNPACKED) 
  • check with the delivery service first if you want to submit work in excess of 2m squared - they may not accept it
How many works can I enter? A maximum of three NEW artworks can be entered. In addition:

Does the artwork have to be for sale? ALL works have to be for sale. (i.e. no commissions/sold work). Commercial galleries are not a charity and these days priority tends to be given to works which earn a commission.

How to enter

Since 2008, the entry to this competition has grown significantly. At the same time competition organisers wanted to encourage entries from around the UK which keeping costs in check.  Which is why the initial entry is now digital.

Digital Images:  Selection is based on the quality of the image as well as the quality of the artwork

An awful lot of artists have still not quite got the hang of how to scan and/or photograph their work to do their work justice and give it a fighting chance of selection. If you don't know what you're doing and/or have not got a good enough digital camera you probably need to employ a professional photographer. Try and find one who is used to photographing artwork rather than weddings - it really does make a difference!

How to register an entry To enter you need to register and submit a digital file.
  • Registration opened on 4 April, 2013 and closes at midday 4 July, 2013
  • It costs £12 per work to enter and payment must be made to complete registration
  • Artist members of the FBA and full-time students pay a reduced entry fee of £10 per work.
  • You can find the registration portal at - click the button for The Threadneedle Prize
In order to enter you must do four things
  • PHOTOGRAPH: take a photograph of your work and create a digital file(see notes below). Slides or prints are not acceptable - it must be a digital file. Plus save to a CD if submitting entry by post 
  • FILL IN A FORM: either complete the online registration form or secure and complete the printed version. You should print off the form from the website (or get one posted to you)
  • SUBMIT ENTRY: upload digital images via website OR post digital image(s) via a CD with a completed printed form and a cheque for the fee to the Mall Galleries' office address to arrive by no later than 
  • PAY: pay a fee via one of three methods 
    • via paypal after you have received your login code 
    • via a credit card over the telephone 
    • via a cheque by post (for postal entries) 
To register you need:
  • all the information for the registration form 
  • the ability to pay online using Paypal or by telephoning the gallery and using a credit/switch card 
  • the digital file 

Stage 1: The selectors 'screen' the digital entry and select artwork to be submitted for further review in person

Stage 2:  The selectors:
  • choose the artwork and artists who will participate in the exhibition
  • create a shortlist of six works 
  • choose the winner of the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize from the shortlist


  • The winner of the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize is chosen by three selectors from a shortlist of six works submitted through the open submission. Each of the five runners up will receive £1,000. 
  • The £10,000 Visitors' Choice Prize is awarded by the general public visiting the exhibition who vote for the piece they like best. The major plus point for selected artists is that ALL the artwork selected for the Exhibition is eligible to win this prize. Two Visitors' Choice Prize runners up will also receive £500. Voting for the Visitors' Choice Prize takes place in the gallery and ends before the final exhibition day.

Pre-selection Notification

You need to login again on Thursday 11 July to find out the Pre-selection results.

If successful you'll be told what to do next - but you can also see this on the FAQs page

Receiving Day: The entrance to the basement of 
the Administrative Office at 17 Carlton House Terrace
2nd stage: submission of work for review by Selectors

Artwork(s) selected for the the second stage of the selection process should be delivered, unpacked and unwrapped on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 July 2013 - with TWO copies of the registration registration form - to the administrative offices of the Mall Galleries at 17 Carlton House, London SW1Y 5BD between 10am and 5pm . Here's details of how to get there.

Artwork submitted will will NOT be accepted if:
  • it has not been selected
  • it's delivered on dates other than those identified above.
Work not selected

Work not selected for the exhibition must be collected from 17 Carlton House Terrace on Sunday 4 August 2013 between 10am to 5pm.

Prior to this there are a number of regional handing in points - to which work can be delivered AFTER the announcement has been made about which works have been selected and prior to the Mall Galleries delivery deadline.

The Exhibition

The Threadneedle Prize Exhibition is held at the Mall Galleries. It opens to the public on 25 September 2012 and close on 12 October 2013.  The exhibition is open between 10am and 5pm daily.

Good luck!

  • Threadneedle Prize | Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD Tel: 44 (0) 20 7930 6844 
  • Directions to Mall Galleries
  • Mall Galleries | The Mall, London SW1 | Tel: 020 7930 6844 |

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - more from Making A Mark

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