Monday, August 19, 2013

The £5,000 Bristol Art Prize

The Bath Art Prize has morphed for 2013 into the Bristol Art Prize!

The Bath Art Prize has spent four years in Bath - with artists arriving from all over the UK to paint street scenes in Bath.  This year there is a change of scenery and a change of gallery for the exhibition.
The Bristol Art Prize is an open art competition, created to stimulate new work celebrating the glory of Bristol. Entrants are required paint their first work from an allocated location and can choose any Bristol location for additional entries. En plein air painting is also encouraged.
Bristol Art Prize - check out the views at the top of every page on the website
How the Bristol Prize Competition works

The Rules

Who is eligible

The competition is open to any artist submitting a painting or drawing related to the City of Bristol and produced in 2013 according to the rules of the Competition.

What can you paint 

  • LOCATION: You don't have a choice about your first work.  You MUST paint a scene based on an allocated viewpoint.  This ensures a good mix of scenes from around the city.  However if you don't like your allocated viewpoint you're stuffed!  Once you have entered you're notified about your viewpoint by email.  At least you can then decide whether or not to make the journey by using Google Streetmaps to check it out!  Once you've painted this scene you are then free to make a painting from a location of your choice.
  • TYPE OF WORK: Work must be the artist's own work - no borrowing other people's photos or copying allowed! All work entered must be an original composition produced in 2013 and must be the sole work of the entrant who must own the copyright of the work.

Deadline for entries

The closing date for entries and submission of work is Sunday September 8th 

Cost of entry

Non-refundable fees are £18 for the first work submitted online and £10 for every additional painting

How are paintings judged

There's a two stage process:
  • initial screening is online.  This will be completed by 11 September.  You can see work which has been screened and displayed on the website right now.
  • If you pass the initial screen you're then invited to present your work framed for exhibition (all the normal rules apply re. framing and packaging) and deliver it to Bristol no later than Sunday September 22nd.

What gets displayed

  • Artwork delivered to Bristol will be displayed on the Bristol Prize website - and may be sold via that website.  Sales are less 50% commission.
  • Artwork which goes on exhibition in Bristol is at the discretion of the competition organisers.  This is another way of saying they have a finite amount of space and don't know how many they can take until they've seen how big everything is.  They will then sort out the "must hang" and then hang as much of the rest of it as they can.  Hence - my advice would be if you want to paint big - you better paint a winner!
  • Prizewinners and other selected entries MAY be offered a publishing contract for artist-enhanced editions and signed limited editions of their work.


The exhibition for the Bristol Art Prize 2013 will be held at the Exhibition Centre: The Guildhall Arts Centre, Small Street, Bristol, BS1 2EP in September.
The Bristol Art Prize, the Plein Air Prize and other specified prizes are purchase prizes and accepting these prizes sells the prize-winning work and the right to reproduce it to the Competition organizers.


  • The Bristol Art Prize is £5,000. This a link to the Prizes page.  
  • This is what it says (see above).  Note that the price includes signing over the copyright for reproduction purposes - so remember to add in the value for this otherwise the competition becomes a cheap way of getting artwork for reproductions to sell to tourists!  (I think this is a new condition - I don't remember it being there before but doubtless one of the plein air artists will set me straight on that one if I've got it wrong!)

Art Materials in Bristol

Anybody participating in the competition is eligible to get a discount on art materials from Bristol Fine Art

You can read about the Bath Art Prize in this post Chris Dunn wins The Bath Prize 2011 and see the standard of some of the paintings submitted.

So - who's entering this prize this year?


  1. It looks fun! Do you know from the old Bath version if they tend to be open to more abstract landscapes?

  2. I'm guessing they well prefer more figurative stuff as in people need to recognise it's Bristol


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