Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 - Call for Entries

Entries for the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 close on 1st May.

Last year some 1,800 artists entered the competition and 84 artists were chosen to participate in the regional heats. Below you can find about the competition and how to enter.

Before reading on you do need to think about the implications of this being a competition with a time limit of four hours for the production of a portrait. This favours some media over others and the fast worker over those who are slower. It therefore cannot be about finding the best portrait artist so much as the one who produces the best work within defined time limits.

About the competition

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 will aim to discover and nurture artists of all capabilities who want to showcase their skills, whether amateur, professional or hobbyist.
The competition invites artists shortlisted from the entries to one of six regional heats over summer 2014.

The heats will take place in:
  • London on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th May
  • Dublin on Sunday 15th June
  • Edinburgh on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th July
  • Cardiff on Sunday 13th July
One change this year is that this year there are six groups of 12 artists rather than four groups of 21 and so the artists will get more of a chance to get to know each other.

The winners from the heats will then take part in more extraordinary portrait challenges with
  • the semi-final to be held in London and 
  • the grand final taking place at the National Portrait Gallery. 
The overall winner will be chosen by the series’ judges together with Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery.

The competition is to be filmed over the summer. The plan is then to broadcast the programmes about the heats and the final on Sky Arts in October (8 x 60 minute series, 1 x 90 minute final, starts October on Sky Arts 1 HD)

What the artist needs to do.... 

  • get selected for a regional heat based on the digital files of their artwork submitted with the entry form
  • produce a portrait at the regional heat of one of three famous sitters - while working in unfamiliar surroundings and less than ideal conditions to a time limit at the same time as they are filmed by TV cameras! 
The judges then choose just one artist to go through to the next round of the competition after viewing the works at the end of each regional heat.

The publicist for the competition sent me this information when I asked them about this
there are breaks around the four hours and the artists can work through their breaks and lunch if they wish and have lunch at their easel so they can get more time. Also the artists have gone through based on their self-portrait and so the day is a process and the judges understand that everyone works differently and the artists will be looking at the techniques, styles, interpretation of the scene and so it the portrait on the day will be as completed as the artist wants it to be.

It’s an enjoyable day (we had nothing but wonderful feedback from the artists that took part last year) and there is pressure but it’s more the pressure that the artists’ put on themselves. The judges are there in a supportive role throughout the day and already love the artists because they have put them through based on their self-portrait already.

What are the prizes?

  • The winner will be awarded a £10,000 major commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The prize commission will be exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and will become part of its permanent art collection.
  • The series finalists will see their work exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery for a month.
  • The winner will also receive a year’s supply of art materials courtesy of leading fine art supplier Cass Art.
In addition I'm told that A lot of artists actually did get commissions and publicity and positive feedback to help their career just by taking part in the competition

Who can enter?

  • Anyone aged 16 and over is invited to apply. If you are aged under 18, parental consent is required.
  • You need to have been resident in the UK for the two years prior to 27 March 2014
  • Winners of the Regional Heats in the 2013 Sky Arts Portrait of the Year, including the overall Competition Winner, are not eligible to enter again.

What to submit?

You need to submit
  • a digital photograph of one self portrait (complete work - not just the bit you like!) that you have completed in the last five years (digital photograph - low resolution jpeg only maximum size 1MB i.e. suitable for viewing on a screen). 
    • The self-portrait can be in any art media other than photography, video, sculpture or any form of digital media. 
    • If selected, you can't enter again with the same self-portrait you used last year.
    • Note that if you are selected the original self-portrait must be provided for the heats event (i.e. it's pointless trying to make your painting look better in the photograph than it really is as they'll doubtless compare your submission to the artwork)
  • a passport sized photo of yourself (no more than 500 kb) (please send no more than one image of each work - images should not exceed 1MB). These should also be jpegs.
  • a photograph of up to two further works of art which need not be portraits (which struck me as pretty silly given this is a portrait competition!)
The size of the artwork entered with the application must not exceed 48”x36” (1220 x 914mm).

How to enter

The information about how to enter can be found on Apply For Portrait Artist 2014 - the really detailed information is on the FAQs page (see below)

Entry is digital in terms of both artwork and entry form.

Given that this is selection by digital photograph, potential entrants need to remember that very often it's the quality of the photographs that decides who gets selected - by which I mean poor photographs of good paintings don't tend to get chosen. Also...
...The image(s) of the Portrait Entry and the Additional Work(s) of Art must not be manipulated in any way and must be of the work of art entered.
You need to:
Deadline for entries: closes at 12pm (midday) on 1st May 2014.

I'd love somebody to explain to me how the following got into the middle of the terms and conditions!!!  See if you can spot it.....
[ wavelength of the lowest UHF and highest VHF radio frequency, 300 MHz]

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014

The following are links to articles and blog posts about last year's competition

1 comment:

  1. I just caught the last episode and was enthralled. I don't want to sign up for sky ..... Do you know if a DVD has been released with past series ? Thanks


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