Monday, July 20, 2015

ING Discerning Eye 2015 - Call for Entries

This is about the Call for Entries for the ING Discerning Eye Competition 2015.

Part of the Call for Entries Leaflet for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2015
This exhibition has increased the number of works exhibited by artists submitting via the open entry. It now deserves to be called a proper art competition!

Below you can find:
  • information about the exhibition - and the percentage of works which come from the open entry
  • a note about the judges - with links to websites
  • a summary of information about prizes
    • a summary of the information for artists e.g. who can enter what etc.
    • information about the deadlines and dates and where to find information about regional collection points
  • links to websites and my blog posts showing images of the art selected and hung in past exhibitions for those unfamiliar with this art competition.
The competition is sponsored by ING Commercial Banking.

ING Discerning Eye 2015 - exhibition, prizes and selection

A view of the exhibition by one of the selectors in 2014 (Mall Galleries)
The Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. Work is selected from open submission and from artists invited by the individual selectors.

Exhibition - Mall Galleries, 12-22 November 2015

An exhibition of the work of selected and invited artists will be held at the Mall Galleries in London from Thursday 12th until Sunday 22rd November 2015.

It will include around 600 works across all three galleries in the Mall Galleries. This is a large exhibition and it gets a lot of visitors.

All selected artists will be invited to a Private View on Thursday 12 November 2015.

The exhibition is unusual due to the nature of the competition.
  • The focus is very much on small works - drawings, paintings, fine art prints and sculpture
  • There are six selectors, each of whom curates a small exhibition of a collection of work they like. 
  • This then creates a large exhibition made up of six smaller exhibitions which reflect the interests and tastes of the individual selectors.
You can read my review of the 2014 exhibition in this post Video of the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2014 - and also access my video of the exhibition!
You can see images from and read my review of the exhibition in earlier years in my blog posts listed at the end of this post.


Artists often think of the ING Discerning Eye as an art competition.  In the past, I began to query this notion as the number of works from the open entry reduced to a quite silly level.  For me an art competition can only be described as such if AT LEAST 50% of the works exhibited arrive via the open entry. I've been campaigning for some time for the percentage of works which come from the open exhibition to be made much more explicit.

In 2014, the message finally got through because everything changed - or maybe more people were saying the same thing! Anyway the numbers became transparent and the ration of open to invited improved enormously!

First the exhibition website makes it very clear that they are committed to taking at least 25% from the open submission.  That's less than the 50% that I'd like to see as the commitment for this exhibition and I'd like to see this benchmark increased in future years to "at least 50%".
The only restrictions are limitation of size (only small works are permitted) and to select at least 25% of their section from the open submission.
Second we now have precise figures for the works and the exhibitors in last year's exhibition which rather surprisingly were not available at the time of the exhibition (hence my comments in my review!):
  • EXHIBITION: 657 works by 317 artists in the 2014 exhibition
  • OPEN ENTRY: 431 works (65%) were by 265 artists (83%) came via from the open submission. (This represents a significant an increase on the 40% from the open entry in the 2013 exhibition)
  • INVITED ARTISTS: 226 works came from artists invited to exhibit by the curators.
That means
  • the open entry is going to be dominated by artists who will have just one work accepted (the average 1.6 works per artist) 
  • the 'artists by invitation' group are much more likely to have multiple works in the exhibition.
I'd suggest that's got implications for the number of works artists submit as part of their entry.  You can submit up to 6 but it's unlikely that you will get more than 2 accepted. I suggest those wanting to submit 6 think very hard about how they look if hung as a group.

The 2015 Panel of Selectors

The 2015 selectors are:
  • ARTISTS (I think this year "designers" might be a more accurate term as both are commercial artists best known as designer/owners of their respective pottery and clothing businesses - although Nicole Farhi stepped down from her business a while back.)
    • Steve Pill - Editor, Artists & Illustrators Magazine
    • Stephen Doherty - Director of Visitor Communications for Somerset House
I wonder who thought it a good idea to have 2 x 'Stephen' and a 'Steve'? ;)


The Prizes on offer this year include
  • the ING Purchase Prize (£5000), 
  • the Discerning Eye Founder’s Purchase Prize in honour of Michael Reynolds (£2500), 
  • Discerning Eye Chairman’s Purchase Prize (£1000), 
  • Meynell Fenton Prize (£1000), 
  • Benton Purchase Prize (£1000); 
  • Discerning Eye Sculpture and 3D Work Prize (£250). 
  • Plus Regional Prizes of £250 awarded to an outstanding entry from each of  the national regions.
In addition, the winning artist is also often asked to have a solo exhibition of their work at the ING offices in the City of London. (This is a blog post about one that I went to - Susan Angharad Williams exhibits at ING)

How to enter the ING Discerning Eye 2015

Deadline for Entries

  • Deadline for entries is in London on 4 and 5 September 2015

Who can enter?

  • artists who were born or are currently resident in the UK

What kind of artwork is eligible?

  • all artwork must be an original creation by the artist. This usually means the artist must be able to assert copyright (i.e. the work is not derivative) and the work has not been copied from another artwork or photograph.
  • Painting, prints, drawing, photography and sculpture are all accepted.
  • Maximum size limit: 20" / 50 cms INCLUDING THE FRAME. Works exceeding these dimension in any direction will be rejected.
Maximum size of work: 2D – 20” x 20” (50 x 50 cm) including frame. 3D – 20” x 20” x 20” (50 x 50 x 50 cm) including base/stand
  • Up to six works can be submitted for competition.
  • All works must be for sale. This is essential / not optional. 

What does it cost?

  • Entry fees are £10 per work. 
  • Commission is charged at 40% + VAT. Price entered on the entry form is the catalogue selling price from which commission and VAT payable is deducted.
  • Delivery of work through a regional collection point involves an additional fee of £8 (inclusive of VAT) per work. All fees are due at the point of submission - paid by cash or by cheque. (I'm assuming this substitutes for the courier fee)

How to enter:

  • Paperwork: Download the documentation for entries that you need directly using these links:
  • complete and sign the entry schedule
  • Provide a digital image of each work. This is NOT for selection purposes - rather it's for inclusion in the online catalogue.
We will need a digital image of your work if it is selected so please provide one for all works being submitted. It will be used for the online gallery on this web site
  • Label each work LEGIBLY in block capitals and attach to work
  • All 2D works should be delivered unwrapped, although corner and edge protection on paintings is permissible.
  • Take your labelled artwork and entry schedule to a regional collection point or 17 Carlton House Terrace by the deadline for that location.
Entry forms and further details are available from:
For any queries please contact Parker Harris
  • on 01372 462190
  • or
  • or Parker Harris, 15 Church Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 8QS. t. 01372 462190

Collection Points and Deadline for entries - London and Regions

This exhibition is one of the best for a good range of collection points for an additional fee of £8 per work. (I think this must be one way only - do check what the return trip costs!)
  • The final hand in days in London are 4 & 5 September 2015
  • Deadline dates and times for the  regional collection points are detailed in the leaflet and on the website
  • Collection points starts on 29 August outside London and includes: 
    • England: A1 Service Areas; Berwick-Upon-Tweed; Birmingham; Bristol; Doncaster; Exeter; Kendal; M74 & M6 Service Areas; Manchester; Newcastle; Norwich; Penzance; Plymouth; Southampton
    • Scotland: Edinburgh, Errol, near Perth/Dundee, Glasgow Stirling Service Area
    • Wales: Cardiff; 

Archive of information about the ING Discerning Eye exhibitions and artists

You can see images of works selected in past exhibitions in the archive.

  • All past exhibitions are archived here. 
  • Since 2008, the archive has included images of all works. 
  • The archive is indexed by both artist and selector and there is a full site index available too.

You can also find out about selected artists - and see their websites - and see what the artwork actually looked like hung on the wall in previous exhibitions in my blog posts below.


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