Tuesday, June 07, 2016

ING Discerning Eye 2016 - Call for Entries

This is about the Call for Entries for the 25th ING Discerning Eye Competition in 2016.

ING Discerning Eye Call for Entries Leaflet
Cover of the ING Discerning Eye Call for Entries Leaflet
Below you can find:
  • information about the exhibition
  • 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 - and reasons to enter!

A view of part of the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition in 2015

About the Exhibition

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world

The exhibition is unusual for a number of reasons
  • You only have to please one selector to get selected
  • The exhibition is actually six small curated exhibitions by two artists, two art collectors and two art critics - who are the selectors and who operate independently.
  • The selectors can also invite artists whose work they like as well as selecting artists from the open entry. This sometimes works to the disadvantage of the open entry if certain selectors have lean very heavily towards artists they favour and have invited to exhibit (as has happened on occasion in the past eg one educator selected all her students!)
  • The exhibition provides a rare opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be hung alongside contributions from internationally recognised names. 
  • The focus is very much on small works - drawings, paintings, fine art prints and sculpture
  • the six individual curated exhibitions tend to be diverse as they represent the individual interests, taste and style of the individual curators
  • It's a very large exhibition with c.600 small artworks spread across all three galleries in the Mall Galleries.
The 2016 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition will be open to the public at the Mall Galleries on Thursday 17 November and run until Sunday 27 November. Admission is free - and it's certainly an exhibition that I recommend people going to see.

 All selected artists will be invited to a Private View on 17 November 2016.


The prizes are:
  • ING Purchase Prize £5000 Discerning Eye Founder’s Purchase Prize in honour of Michael Reynolds 
  • £2500 Discerning Eye Chairman’s Purchase Prize 
  • £1000 Meynell Fenton Prize 
  • £1000 Humphreys Purchase Prize 
  • £750 Wright Purchase Prize 
  • £500 Discerning Eye Sculpture and 3D Work Prize 
  • £250 Regional Entry Prizes - Up to 8 prizes of £250 each awarded to an outstanding entry in the national regions

The Curators / Selection Panel

The 2016 selectors - who will each curate a mini exhibition - are as follows. The link in their name is to their website or information about them on the internet.


  • Dan Coombs - British artist b.1971. He paints and produces collages. Figurative rather than representational or realistic is probably the best shorthand one word description.
  • Chris Orr MBE, RA - English artist b. 1943. Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art 1998-2008.  He exhibited worldwide and published over 400 limited edition prints in lithography, etching and silkscreen.  His website summarises him as a painter, printmaker, draughtsman and teacher. 

Art Collectors

  • Celia Imrie - b.1952 a witty English actress with brilliant timing much associated with Victoria Wood. A very long list of intrinsically English (and sometimes batty) films, television shows, etc. I'm looking forward to seeing what she chooses.
  • Ian Mayes QC - Called to the bar in 1974.  Took silk in 1993. His Legal 500 profile suggests he likes Photography and Contemporary art. He's
    Chairman, Art First Ltd – contemporary art gallery and was Chairman, Development Appeal for Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge University

Art Critics

  • Michael Glover - an author, London-based poet, fiction writer and magazine editor and art critic of The Independent - this is what he chooses to write about (or is asked to write about). I must confess I'm always a bit wary of those who like writing and choose to do a bit of art criticism on the side.  This is his official blog which oddly has very little content for a writer.
  • Sacha Craddock - variously described as an independent art critic, writer, curator and lecturer based in London. Prior to this she gained a degree (Central St Martins)  and postgraduate degree in painting (Chelsea School of Art). She was a co-founder and curator of Bloomberg Space 2002- 2011 and is an active Chair of the Board of New Contemporaries from 1996 which supports emerging art practice from British Art Schools. She also works as a post-graduate tutor / Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

Reasons to enter

Here's my summary of the reasons to enter
  • Six people are choosing work - and they don't have to agree! You only have to please one of the six. That means that the work selected for this exhibition is often very diverse. 
  • It's a very large exhibition - it fills the Mall Galleries.
  • It gets a lot of visitors - so provides a very good chance of getting your work seen by a wide range of people interested in art.
  • Since all the work entered must be relatively small works there's often quite a lot of sales as prices tend to be reasonable.
  • It's one of the more prestigious art competitions in the UK. Which means getting selected looks good on your CV!

Are you likely to get selected?

In 2015, 52% of the works on show in the 2015 Discerning Eye Exhibition were from open submission artists. 

Is your artwork likely to sell?

In 2015, 64% of the works sold were by open submission artists.

Note that work not sold at the exhibition will remain for sale on the website until 2 January 2017.

My favourite piece in 2015. The inside is gold.Bowl (2015) by Hitomi Hosono | ceramic | £3,900

Call for Entries

The really important information is highlighted in red below.

Who can enter?
  • ONLY 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 inches / 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
  • All works must be for sale. This is essential / not optional. 
  • Up to six works can be submitted for competition.

What sort of framing is acceptable?

  • There are very specific requirements as to framing and presentation for hanging. Don't let your work get rejected because you didn't read the small print!
Frames and mounts of unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the selectors’ judgement.

What does it cost?

  • Entry fees are £12 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.

How to enter

Deadline for Entries

  • Deadline for entries is 5pm on 3 September 2016(They've actually included two dates in the leaflet at one place in the leaflet - but that's not how a deadline works! A deadline is a time on one date only. I've gone for the later of the two dates. By implication the deadline is 5pm - because that's what it says on the leaflet in connection with deliveries). 
  • There are earlier deadlines for those wanting to submit their work via a regional entry.

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.
  • 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: www.parkerharris.co.uk
  • For further details or any queries please contact Parker Harris 
    • on 01372 462190
    • or de@parkerharris.co.uk
    • or Parker Harris, 15 Church Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 8QS

How do I submit / deliver work?

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!)

  • You can submit direct to the Mall Galleries on 2nd - 3rd September 2016
  • NEW Picture Post are offering a Submission by Post service, the deadline for which will be Tuesday 30 August. 
  • 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) and all dates for delivery to specific points are before September and are are detailed in the leaflet
  • Collection points starts on 27 August outside London and includes: 
    • England: A1 Service Areas; Berwick-Upon-Tweed; Birmingham; Bristol; Doncaster; Exeter; Kendal; Manchester; Newcastle; Norwich; Penzance; Plymouth; Southampton
    • Scotland: Edinburgh; Errol, near Perth/Dundee; Glasgow 
    • Wales: Cardiff; 
    • Motorways: M74 & M6 Service Areas


In my blog posts listed below you can:
  • find out about selected artists - and see their websites 
  • see what the artwork actually looked like hung on the wall in previous exhibitions 


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