Sunday, January 20, 2019

Call for Entries: Portrait Artist of the Year 2020

You have a month to enter sky arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2020. The deadline for entries to this prestigious art competition with a £10,000 commission first prize is 22nd February 2019

The benefits of entering Portrait Artist of the Year 

Benefits include:

  • the chance to win a £10,000 commission for a portrait of a well known figure for a major British institution 
  • £500 of art materials from Cass Art 
  • becoming a well known name - due to the fact that 
  • it's the most popular art programme on television - and there are LOTS of people watching 
  • being watched by LOTS of people - and raising your profile if you impress those viewing 
  • facing a challenge you're unlikely to experience again 
  • becoming part of the community of artists who've "got the T shirt" 
The less wonderful side of entering
  • you fancied being on the box so you could tell all your friends about it 
  • being watched by LOTS of people 
  • AND regretting that you ever entered because 
    • you didn't do your homework 
    • you didn't practise in advance working to 3 hours (i.e. nobody gets 4 hours!) 
    • your portrait was a mess and looked awful 
The Producer accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by You as a result of Your entering into the Competition.
So what's the worst that can happen if you enter - apart from the above?

This is how a reject letter reads

Dear Artist

Thank you for your application to Portrait Artist of the Year 2019.

We have received even more applications this year. The judges have now examined every single submission, and have been more impressed than ever with the standard of the artwork. As always, their job whittling these down to a shortlist of just 72 artists to take part in 8 heats has not been an easy one, but on this occasion we regret to inform you that your application has not been successful.

Due to increasing popularity with the public it has been necessary this year to ticket the heats at the Wallace Collection in London and all the sessions are now fully booked. If you are not attending the heats we sincerely hope you will tune in to watch the new series when it transmits on Sky Arts in January 2019, and also be inspired to enter again next year.

Don’t forget the deadline for Landscape Artist of the Year 2018 is 11th May, so there is still time to submit your application!

We hugely appreciate the time and effort you put in to enter our competition, and commiserate that this isn’t the news you’d hoped to receive. Without your enthusiasm and talent this would be a very different series.

As a small thanks we have also attached a voucher for Cass Arts.

With very best wishes we thank you again for your interest in and support of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year.

The Portrait Artist of the Year team

What's it like on the day? AND if you don't get selected to progress in the competition

This is a very good blog post by somebody who participated in 2017 - on the day I watched - re the 2018 contest, shown earlier this year on Sky Arts channel. It explains who the whole day works and what are the challenges that artists have to deal with.

....and now you've got that out of the way you can get on with the business of applying for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2020!

Here's how to enter

This is a summary of:
  • PROCESS: how the competition works
  • Who can enter 
  • Portrait Artist of the Year 20209 - before the deadline for filming in April 2019 
  • Plus TIPS on how to enhance your entry. 
You can also follow Sky Arts’ Twitter and Facebook page for updates.

Portrait Artist of the Year - Process

In outline, this is how the competition works from the call to entries to the broadcast of the final programme in March 2019.
  • Closing Date for Entries - deadline 12pm (midday) on Friday, 22nd February 2019(a month earlier than last year).
  • Selection of artists from the entry submissions to participate in the Heats (9 artists per Heat) 
  • Notification: Successful entrants (“Shortlisted Artists”) will be notified of the result of their entry on or shortly following 11th March 2019 
    • shortlisted artist i.e. you will be allocated a heat and a date 
    • you may be asked to be Reserve Shortlisted Artist - a number of standby artists may take the place of a Shortlisted Artist if they are no longer able to take part 
    • non-successful entrants 
  • Filming of Portrait Artist of the Year will take place in April/May 2019 on weekdays at the Battersea Arts Centre in London, from the 2nd April to the 11th April.
    • Take your unframed self-portrait and painting kit (and possibly additional artworks) to the Heat - All short-listed artists must be able to transport the self-portrait to the heat as the self-portrait forms part of the judging process. All paintings are handed over for the duration of the making and screening of the programme i.e. you won't get them back until Summer 2020 
    • Episodes 1-6 - Heats filmed at a venue where the public can also watch. 
    • Episode 7 - Six Heat Winners meet for the Semi-Final 
    • Episode 8 - The Final culminating in the announcement of the winner 
    • Episode 9 - A programme about "the artist of the year journey" and painting the commission. 
    • The programmes are presented by Stephen Mangan (his first portrait artist series) and Joan Bakewell. The latter is in her 80s and had been a leading figure in the arts for nearly six decades. 
  • You have to paint a portrait from life in a maximum of 4 hours over a period of 6 hours. The sessions are typically 45 minutes long before a short break (plus a longer break for lunch). The reality is you get a lot less than 4 hours because of filming. 
  • The Judging Panel has stayed consistent for four series. The Judges are:
    • award-winning portrait painter Tai Shan Schierenberg
    • independent curator and Chair of the Board of the Liverpool Biennial Kathleen Soriano (who also used to be the Head of Exhibitions & Collection at the National Portrait Gallery and Director of Exhibitions at the RA) and 
    • British art historian, curator and arts broadcaster Kate Bryan
The panel of Judges may take the Shortlisted Artists’ Portrait Entry(s) and their Additional Works of Art into consideration during this judging process, and all of the criteria for judging and the decisions of the Judges shall be at the discretion of the Judges and the Producer and shall not be not open to dispute or discussion.
  • Finalists are asked to complete a further two Portraits - one in the two weeks before the Final and the other at the Final at a location in London (2019 was at the National Portrait Gallery - and I watched it!)
  • Final Judging - The panel of Judges may take the Finalists previous work in the Competition into consideration during this judging process
  • The Winner must be available between the Final Date and 31st August 2019 to produce the Winner’s Prize Artwork (i.e. the commission) on exact dates to be determined by the Producer.
  • Screening of the programme starts in January or February 2020 
  • The Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 Winners Exhibition will be held at a location to be decided on dates to be decided.

Who can enter

The Competition is open to all artists – amateur, professional or hobbyists - but there are some restrictions.

You can ONLY enter if YOU are:
  • aged 16 or over as at 17th October 2018 
  • in good health 
  • have been LEGALLY resident in the UK, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland for AT LEAST one year on 17th October 2018 
  • a holder of a valid passport. 
You will, upon request, provide the Producer with supporting documentation in order to substantiate this, and will immediately notify the Producer of any change in Your immigration or residential status. Terms and Conditions
Those aged who are not yet 18 years old MUST ALSO have parents who provide
  • written agreement to you entering 
  • written consent to you being filmed prior to filming. 
  • accompany you at all filming - or send a nominated adult. 
Note People can help you with the entry process but it must be YOUR ENTRY. This is NOT a competition where your Mum, your best mate or your spouse can enter you without you knowing! 

You are NOT able to enter if you have been a finalist or winner of ANY previous Artist of the Year competition run by Sky Arts (i.e. portrait or landscape).
Finalists and Winners of the 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 television series (“Artist of the Year Series”) are not eligible to enter the Competition.

How to get yourself disqualified 

You will be disqualified if
  • Your entry is incomplete;
  • You do not meet the entry criteria;
  • You are not eligible to enter the Competition;
  • You cannot be contacted;
  • You do not respond within 48 hours of being contacted by  the programme makers in relation to your Competition entry; or
  • You are not reasonably available to participate in the Series in accordance with the production requirements of the Series.

How to enter

Make sure you get your entry right first time! 

This is what you need to do:
  • YOU need to complete/submit the online application form - read it all through first before you try to complete it. 
  • YOU need to upload digital images (low resolution JPEG - I suggest 150dpi - no less than 800KB and ideally no more than 1.5MB) of paintings created by YOU. These are: 
    • a self-portrait, created in the last 5 years - measuring 1220 x 914 mm (48” x 36”) MINUS frame. (one image only - and your photo also needs to show the entire portrait and exclude the frame). 
    • All normal drawing and painting media plus Collage and Mixed media works are allowed. Photography, video, sculpture and all forms of digital media are EXCLUDED. 
    • one image only of another portrait - ideally from life and MINUS frame 
    • an OPTIONAL further image of another painting. Make sure both the work and the photo is good. 
    • The images of the Self Portrait Entry and the Additional Works of Art must not be manipulated in any way and must be of the work of art entered. 
    • One passport style photograph of yourself (maximum size of 500 kb). This is where it's worth practising looking photogenic for the cameras rather than "startled in the headlights / practising for a mugshot" 
Note any previous applicants who were selected can only reapply if they submit a BRAND NEW self-portrait.

Those who have applied before and not been selected are advised to think about painting a new portrait.

TIP - do NOT recycle your application from last time. That's just guaranteed to irritate the judges and ensure you waste your entry fee!

Sky Arts has some advice about how to photograph your art. Your self-portrait (and any other images of portraits MUST be well-lit, composed, and show any detail such as brushstrokes and mark-making.

The emphasis on YOU means that only YOU can enter unless you are under 18 in which case your parents need to complete and submit the entry. (You can help them!)

You will also be asked to
  • describe yourself as an artist and your background (and be careful - they'll read out what you've written on air!) 
  • detail whether you have entered or won any other art competitions - and how far you got. 
  • state details of any television programme you've been on before 
  • explain why you painted your self-portrait and HOW you painted it (less than 1,000 characters i.e. review/revise/edit until you do yourself justice)

    Heats in April 2019 / Filming open to the public

    The competition invites artists shortlisted from the entries to attend and paint at one of the eight heats in London in April 2019.
    “Portrait Artist of the Year brings together some of the most talented painters with some of the most striking personalities. We see artists use brush, paint, pastels, charcoal to capture the elusive beauty of people whose faces we think we know. But art reveals more: and in each programme we watch it happen.”  Joan Bakewell
    Sky will be filming all eight heats of the Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 in "a London location" (to be decided) during April 2019 on the following dates. All the heats are open to the public.
    1. Heat 1 – Tuesday 2nd April 2019
    2. Heat 2 – Wednesday 3rd April 2019
    3. Heat 3 - Thursday 4th April 2019
    4. Heat 4 – Friday 5th April 2019
    5. Heat 5 – Monday 8th April 2019
    6. Heat 6 – Tuesday 9th April 2019
    7. Heat 7 - Wednesday 10th April 2019
    8. Heat 8 - Thursday 11th April 2019
    However dates may be altered to take account of the needs of production.
    The Producer agrees that it will meet Your reasonable travel and sundry expenses to attend any dates and locations requested pursuant to this paragraph 34 only, subject always to agreeing such expenses with the Producer in advance.
    Shortlisted Artists will be asked to produce an artwork depicting a Portrait of a Sitter allocated by the Producer (i.e. you don't get to choose!)
    The Shortlisted Artists will have a maximum of 4 hours over a 6 hour period (or such other period as the Producer at its discretion may determine) to complete their Heat Artwork.
    Your painting is judged on the results produced at the end of heat, whether you think the artwork to be finished or not.  In terms of the shortlist of three, the self-portrait will also be taken into account. 
    The panel of Judges may take the Shortlisted Artists’ Portrait Entry(s) and their Additional Works of Art into consideration during this judging process, and all of the criteria for judging and the decisions of the Judges shall be at the discretion of the Judges and the Producer and shall not be not open to dispute or discussion.
    Hence the self-portrait you send in with your entry is really important:
    it's going to be a key reason why you got selected for the Heats
    • it might help you become the Heat Winner 
    • if there's a major discrepancy between the self-portrait and the portrait produced in the Heat, you are unlikely to proceed further - unless you do even better than expected! One aspect of the "quid pro quo" for the celebrity sitters is that they each get to choose one of the finished portraits to keep for themselves (on permanent load) – regardless of whether that artist went through to the next stage. So even if you don't get through you may be able to say your paintings is now in the sitter's collection. 
    It can change your life even if you don't get to the final!

    The Semi Final and Final

    Provisional dates for the Semi Final and Final - at a location somewhere in London - are as follows
    • Semi Final - Tuesday 30th April 2019 (may involve filming during May 2019 on up to two days)
    • Final - Tuesday 28th May 2019
    If You are chosen as a Semi-Finalist or Finalist and are asked to travel away from home or are invited to attend the Final, the Producer shall supply and pay for Your reasonable and pre-agreed travel and hotel costs plus a daily allowance of £25 per day, or part thereof.
    The Semi Finalists will consist of the winners of each of the Heats
    All Semi-Finalists shall be on an equal basis with an equal chance of reaching and winning the Final.

    Finalists are asked to complete a further two Portraits
    These are:
    • to be produced within a 2 week period with sitter, dates and timings determined by the Producer 
    • an artwork created and filmed at a location in London on Tuesday 28th May 2019
    The winner must then agree to be available between the Final and 31st August 2019 to produce the Winner’s Prize Artwork - and a documentary on exact dates to be determined by the Producer.

    My best wishes if you do decide to have a go. You are advised to read all the terms and conditions at least twice!

    For example - note that this is very definitely not a competition for showoffs and blabbermouths!
    You will not without the Producer’s or Sky’s prior written consent disclose, publicise or discuss with any third party and/or otherwise publish or transmit (on any platform, including all forms of social media) any information or photographs relating to Your application or the Series, Your appearance or participation in or contribution to the Series, the production team or any participants in the Series nor any other information which may come to Your attention (including without limitation in relation to the Producer or Sky or otherwise) save where such information is already public knowledge. Breach of confidentiality is a serious matter and the Producer reserves the right to disqualify You if You disclose any confidential information.
    So even though I didn't enter, I'm sitting on all my photos of the 2019 Final until it's been broadcast! ;)


    This is probably the most important post for all those who don't have Sky - it's how I watch the competition
    These are previous posts about the competition
    Including my reviews of the competition last year as it was broadcast
    plus previous posts re other years

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