Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Call for Entries: Virtual ING Discerning Eye 2020

The deadline for the call for entries for the brand new version of the ING Discerning Eye in 2020 is 1st October.

This post highlights what is the same and what is different in 2020 and - in the absence of lots of things to say about submitting art - I've turned this call for entries into a bit of a profile of the selectors!

since our first exhibition in 1990 - over thirteen thousand works by about four thousand artists.


What stays the same in 2020

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition in 2020 will:
  • include only works constrained by size i.e. only small works are permitted (it must be less than 20 inches (50cm) in its greatest dimension.)
  • which MUST be an original creation by the artist
  • comprise works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world
    • two artists,
    • two collectors and
    • two critics
  • each selector is solely responsible for their own selection
  • be OPEN to all artists resident in the UK
  • can submit up to six original works
  • all artwork MUST be for sale

Plus the Call For Entries site will be via ArtOpps

What will be different in 2020

For the first time in its history, this year's edition of the ING Discerning Eye will be held 100% virtually, helping artists display their work online! Now more than ever, the ING Discerning Eye is committed to helping artists increase their visibility among peers and collectors and to giving creatives a platform to grow.

  • The Selection will be entirely DIGITAL
  • each selector's chosen works will comprise at least 25% from the open entry. AT LAST!  A statement about percentages! (i.e. this exhibition may have always been open entry however it was very questionable whether the open entry was funding an exhibition by selectors' luvvies. Some selectors in the past have been utterly shameless in the past about selecting work by friends or people they have taught - and I have been repeatedly very critical of the lack of transparency which for me has verged on the legally doubtful!)
  • the Exhibition will be VIRTUAL - rather than at the Mall Galleries, In this context it's following in the footsteps of the Lynn-Painter Stainers Competition - which this year has decided to go online minus prizes plus all proceeds to charities supported.
  • the virtual exhibition will be LONGER - from 19 November until 31 December 2020 - and will be available 24/7 during that period for all those interested in viewing and/or purchasing artworks.
  • All exhibiting artists will be included in a fully illustrated print catalogue - which is a first!

The Prizes

Prizes selected by the Prize Givers

  • ING Purchase Prize* – £5000
  • Meynell Fenton Prize* – £1000
  • Humphreys Purchase Prize* – £750
  • Parker Harris Mentoring Prize*: Parker Harris will give a one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.

Prizes are selected by members of the Discerning Eye Educational Board

  • The Discerning Eye Founder’s Purchase Prize (In honour of Michael Reynolds) £2500
  • The Discerning Eye Chairman’s Purchase Prize – £1000
  • Discerning Eye Sculpture and 3D Work Prize – £250
  • Discerning Eye Original Print Prize – £250
  • Regional Prizes – Up to 8 prizes of £250 each awarded to an outstanding entry from the national regions

The Selectors

The Artists, Collectors and Critics - guess which is which!

The Selectors are listed below - in the three categories. 

I'm always fascinated by the information Parker Harris leaves out of the profiles on the General Info Page - so you get more info when you read my blog post!

I recommend you have a very good look at their websites. No harm in working out what sort of artwork might be favoured by the different individuals.  


Two artists with a strong emphasis on figures in their artwork.  THAT'S A HINT!
  • Dale Lewis @dalelewis80 - a painter based in London and inspired by contemporary urban life (although his version of urban life is very different to that of many people living in urban areas - unless your life is much like the inside of the head of Hieronymus Bosch!). His work has been exhibited by Saatchi Gallery and Edel Assanti and featured in publications such as Dazed, Frieze, and The New York Times. His website does not include a bio or statement section - but you'll find this a-n interview informative A Q&A with… Dale Lewis, painter and Jerwood Fellow
  • David Remfry MBE RA @david_remfry_ra - a contemporary British painter and curator with a career of 30+ years.  He was elected a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1987. In 2001 he was awarded an MBE for services to British Art in America. In 2006 he was elected a Member of the Royal Academy of Arts and has been the Eranda Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy Schools since 2016. David has shown in over 50 international solo exhibitions at MoMA P.S.1, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, plus produced commissions for Stella McCartney and for Absolut Vodka. He seems rather interested in drawing dogs too.....

David Remfry RA on his portraits of people and their dogs from Royal Academy of Arts on Vimeo.


  • Beverley Knight @beverleyknight - Known as the “queen of British soul”, Beverley Knight MBE is a recording artist and musical theatre actress whose career spans over 25 years. She had her portrait painted three times in Episode 4 of the 2019 edition of Portrait Artist of the Year - and was painted by the winner of the heat!
  • Mervyn Metcalf @mervdm - A banker by trade, Mervyn is an art collector by passion. His collection includes works by Ryan McGinley, Sam Mckinniss, Matthew Stone, TM Davy, Eric Yahnker and Stuart Sandford. His profile on his business website states. Interestingly he has not yet mastered the art of including an image on a tweet!
Mervyn is an avid collector of contemporary art, particularly younger British and American artists, with a particular focus on portrature.


  • Jo Baring @jobaringart - Jo is a curator, consultant and arts speaker and a former Director of Christie’s UK. She is also the Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art (the largest privately owned and publicly exhibited collection of Modern British Art in the U.K.), a board member of Women of the Year, a fellow at the RSA, and a trustee at Artists' Collecting Society and ArtCan. She also curated the inaugural Sculpture Series at the Masterpiece Fair in 2019. This is an interview with her by Apollo Magazine

  • Tabish Khan @londonartcritic - Known as the “people’s art critic”, he aims to demystify exhibitions and make art accessible. He's an art critic specialising in London's art scene, covering both contemporary and historical exhibitions. He visits and writes about hundreds of exhibitions a year covering everything from the major blockbusters to the emerging art scene. Tabish has been the visual arts editor for Londonist since 2013. and speaks on television and at art events plus writes articles for various media. He's judged prizes before - but nothing as prestigious as this exhibition.
Of all the selectors the three I think I'm probably most interested to see what David Remfry, Jo Baring and Tabish Khan choose - but I'm interested in anybody who does not waste the opportunity of the open entry to give a good artist a break!

View this post on Instagram

Enter the #INGDiscerningEye 2020! The ING Discerning Eye is an annual show of small works renowned for its commitment to championing emerging artists and its unique curatorial approach. Entering the ING Discerning Eye exhibition is an opportunity for artists to be selected by leading figures from the art world, reach new audiences around the globe, get discovered by collectors, show and sell your work alongside established names, boost your artistic career... and last but not least, to join the ING Discerning Eye network of artists and art lovers. A panel of six prominent art world figures - two artists, two collectors and two critics - select works of art for the exhibition. This year, our selectors are artists @dalelewis80 & @david_remfry_ra, art critics @jobaringart (Co-host @sculptinglives and Director @ingramcollectionuk) & @londonartcritic (visual arts writer for @londonist_com and @worldoffad), and art collectors @beverleyknight & @mervdm. To show your work to this prestigious panel, exhibit your art online, and win a range of cash prizes, you are invited to enter online by 1 October 2020, 5pm. Please visit #ingdisceye #openartexhibition #openexhibition #britishartists #ukartists #ukartist #ukpainters #ukpainter #ukpainting #uksculptor #ukprintmaker #ukprintmakers #scottishartists #irishartists #welshartist #welshartists #englishartist #englishartists #artprize #artprizes #artistopportunity #artistopportunities #artopportunity #callforentry #callforentries #callforartists #callforartist #callforart #artopps

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How to Enter

What you need to know

READ CAREFULLY the Rules and Guidelines for the Ing Discerning Eye Open Entry 2020
  • all artwork must be an original creation by the artist. This usually means THAT
    • the work has not been copied from another artwork or photograph.
    • the artist must be able to assert copyright (i.e. the work is not derivative)
  • Painting, prints, drawing, photography and sculpture are all accepted. 
This is the Online Entry Form - which you need to complete

The deadline for Entries is 5pm on 1st October 2020.

You will be notified of the results of the selection via email in the week commencing 12 October 2020.  There is no discussion about decisions made - and you don't receive any feedback.

The Costs

The fee for entering is £10 per artwork (i.e. £60 for six artworks)

COMMISSION: If you sell an artwork the commission charged is 40%

More about the ING Discerning Eye 

The Discerning Eye website maintains an archive of:
The following are all posts about the ING Discerning Eye competition/exhibition on Making A Mark over the last 12 years.


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