UK Art Competitions 2020

By January 20th, 2020 Competitions

Our pick of the biggest and best UK Art Competitions 2020 with dates, deadlines, prizes and entry fees…

Art competitions are not for everyone. Hockney once quipped that ‘you wouldn’t call Picasso an award-winning artist, would you?’ Art awards neither make good artists nor confirm bad ones. What they do attest is that a selection of judges like the work – and, if the art gods are smiling, hand over a hefty cheque to prove it.

If you can afford the Entry Fees and maintain a zen-like tranquillity if your work doesn’t make the cut then you’re all set enter these UK art competitions. If your work does get selected then an exciting exhibition awaits and you can practice that astonished winner’s acceptance speech. Fingers crossed…

Competitions are listed in chronological order by submission deadline date.

Contemporary Young Artist Award

Contemporary Young Artist Award

Artists 35 years old or younger working in the UK can submit work for the chance to win £2000 and exhibit work at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.

Deadline:26th January 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:31st January 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £2,000 (and solo show at The Biscuit Factory)
Exhibition:The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle (opens 6th March 2020)
Medium:Painting, photography, original handmade prints, sculpture, glass, ceramics, textiles.
Eligibility:UK based artists (35 years and under)
Entry Fee:Free (maximum of 3 artworks)
Website:thebiscuitfactory.com

Dare Art Prize

Dare Art Prize

Challenging artists and scientists to collaborate on new approaches to the creative process, awarded by the University of Leeds and Opera North.

Deadline:30th January 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:13th February 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £15,000 (£10,000 bursary, £5,000 for resources)
Residency:The Tetley, Leeds (September 2020)
Medium:Any artform or channel – a performance, a poem, an interactive website or a song cycle for example.
Eligibility:UK based artists
Entry Fee:No entry fee (submit 500 word proposal)
Website:dareyou.org.uk

Broomhill National Sculpture Prize

Broohmill National Sculpture Prize

With a prize fund of £15,000 this an exciting challenge for 10 new and emerging UK based sculptors to propose new works for Broomhill Sculpture Gardens.

Deadline:31st January 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:March 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £3,500 (plus winning artwork turned into limited edition print, also London exhibition)
  • Public Prize: £1,500
  • Sculptor Prizes: £1,000 (10 x £1,000 prizes to create proposed sculptures)
Exhibition:Broomhill Sculpture Gardens, North Devon (Summer 2020)
Theme:“The art of diversity.” How do you see and experience diversity in your city?
Medium:Sculpture
Eligibility:UK based artists (currently studying art or within 10 years of graduation)
Entry Fee:£20 (maximum of one sculpture proposal)
Website:http://www.broomhillart.co.uk

John Byrne Award

The John Byrne Award

On a mission to become the largest and most inclusive arts competition in Scotland rewarding creativity and curiosity with quarterly and annual awards.

Deadline:31st January 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:Announced February 2020
Prizes:
  • Annual Prize: £7500 (quarterly entries are automatically entered for annual award in January)
  • Quarterly Prize: £500 (quarterly prizes of £500 in April, July, and October)
Theme:Encourage the questioning and development of values appropriate to our modern age.
Medium:All disciplines from visual art to written work, film & musical composition.
Eligibility:Scottish based artists (16+)
Website:johnbyrneaward.org.uk

Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020

Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020

Entering its sixth year, with an increased prize fund of £10,000, the Ashurst Prize is open for entries to artists working across all genres, styles and backgrounds.

Deadline:2nd February 2020 date extended!
Shortlist:Early April 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £3,000 (plus £500 Cass Art voucher)
  • Sculpture Award: £1,750 (plus £250 Cass Art voucher)
  • Choice Award: £1,500 (plus £250 Cass Art voucher)
  • Photography Award: £1,500 (voucher from Genesis Imaging)
  • New Media Art Award: £1,500 (cash prize)
  • Exhibitions: 3 month shows in London
  • Group Show: for 25 Shortlisted Artists, Apr–Aug 2020
Exhibition:Ashurst London HQ (Sep-Dec 2020)
Medium:Any medium excluding performance
Eligibility:UK & International artists (no age restrictions)
Entry Fee:£20 for 1st artwork (£10 per additional artwork, max 5.)
Website:artprize.co.uk

Portrait Artist of the Year 2021

Portrait Artist of the Year 2021

If you’re game for taking part in the biennial portrait painting series on Sky Arts then filming takes place at Battersea Arts Centre a year before broadcast.

Deadline:7th February 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:24th February 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize Commission: £10,000 (plus £500 art materials from Cass Art)
Filming:24th March – 2nd April 2020
Medium:Any material excluding photography, video, sculpture and digital media.
Eligibility:UK Residents (for at least year, over 16)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (1 maximum)
Website:skyartsartistoftheyear.tv

Wildlife Artist Of The Year

Wildlife Artist of the Year

Established in 2008 the awards has raised more than £1.2m to fund David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and celebrate our planet’s wildlife.

Deadline:10th February 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:Dates to be announced
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £10,000 (plus £7,000 portrait commission)
  • Runner Up: £1,000 (plus £7,000 portrait commission)
  • Category Winners: £500 (Earth’s Wild Beauty, Animal Behaviour, Into the Blue, Urban Wildlife, Vanishing Fast, Wings)
Exhibition:Mall Galleries, London (26-31 May 2020)
Medium:Any medium excluding photography, film and digitally created images.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£25 (£10 each for DSWF Members, 17-25 yr olds and over 60s. Up to 5 works maximum.)
Website:davidshepherd.org

The Royal Scottish Academy of Art - Open Exhibition

RSA Annual Exhibition 2020

Now in its 194th year this Edinburgh exhibition has evolved over the years, showcasing Scottish art alongside invited international artists.

Deadline:12th February 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:21st February
Prizes:
  • W Gordon Smith Award: £3,000
  • Lyon & Turnbull Prize: £1,000
  • And several other prizes based on 2019 awards
Exhibition:Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (28 March – 3 May 2020)
Medium:All media (Works must be for sale, 40% commission charge + VAT)
Eligibility:UK & International artists (able to drop off chosen work in Edinburgh)
Entry Fee:£15 per work, £10 students (max 2)
Website:royalscottishacademy.org

Derwent Art Prize

Derwent Art Prize

An annual prize totalling £12,500 showcasing the best 2D & 3D artworks created in pencil or coloured pencil, water soluble, pastel, graphite or charcoal.

Deadline:17th February 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:2nd March 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £4,000 (plus up to £600 of Derwent products)
  • Second Prize: £2,000
  • Young Artist First Prize: £4,000 (25 years and under)
  • Young Artist Second Prize: £2,000
  • People’s Choice Award: £500
Exhibition:Gallery@Oxo, London (22 Apr – 4 May 2020)
Medium:2D & 3D artworks created in pencil or coloured pencil as well as water soluble, pastel, graphite and charcoal.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£15 for first work (£5 for each additional entry, maximum 6)
Website:derwent-artprize.com

Summer Exhibition 2020

RA Summer Exhibition 2020

The largest open-submission art exhibition in the world. Limited to 12,000 total entries (yep, they all fill up!) and a prize fund of £73,000.

Deadline:17th February 2020 opens 6th January
Shortlist:1st round mid March, 2nd round late May 2020
Prizes:
  • Charles Wollaston Award: £25,000
  • Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture: £10,000
  • Jerwood London Original Print Fair Prize: £10,000
  • British Institution Awards for Students: £5,000 + £3,000
  • Hugh Casson Drawing Prize: £5,000
Exhibition:Royal Academy, London (Summer 2020)
Medium:Any media.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£35 per entry (2 maximum)
Website:summer.royalacademy.org.uk/

World Illustration Awards

World Illustration Awards

The World Illustration Awards has ten categories from Exploration to Editorial, Site Specific to Science & Technology, Book Covers to Children’s Publishing.

Deadline:18th February 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:April/May 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £2,000 (plus two-page marketing package in the Directory of Illustration)
  • New Talent Winner: £1,000
Exhibition:Elephant West, London (October 2020)
Medium:Any medium.
Eligibility:Current student, recent graduate or professional illustrator based anywhere in the world (over 18)
Entry Fee:£29 for one entry (up to 5 images for £49)
Website:theaoi.com

New English Art Club - Open Competition

New English Art Club Annual Exhibition

Annual exhibition celebrating figurative, observational and painterly work with a strong emphasis on drawing.

Deadline:28th February 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:6th March 2020
Prizes:
  • Doreen McIntosh Prize: £5,000
  • Bowyer Drawing Prize: £1,000
  • Winsor & Newton Award: £500
  • Jackson’s Art Supplies Prize: £300
  • NEAC Critics’ Prize: £250
Exhibition:Mall Galleries, London (12-20th June 2020)
Medium:Paintings, drawings, pastels, original framed prints (excluding photography and sculpture).
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£18 per work, £12 if under 35 (max 3)
Website:mallgalleries.org.uk

Jackson's Painting Prize

Jackson’s Painting Prize

Open to artists of all ages this brilliantly run art competition showcases original, 2-dimensional fine art works in any painting or drawing media.

Deadline:4th March 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:17th March 2020
Prizes:
  • Overall Winner: £5,000
  • People’s Choice Award: £1,000
  • Emerging Artist Award: £500
  • Category prizes: £500 (6 prizes in total)
Exhibition:Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead (29 April – 3 May 2020)
Medium:Any 2D painting or drawing media.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (any age)
Entry Fee:£5 per work (max 5)
Website:jacksonsart.com

John Moores Painting Prize

Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2020-21

An £8,000 prize awaits an “exceptional emerging sculptor” towards the production of new work and a solo exhibition in London.

Deadline:22nd March 2020 opens 1st Jan 2020
Shortlist:22nd April 2020 (interview)
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £8,000
Exhibition:Standpoint Gallery, London (12 months after award in 2021)
Medium:Sculpture
Eligibility:UK based artists (excluding BA and MA students)
Entry Fee:£18
Website:liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

John Moores Painting Prize

John Moores Painting Prize

Arguably the UK’s most prestigious painting competitions culminates in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery as part of the Liverpool Biennial.

Deadline:24th March 2020 opens 17th Feb 2020
Shortlist:Dates to be announced
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £25,000
Exhibition:Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Autumn, 2020)
Medium:Painting
Eligibility:UK based artists (18+)
Entry Fee:To be announced
Website:liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

International Exlibris Congress Exhibition

FISAE International Exlibris Congress Exhibition

Biennial exhibition focusing on small printed graphics suitable for use in books to declare ownership. More info in this ‘Illustration’ magazine feature.

Deadline:31st March 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:Announced May 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1250
  • Second Prize: £750
  • Third Prize: £500
  • Extra Prizes of £500 1) Artist under 35 years of age. 2) Art student resident in UK or Republic of Ireland. 3) Art student resident in Australia, New Zealand or Canada.
Exhibition:Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury 12-15 Aug 2020
Medium:Engraving, Etching, CGT and more
Eligibility:UK and International artists
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee
Website:bookplatesociety.org/2020competitionLondon.htm

mostyn-21-art-competition

MOSTYN Open 22

Since it’s inception in 1989 in Llandudno, the MOSTYN Open has nurtured and presented the talent of established and emergent contemporary artists.

Deadline:March 2020 opens Jan
Shortlist:March 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £10,000
  • Audience Award: £1,000
Exhibition:MOSTYN Cymru, Wales (July – Oct 2020)
Medium:Any media.
Eligibility:UK & International artists.
Entry Fee:£25 per work (max 6)
Website:mostyn.org

alpine-fellowship

Alpine Fellowship Visual Arts Prize

A group of writers, thinkers and artists who are passionate about learning and communicating with a view to better understanding themselves and others.

Deadline:March 2020 opens 1st January
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £2,000 (plus £1,000 towards shipping and installation)
Theme:“Identity”
Medium:All visual media
Eligibility:UK and International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (one entry per person)
Website:alpinefellowship.com

Wales Contemporary

Wales Contemporary / Cymru Gyfoes

Submit art “Inspired by Wales” in this international open competition developed by the Waterfront Gallery in association with the Welsh Government.

Deadline:14th April 2020 enter now!
Winners:Announced 30 April 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £4,000
  • 2D Highly Commended: £2,000
  • 3D Highly Commended: £2,000
  • Young Artist Prize: £1,000 (25 and under)
  • Wales Prize: £1,000 (artist born, educated or resident in Wales)
  • Public Choice: £1,000
Exhibition: Waterfront Gallery, Milford Haven (13 June – 18 July 2020)
Medium:2 or 3 dimensional artwork in any medium apart from photography or film. (2D max length: 140cm, 3D max length: 50cm)
Eligibility:UK and international artists. (over 18)
Entry Fee:£15 for one work, £25 for two and £34 for three.
Website:walescontemporary.artopps.co.uk

Stevens Competition 2020

Stevens Competition 2020

The Architectural Glass Artist of the Year award requires entrants to design an architectural glass panel for the John Morden Centre in London.

Deadline:16th April 2020 enter now!
Winners:Announced 21st May 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £20,000
  • Judges Prize: £2,000
  • Other prizes: £4,000 (total value)
Exhibition:Stained Glass Museum, Ely (June-July 2020)
Medium:Architectural Glass
Eligibility:UK and international emerging artists, students and apprentices who have commenced their vocation in glass within the last eight years. (on or after 1 September 2012)
Entry Fee:None (Frame required for exhibition is £15 and must be ordered by 6th January 2020)
Website:glazierscompany.org.uk

WAC Awards

The WAC Awards

Established by a group of artists in South-West England in 2012, the Wells Art Contemporary Awards are open to UK and international artists.

Deadline:16th April 2020 awaiting entry
Winners:13th May, 2020
Prizes:
  • RK Harrison Award: £2,000
Exhibition:Wells Cathedral, Somerset (11 July – 9 August 2020)
Medium:any medium – painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, installation or video.
Eligibility:UK & international artists (18+)
Entry Fee:£15 per work (4 max, £12 for students)
Website:wac.artopps.co.uk

Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year

Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year

Filmed in stunning locations around the UK, Landscape Artist of the Year offers artists the chance to win a £10,000 commission for a major British institution.

Deadline:17th April 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:15th May 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize Commission: £10,000 (plus £500 art materials from Cass Art)
Filming:June – July 2020
Medium:Landscape painting in any material excluding photography, video, sculpture and digital media.
Eligibility:UK Residents (for at least year, over 16)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (1 maximum)
Website:skyartsartistoftheyear.tv

New Light Prize Exhibition

New Light Prize Exhibition

A biennial competition open to artists born, based or who have studied in the North of England: Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire.

Deadline:31st May 2020 opens 1st March 2020
Shortlist:1st August 2020
Prizes:
  • Valeria Sykes Prize: £10,000
  • Patron’s Choice Award: £2,500
Exhibition:Gallery Nawei, Singapore (9 Nov – 15 Nov)
Medium:static works, capable of being wall-hung without requiring any power source. (Photography and digital imagery are currently excluded.)
Eligibility:Artists, over 18, born in the North of England or are currently living in the North of England or studied at degree or postgraduate level (in an arts-based subject) in the North of England. (the North of England is defined as being the historic counties of Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire.)
Entry Fee:£15 for the first image, £30 for two, £10 for each subsequent image (no maximum number of entries)
Website:newlight-art.org.uk

The Young Masters Art Prize

The Young Masters Art Prize

Biennial prize initiated by London gallerist Cynthia Corbett in 2009 to reward contemporary artists (of all ages) who embrace the art of the past.

Deadline:May 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 29th June
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1500
  • Highly Commended x 2: £500
  • Ceramics First Prize: £1000
  • Ceramics Commended x 2: £500
  • Emerging Woman Artist: £1000
  • People’s Choice: £500
Exhibition:La Galleria, London (30 Sep – 5 Oct)
Theme:“Show originality, skill and imagination in response to the art of the past.”
Medium:Any media (separate ceramics prizes)
Eligibility:UK & international artists (18+)
Entry Fee:£35 (allows up to 4 artworks)
Website:young-masters.co.uk

artsdepot Open 2019

artsdepot Open 2019

Celebrating its 15th anniversary. All exhibition proceeds go towards supporting artsdepot’s programme of free art shows in London. Open to all forms of media.

Deadline:June 2020 opens Spring 2020
Shortlist:Announced June
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £3000
Exhibition:Apthorp Gallery, London (18 Jul – 30 Aug)
Medium:Any media
Eligibility:UK based artists (16+)
Entry Fee: £12 per work / £6 students (max 3)
Website:artsdepot.co.uk

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

The largest UK art prize for contemporary watercolour painting enters its 32nd year. Approximately 100 water-based works to be selected for touring exhibition.

Deadline:June 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 21st June (2nd round selection 5-6 July)
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £8000
  • Second Prize: £3000
  • Third Prize: £1000
  • Young Artist Prize (under 30): £500
Exhibition:
Medium:Any water-based media (includes acrylics, gouache & inks)
Eligibility:UK based artists
Entry Fee:£15 per work (max 4)
Website:sundaytimeswatercolour.org

Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

Founded in 1994 as the the Rexel Derwent Open then Jerwood Drawing Prize. Holds the largest prize fund celebrating drawing practice in the UK.

Deadline:June 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 18th July
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £8000
  • Second Prize: £5000
  • Third Prize: £2000
  • Evelyn Williams Drawing Award: £10,000 (biennial award for mid-career artist to hold solo exhibition)
  • Working Drawing Prize: £3,000 (preparatory drawing for work or project yet to be realised)
Exhibition:Trinity Buoy Wharf, London (Opens Sep 2020 before touring to July 2021)
Medium:Any media considered as drawing
Eligibility:UK based artists
Entry Fee:1 work: £20, 2 works: £30, 3 works: £40 (students £15/£20/£25)
Website:tbwdrawingprize.artopps.co.uk

Westmorland Landscape Prize

Westmorland Landscape Prize

A national call to artists inspired by the landscape of the UK. Looking for works which reach beyond the aesthetic, stimulating thinking and debate.

Deadline:June 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:June 2020
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £10,000
Exhibition:Rheged Centre, Cumbria (Sep-Nov 2020)
Medium:all media including but not limited to: painting, photography, sculpture, video, installation and applied arts.
Eligibility:UK based artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£15 per work (max 4)
Website:landscape.artopps.co.uk

National Original Print Exhibition

National Original Print Exhibition

Established by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers at the Bankside Gallery to showcase the best in contemporary printmaking across all techniques.

Deadline:June 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 26th July (check website after 6pm)
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1,000
  • Thames-Side Print Studio Prize: value £650
  • Hot Bed Press Award: value £500
  • Jackson’s Award: value £250
  • Great Art Award: value £250
  • Intaglio Printmaker Prize: value £150
  • John Purcell Paper Award: value £150
Exhibition:Bankside Gallery, London (18 Sep – 29 Sep)
Medium:Any printmaking technique
Eligibility:UK & International artists
Entry Fee:£15 per work (max 4) students £8 per work
Website:re-printmakers.com
Notes:See also their Masters competition for relief printmaking (deadline 23 Sep)

Sunny Art Centre Prize

Sunny Art Prize

A unique opportunity to win cash prizes, a solo show at a London gallery and a one month residency in China! A truly international art competition.

Deadline:30th June 2020 open!
Shortlist:Announced 10th July
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £3,000 + London solo show, China residency, group shows
  • Second Prize: £2000 + China residency, London/China group shows
  • Third Prize: £1000 + China residency, London/China group shows
Exhibition:Sunny Art Centre, London (1 Oct – 31 Oct)
Theme:“Winners of previous editions did so by raising awareness of global issues and themes.”
Medium:Any media (Max 2D: 120 x 120 cm. Max 3D: 80 x 80 x 80 cm)
Eligibility:UK & International artists (18+)
Entry Fee:1 work: £25, 2 works: £32, 3 works: £40, 4 works: £45
Website:sunnyartcentre.co.uk

SCOTTISH PORTRAIT AWARDS

Scottish Portrait Awards

Anyone living, studying or born in Scotland can enter these fine art and photography awards with touring shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow & Kirkcudbright.

Deadline:June 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 1st August (60 finalists: 30 fine artists and 30 photographers)
Prizes:
  • Fine Art First Prize: £5,000
  • Second Prize: £1,000
  • Third Prize: £500
  • Young Fine Artist (16-25): £500
  •  
  • Photography First Prize: £3000
  • Second Prize: £500
  • Third Prize: £100
  • Young Photographer (16-25): £500
Exhibition:
Theme:“The subject may involve one or more people and self-portraits are also permitted.”
Medium:Any 2D/3D media (size restrictions apply: view rules)
Eligibility:Anyone born, living or studying in Scotland (16+)
Entry Fee:£10 per work (max 6)
Website:scottishportraitawards.com

ACS Studio Prize

Artists’ Collecting Society Studio Prize

Founded in 2006 the ACS Studio Prize offers artists starting their career the chance to win £6,000 towards the cost of an artist’s studio in the UK.

Deadline:June 2020 awaiting entry
Winner:Announced by end of July
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £6,000 (towards UK artist’s studio costs)
Medium:Pictures, collage, painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramics, glassware or photography
Requirements:Supporting statement of 750 – 2,000 words and upload 10-15 images of artwork (no Entry Fee)
Eligibility:All UK, EU and EEA nationals worldwide. Must be a current undergraduate or postgraduate art student who is about to graduate, or has graduated from a university art course within the last four years.
Website:acsstudioprize.com

Wirral Art Competition

WSA Open Exhibition

Wirral Society of Arts biennial exhibition open to all artists – local, national and international – at all stages in their careers.

Deadline:July 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced by 19th July
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £2,000
  • Additional Prizes: £500 4 prizes of £500
Exhibition:Williamson Art Gallery, Wirral (3 Aug – 15 Sep)
Medium:Any medium except photography, digitally enhanced or manipulated images, giclée prints, installation, performance, or work requiring electricity.
Eligibility:UK & International artists
Entry Fee:WSA members: £20, Non Members: £35 (up to 4 works)
Website:wirralsocietyarts.org

The Spectrum Art Prize

The Spectrum Art Award

Established in 2017 to celebrate the creative excellence of artists on the autistic spectrum (diagnosed or not) with five awards of £5,000 and mentoring.

Deadline:July 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced Sep 2019 (winners: Jan 2020)
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £5000 (five awards of £5,000 + professional mentoring, curatorial and PR support)
Exhibition:Saatchi Gallery, London (May 2020)
Medium:Any media
Requirements:Supporting statement (up to 500 words) and up to digital images (no Entry Fee)
Eligibility:All UK autistic artists or collaborative groups whether they have an official diagnosis or not (+18)
Website:thespectrumartaward.com

Art Gemini Prize

Art Gemini Prize

UK based art competition goes global for its 7th edition with an increased prize fund of $30,000 and a group exhibition Singapore.

Deadline:31st July 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 8th September
Prizes:
  • First Prize: $15,000
  • Second Prize: $7000
  • Young Artist Prize: $3000 (30 and under)
Exhibition:Gallery Nawei, Singapore (9 Nov – 15 Nov)
Medium:Any genres of 2D and 3D art (excluding installation and video)
Eligibility:UK & International artists (18+)
Entry Fee:1 work: £20, up to 3 works: £45, up to 6 works: £70
Website:artgeminiprize.com

Holly Bush Prize

Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize

National prize aimed at supporting, encouraging and mentoring emerging women painters culminating in a London exhibition for the 21 finalists.

Deadline:August 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced by 28th August
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1500 (plus slot at Flux Exhibition 2020)
  • Second Prize: £500
  • Third Prize: £250 (Cass Art Vouchers)
Exhibition:Burgh House, London (28 Aug – 1 Sep)
Medium:Paintings in watercolour, oil, pastel or acrylic (Max size: 60cm wide x 130cm. Max sale price: £700)
Eligibility:Any female artist living and working in the UK (18+)
Entry Fee:£15 (allows up to 3 artworks)
Website:ecclestoneartagency.com

Aesthetica Art Prize - UK Art Competitions

Aesthetica Art Prize

Aesthetica is a British art and culture magazine whose annual prize celebrates excellence in art from across the world for emerging and established artists.

Deadline:August 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced January 2021 (longlist December 2020)
Prizes:
  • Main Art Prize: £5000 (+£250 Cass Art Vouchers, magazine coverage & more)
  • Emerging Art Prize: £1000 (+£150 Cass Art Vouchers, magazine coverage & more)
Exhibition:York Art Gallery (Spring 2020)
Medium:Photographic & Digital Art; Three-Dimensional Design & Sculpture; Painting, Drawing & Mixed Media; & Video, Installation & Performance.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (18+)
Entry Fee:£24 (allows up to 2 artworks)
Website:aestheticamagazine.com

London Group Open

London Group Open 2020

The UK’s longest-running artists’ co-operative holds its 85th open exhibition with no commission charged on any works sold during the exhibition.

Deadline:August 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:September 2020
Prizes:
  • Ingram Collection Purchase Prize: £2,000 (+£250 Cass Art Vouchers, magazine coverage & more)
  • Victor Kuell Memorial Prize: £1,000 (for innovation)
  • Sculpture Prize: £1,000
  • JPES Partnership Prize: £1,000
  • Memorial Prize: £1,000
Exhibition:Cello Factory, London (Nov-Dec 2020)
Medium:Any medium including, painting, sculpture, drawing, print, photography, mixed media, installation, video, sound, digital and performance.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (18+)
Entry Fee:1 work: £20, 2 works: £35, 3 works: £45
Website:thelondongroup.com

Postcards from the Trafalgar Way

Postcards from the Trafalgar Way

Create an artwork based on a feature on the historic Trafalgar Way route. £10,000 of prizes is spread across 3 age categories from 7-11, 12-16 and 17-adult.

Deadline:1st September 2020 enter now!
Shortlist:To be announced
Prizes:
  • 1st Prize (age 17-adult): 2 x £1,000
  • 1st Prize (age 12-16): 2 x £500
  • 1st Prize (age 7-11): 2 x £250
  • Schools Prize (age 7-11): £250
  • Peter Warwick Memorial Trophy: £1,000 (for current or past serving member of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines)
  • John Richards Lapenotiere Trophy: £500 (for resident in one of the 8 counties of The Trafalgar Way)
  • Full list of prizes and details
Exhibition:A touring exhibition will take place in 2021
Theme:Take a stunning photograph or create a two-dimensional artwork of a scene along The Trafalgar Way.
Medium:Any kind of two-dimensional art, including digital art (size range from A6 to A1)
Eligibility:UK based artists (7+)
Entry Fee:Age 7 to 11 – £1 per entry, 12 to 16 – £2, 17 to adult – £5 (no limit on entries)
Website:thetrafalgarway.org

Discerning Eye Exhibition

ING Discerning Eye Exhibition

Two artists, two collectors and two critics choose both publicly submitted works alongside works by invited artists for six mini-exhibitions within the exhibition.

Deadline:September 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Dates to be announced
Prizes:
  • ING Purchase Prize: £5000
  • Founder’s Purchase Prize: £2500
  • Chairman’s Purchase Prize: £1000
  • Meynell Fenton Prize: £1000
  • Humphreys Purchase Prize: £750
  • Wright Purchase Prize: £500
  • DE Sculpture & 3D Prize: £250
  • Regional Prizes: £250
Exhibition:Mall Galleries, London (14 Nov – 24 Nov)
Medium:Any 2D/3D media (Max size: 50cm in any direction)
Eligibility:UK residents only
Entry Fee:£15 per work (max 6) Reduced to £12 if paid online. No fees for members
Website:discerningeye.org

Ingram Purchase Prize

Young Contemporary Talent Purchase Prize

The Ingram Collection’s annual Purchase Prize Exhibition celebrates the work of graduating artists at the beginning of their careers.

Deadline:September 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 25th September
Prizes:
  • Prizes: (Up to 3 entries will be purchased, solo show at The Lightbox & 1 week residency)
Exhibition:The Cello Factory, London 8–12 Nov
Medium:Any media
Eligibility:UK and International artists (who have graduated from a UK art school since 2014)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (max: 2 artworks)
Website:ingramcollection.com

Marshwood Arts Awards

Marshwood Arts Awards

Biennial exhibition in the South West of England launched over 10 years ago selects 17 artists and makers across 4 creative categories.

Deadline:September 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 14th October
Prizes:
  • Prize Fund: £1000 (Total prize fund)
Exhibition:Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset 9 Nov – 7 Dec
Medium:Painting & Drawing, Sculpture, Photography & Digital Media, Applied Arts
Eligibility:UK and International artists/makers’ (able to have chosen work delivered to Bridport)
Website:marshwoodawards.com

VIA Arts Prize

VIA Arts Prize

Ibero-American themed visual arts competition invites artists to submit original works inspired by Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese arts and cultures.

Deadline:September 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 21st October
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £5000 (plus solo show at the Embassy of Brazil)
  • Second Prize: £2000
Exhibition:Embassy of Brazil, London 13 Nov – 18 Dec
Theme:Original artwork inspired by Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese arts and cultures.
Medium:Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Mixed Media/ assemblage, Collage, Drawing, Engraving, Digital print (non-photographic), Textiles and tapestry.
Eligibility:UK based artists (any nationality)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (max: 1 artwork)
Website:viaartsprize.org

Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition

Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition

You don’t need to live in Scotland or have Scottish connections to enter this annual exhibition, as long as you can drop off any chosen works in Edinburgh.

Deadline:September 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Dates to be announced
Prizes:
  • W Gordon Smith Award: £3000
  • Presidents Prize: £600
  • Deloitte Prize: £500
  • Arusha Prize: £500 (plus Edinburgh solo show)
  • Several other prizes awarded
Exhibition:Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (Dates T.B.A.)
Medium:All media
Eligibility:UK & International artists (able to drop off chosen work in Edinburgh)
Entry Fee:£15 per work (max 3) no fees for members
Website:s-s-a.org

Signature Art Prize

The Signature Art Prize

Open to art students currently studying and recent graduates from an arts-based degree within the last 3 years.

Deadline:October 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 30th October
Prizes:
  • Prizes: (4 Category Winners and People’s Choice Award.)
Exhibition:Bankside Hotel, London Feb 2020
Medium:Painting, Sculpture, Photography & Film, Drawing & Printmaking
Eligibility:UK and International artists (current art students and graduates from 2016 onwards)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (max: 1 artwork)
Website:signatureartprize.com

Chaiya Art Awards

Chaiya Art Awards

What does the phrase ‘God is…” mean to you? Impress the judges and you could be answering with “…giving me an award of £10,000.” Here’s hoping…

Deadline:October 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:31st January(Longlist: 18 Dec)
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £10000
  • Public Choice: £1000
Exhibition:Oxo Tower Wharf, London (10 – 19 Apr)
Theme:“God is…”
Medium:Any media
Eligibility:UK residents (16+)
Entry Fee:Early bird: (before 18 July) 1 work: £15, 2 works: £25, 3 works: £35. Standard: 1 work: £20, 2 works: £35, 3 works: £50. Concessions: £10 per entry.
Website:chaiyaartawards.co.uk

Artworks Open

Artworks Open

Two established artists select this annual show that’s been running since 2009 by the Barbican Arts Group Trust.

Deadline:October 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Announced 31st October
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1000 (with show)
  • Second Prize: £500 (with show)
  • More Prizes: 2 x 6 week residencies, art materials prize
Exhibition:Artworks Project Space, London 23 Nov – 8 Dec
Medium:2D and 3D works (no bigger than 100cm in height, width or depth)
Eligibility:UK and International artists
Entry Fee:1 work: £12, 2 works: £24, 3 works: £33, 4 works: £40. (max: 4 artworks)
Website:barbicanartsgrouptrust.co.uk

Visual Art Open

Visual Art Open

A not for profit event open to all artists and age groups with a prize fund of £5,000 and the opportunity to exhibit at Chester Arts Fair 2020.

Deadline:December 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:March 2021
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1,000 (plus mentoring package & Chester Arts Fair stand worth £1,000)
  • Category Winners: £250 (Painting/Mixed Media/Printmaking, Illustration/Drawing, Sculpture, Photography/Digital Art, Young Artist 16-24, Children’s Award 15 and under)
Exhibition:Chester arts Fair, Chester (November 2020)
Medium:Drawing, printing, painting, photography, digital art, sculpture and video
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£15 per work (5 works maximum, £10 per work for under 24s)
Website:visualartopen.com

BP Portrait Award - UK Art Competition

BP Portrait Award

BP’s sponsorship of this painting award has been increasingly controversial since its arrival in 1980. Can another company match the total prize fund of £74,000?

Deadline:December 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:January 2021
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £35,000 (plus £7,000 portrait commission)
  • Second Prize: £12,000 (plus £7,000 portrait commission)
  • Third Prize: £10,000
  • BP Young Artist Award: £9,000 (30 and under)
  • BP Travel Award: £8,000
Exhibition:National Portrait Gallery, London (May – June 2021)
Medium:The work entered must be predominantly painted in oil, tempera or acrylic and must be on a stretcher or board, preferably framed and unglazed. No watercolours, works on paper or pastels will be considered.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£40 (1 work maximum)
Website:npg.org.uk

Bridgeman Studio Award

Bridgeman Studio Award

A first prize of £5,000 plus a limited edition print and exhibition opportunity sees artists invited to submit work on the theme of “The Art Of Diversity”.

Deadline:December 2020 awaiting entry
Shortlist:Mid January 2021
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £5,000 (plus winning artwork turned into limited edition print, also London exhibition)
  • Runners Up: £500 (5 x prizes)
Theme:“The art of diversity.” How do you see and experience diversity in your city?
Medium:Any work by artists, illustrators and fine art photographers
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:No Entry Fee (5 works maximum)
Website:enterbsa.com

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours - UK Art Competition

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

One of the longest standing UK art prizes at over 200 years old! Celebrates the best in contemporary watercolour and watermedia painting.

Deadline:January 2021 awaiting entry
Shortlist:10th January
Prizes:
  • Winsor & Newton Award: £3,000 (cheque)
  • Winsor & Newton Product Prize: £1,000 (worth of art materials)
  • Leathersellers’ Prize: £1,000 (for artists aged 18 to 30)
  • President’s Choice Award: £750
  • Baohong Artists’ Watercolour Paper Prizes: £250 (2 x £250 prizes)
  • Cass Art Prize: £250 (for the most innovative use of colour)
  • Chaoshan Watercolour Award: £250 (for the best classically inspired watercolour)
Exhibition:Mall Galleries, London (May 2020)
Medium:Watercolour or water-soluble mediums including watercolour, acrylic, ink or gouache (excluding water-soluble oils) painted on paper or paper based support.
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£18 per work, £12 if under 35 (max 3)
Website:mallgalleries.org.uk

UK Art Competitions - Dates - Royal Watercolour Society

RWS Contemporary Watercolour Prize

An annual competition that encourages ‘innovation and experimentation in all water-based media’ offering various cash prizes and art materials.

Deadline:January 2021 awaiting entry
Shortlist:23rd January
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £1000
  • RWS Award: £250
  • New Graduate Award: £250
Exhibition:Bankside Gallery, London (March 2021)
Medium:Water based media
Eligibility:UK & International artists
Entry Fee:£15 per work, £5 for students, free for members (max 5)
Website:royalwatercoloursociety.co.uk

Uk Art Competitions - Royal Society of Portrait Painters Award

Royal Society Of Portrait Painters Award

An annual competition that encourages ‘new and traditional artistic models and perspectives in portraiture’ offering various cash prizes and art materials.

Deadline:January 2021 awaiting entry
Shortlist:24th January
Prizes:
  • Ondaatje Prize: £10,000 (most distinguished portrait in exhibition)
  • The de Laszlo Foundation Award: : £3000 (best portrait by artist 35 and under)
  • Prince of Wales Award: £2000 (for portrait drawing)
  • RP Prize: £2000 (for best small portrait 15″ x 12″ max)
  • Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award: £2000 (classically inspired portraiture)
  • Contemporary Arts Trust Award: £1000 (most deserving artist)
  • Smallwood Architects Prize: £1000 (architectural or interior features play important part)
Exhibition:Mall Galleries, London (May 2021)
Medium:Paintings, drawings and original prints (excluding sculpture and photography)
Eligibility:UK & International artists (over 18)
Entry Fee:£18 per work, £12 if under 35 (max 3)
Website:mallgalleries.org.uk

Ruth Borchard Prize

Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize

Biennial prize celebrating contemporary British and Irish self-portraiture with a £10,000 first prize and 4 month London exhibition.

Deadline:April 2021 opens Jan 2021
Shortlist:To be announced
Prizes:
  • First Prize: £10,000
Exhibition:Piano Nobile, London (May – Sep 2021)
Medium:Any media.
Eligibility:UK & Ireland.
Entry Fee:£30 fee
Website:ruthborchard.org.uk

John Ruskin Prize

John Ruskin Prize

Organised by the fine people at The Big Draw and Guild of St. George this biennale prize aims to uphold the beliefs of the critic John Ruskin.

Deadline:May 2021 awaiting entry
Shortlist:To be announced
Prizes:
  • First Prize: 3,000
  • Second Prize: £2,000
  • Student Prize: £1,000
Exhibition:Millennium Gallery, Sheffield (Jun – Oct 2021)
Medium:Architectural Glass
Eligibility:UK based artists.
Entry Fee:£12 for 1 artwork (£15 for 2 artworks and £20 for 3 artworks with reduced fees for students)
Website:ruskinprize.co.uk

Prize Closures

The National Open Art Prize (running since 1996) is closed until further notice.

The End!

And so concludes this UK Art Competitions 2019-2020 post. I’ll add more competition dates when they’re announced. Good luck if you decide to enter and let me know if you win!

Back to top