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Inside the National Portrait Gallery, London. Oct. 24, 2008 photo taken by Herry Lawford. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

UK’s National Portrait Gallery invites entries for BP Portrait Award 2011

Inside the National Portrait Gallery, London. Oct. 24, 2008 photo taken by Herry Lawford. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Inside the National Portrait Gallery, London. Oct. 24, 2008 photo taken by Herry Lawford. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

LONDON – The National Portrait Gallery in London has announced its call for entries for the BP Portrait Award 2011, one of the world’s most prestigious open competitions for portrait painting. The closing date for entries is Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.

The Portrait Award, now in its 32nd year at the National Portrait Gallery and 22nd year of sponsorship by BP, is an annual event aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop portraiture in their work.

The BP Portrait Award 2011 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from June 16 through Sept. 18, 2011, prior to a national tour.

The BP Portrait Award is open to all artists over the age of 18, and provides an important platform for portrait painters. In 2010, more than 2,000 artists submitted their work, and the exhibition, which featured 58 paintings, was seen by more than 280,000 people at the National Portrait Gallery.

A cash award of £25,000/$39,300 will go to the first prize winner and, at the judges’ discretion, the winner will also receive a commission worth £4,000/$6,300 (to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist).

Recent National Portrait Gallery commissions by BP Portrait Award first-prize-winning artists include novelist V S Naipaul by Paul Emsley (BP Portrait Award 2007 winner), and Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh by Dean Marsh (BP Portrait Award 2005 winner). Many artists who have had their work exhibited have gained commissions as a result of the considerable interest in the BP Portrait Award and the resulting exhibition.

The prize winners and exhibition will be selected by a judging panel chaired by Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery. The winners and selected entries will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, London and subsequently will tour to two further venues. The exhibition tour is organized by the National Portrait Gallery.

All 2011 exhibitors will be eligible to submit a proposal for the BP Travel Award. The aim of the Award is to provide the opportunity for an artist to experience working in a different environment, in Britain or abroad, on a project related to portraiture that will then be shown as part of the BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition and tour in 2012-13.

Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, said: “Two-thousand-ten was another outstanding year for the quality of the entries and the range of styles. I look forward to the BP Portrait Award 2011, and thank BP for their continuing support.”

Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP, said: “This will be the 22nd year that BP has supported this vibrant competition, and we were enthused by the invention and quality of the 2010 entries yet again.”

Competition Rules:

This international competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over in recognition of the outstanding and innovative work currently being produced by artists of all ages working in portraiture. The competition is judged, on an equal and anonymous basis, from original paintings. An exhibition is then created from a selection of the entries.

The preferred method of registering an entry for the BP Portrait Award 2011 is online at www.npg.org.uk/bp.

To request a postal entry form call 011 44 20 7312 6699 or write to:

BP Portrait Award

National Portrait Gallery

St. Martin’s Place

London WC2H 0HE

U.K.

The postal entry form can also be downloaded from the website.

All entrants aged between 18 and 30 will automatically be considered for both the BP Young Artist Award and the BP Portrait Award, but an individual cannot win both.

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