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The National Portrait Gallery Announces the Call for Entries for the BP Portrait Award 2011
A painting of London's Mayor Boris Johnson by artist Helen Masacz displayed, during an exhibition of paintings in oil, tempera or acrylic, part of the annual Portrait Award, in central London's National Portrait Gallery, Wednesday June 23, 2010. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis.
LONDON.- The National Portrait Gallery announce the Call for Entries for the BP Portrait Award 2011, the world’s most prestigious open competition for portrait painting. Entry forms are now available at the gallery website, and the closing date for entries is Friday 11 February 2011.

The Portrait Award, now in its thirty-second year at the National Portrait Gallery and twenty-second 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 16 June to 18 September 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, over 2,000 artists submitted their work and the exhibition, which featured 58 paintings, was seen by over 280,000 people at the National Portrait Gallery.

A cash award of £25,000 will go to the First Prize winner and, at the judges’ discretion, a commission worth £4,000 (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 organised 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 which 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, says: ‘2010 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, says: ‘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.’

The National Portrait Gallery | The Portrait Award | Sandy Nairne | Des Violaris |


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