As broadcaster Kirsty Wark and artist Michael Landy are announced as judges, the National Portrait Gallery invites entries for the BP Portrait Award 2017.
To enter, artists are invited to upload a photograph of their finished painting to the BP Portrait Award website, which will be considered by the judges in the first round of the competition. The entrants who are successful in this round will then be invited to hand-deliver or courier their work to a venue in London for the second round of judging and final exhibition selection.
Artists can enter at npg.org.uk/bp
between now and Thursday 26 January 2017. Full competition rules and guidance for digital submission can be found online. The BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday 22 June to Sunday 24 September 2017.
The prize winners and exhibition will be selected by a judging panel chaired by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, and National Portrait Gallery. The full panel will include Camilla Hampshire, Museums Manager and Cultural Lead, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter; Michael Landy, artist; Kirsty Wark, broadcaster; Sarah Howgate, Senior Curator, Contemporary Collections, National Portrait Gallery; and Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts & Culture, BP.
2017 will mark the Portrait Award's 38th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 28th year of sponsorship by BP. This highly successful annual event is aimed at encouraging artists over the age of eighteen to focus upon, and develop, the theme of portraiture in their work. The increasingly popular competition has a huge international reach, with the BP Portrait Award 2016 receiving 2,557 entries from 80 countries. The exhibition, which featured 53 paintings, was seen by 187,347 people at the National Portrait Gallery.
The BP Portrait Award, one of the most important platforms for portrait painters, has a first prize of £30,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition. The winner also receives, at the Gallery's discretion, a commission worth £5,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist). The second prize winner receives £10,000 and a third prize of £8,000 is also awarded. The BP Young Artist Award, with a prize of £7,000, goes to one selected artist aged between 18 and 30.
All 2017 exhibitors will be eligible to submit a proposal for the BP Travel Award 2017. 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 portraits. The artist chosen as the winner of the travel award will receive £6,000.
The current BP Portrait Award 2016 exhibition tours to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from 26 November 2016 until 26 March 2017 and First site Gallery, Colchester, from 7 April until 17 June 2017.
The first prize was awarded to 38-year-old Cambridgeshire-based artist Clara Drummond, for Girl in a Liberty Dress, a striking portrait of her friend and fellow artist Kirsty Buchanan. The second prize of £10,000 went to Chinese artist Bo Wang, 34, for Silence, a portrait depicting his grandmother lying on her hospital bed a month before she died.
The third prize of £8,000 went to artist Benjamin Sullivan, 39, for Hugo, a portrait of the poet Hugo Williams painted in the study of his Islington home. The BP Young Artist Award of £7,000 for the work of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by British artist Jamie Coreth for Dad Sculpting Me.