National Portrait Gallery Ups The Stake For BP Award

The National Portrait Gallery have announced an increase in prize money for the BP Portrait Award 2013, the world’s most prestigious open competition for portrait painting. The First Prize winner will receive a £30,000 cash prize. As part of BP’s ongoing support for a further five years, the First Prize has been increased by £5,000. In addition, the winner receives, at the judges’ discretion a commission worth £5,000 (to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist). The Second Prize winner will receive £10,000 and the BP Young Artist Award winner £7,000.
The Portrait Award, now in its thirty-fourth year at the National Portrait Gallery and twenty-fourth year of sponsorship by BP, is an annual event aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop portraiture. The BP Portrait Award 2013 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 June to 15 September 2013 and will tour the UK thereafter. The BP Portrait Award is open to all artists over the age of 18, and provides an important platform for portrait painters. In 2012, 2,187 artists submitted their work from 75 difference countries and the exhibition, which featured 55 paintings, was seen by over a quarter of a million people.
Recent National Portrait Gallery commissions by BP Portrait Award first-prize-winning artists include Dame Kelly Holmes by Craig Wylie (BP Portrait Award 2008 winner), novelist V S Naipaul by Paul Emsley (BP Portrait Award 2007 winner), and Kids Company founder Dame 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. All 2013 exhibitors will be eligible to submit a proposal for the BP Travel Award 2013. 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 winner will receive £6, 000.
Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘The quality of the entries and the range of styles in 2012 was outstanding. I look forward to the BP Portrait Award 2013, and thank BP for their continuing support.’ Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP, says: ‘The international reach of the competition continues to excite and attract a wonderful diversity of entry.’

The best way to register your entry for the BP Portrait Award 2013 is online at
First Prize: A cash award of £30,000, plus, at the judges’ discretion, a commission worth £5,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.
Second Prize: £10,000, BP Young Artist Award: £7,000, BP Travel Award 2013: £6,000

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