The Victoria and Albert Museum’s annual Illustration Awards will be substantially increased for 2016, in honour of the late Moira Gemmill, who made an outstanding contribution to the V&A as Director of Design for 13 years. The overall winner will be named in her memory to reflect her significant contribution and support of these awards. Generous donations from Edwin Davies CBE, Dame Theresa Sackler, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts and The Headley Trust will also allow the V&A to considerably increase the category awards as well as the overall prize.
The V&A is now accepting entries online for the awards which celebrate the best illustrated book, book cover, editorial illustration and student illustrator. The competition is open to illustrators living in the UK or publishing in the UK market and students who have attended a course in the UK over the last two years.
A panel of judges comprising author Jacqueline Wilson, Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review and Annabel Judd, head of design at the V&A will choose their favourite entries in three categories: Book Illustration, Book Cover Illustration, and Editorial Illustration. The separate category of Student Award is judged by Ruth Prickett, the editor of Illustration magazine and Rafi Romaya, the art director of Canongate Books.
The competition is free to enter and the winner in each category for published illustration will receive £3,000 and a trophy. For the first time, the overall winner will receive an additional £5,000 and be honoured with The Moira Gemmill Award for Best Illustrator of the Year. Each year, the winning publications are added to the holdings of the V&A National Art Library.
The winner of the Student Illustrator of the Year 2016 will receive £3,000 and a trophy and the runner up will receive £2,000. The student awards are open to anybody who has attended an illustration course in the UK during 2014 or 2015.
The closing date for entries is 10 December 2015. The winners will be announced at the Illustration Awards Ceremony at the V&A on 23 May 2016. A display of award-winning artworks will be displayed from 24 May 2016.
The V&A Illustration Awards were established in 1972 and previous winners include Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman and Michael Foreman.