Funding for Artists and Makers – Competitions

A List of Major regular Artist and Makers competitions - with links.

This ArtMakersinformation sheet is an introduction to the major regular Artists and Makers competitions These are open competitions and does not include prizes where people are nominated to submit. The Artmakers facebook page, and our competitions page list numerousother arts and crafts competitions which happen on a less regular basis.

ArtMakers subscribers receive advance notice of all competitions we list on our competition page etc.

NOTE: Many prizes were suspended or moved online during the first year of the Covid pandemic – so please check websites for updates etc.

Artes Mundi Prize

Biennially – even-numbered years, based in Cardiff.
Top prize of £40,000, with runners-up awarded £4,000. The work of short-listed artists is displayed as part of the Artes Mundi exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff.

Open to any artist of any age and nationality whose work explores the human condition. Focus on international contemporary visual artists who engage with social reality and lived experience.

Open call for nominations artists via an online form. Artists can be nominated more than once across successive cycles. Two selectors then determine a shortlist of 5–7 artists for exhibition. Prizewinner is selected by a larger panel of eminent judges that does not include the original selector.

Next Deadline: tbc

Baloise Art Prize

Annual – winners are announced at Art Basel fair.

Two top prizes of CHF 30000 (£21,770). Prize includes the acquisition by Baloise of a selection of works by the award winner. Baloise buys groups of works by the prizewinners with the object of donating them to two leading European museums, currently the MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.

Eligibility limited to ‘emerging artists’, but candidates can be of any nationality.
Winners chosen by a jury of five curators and art directors.

Next Deadline: tbc

BP Portrait Award

National Portrait Gallery. Annual.

Award of £30,000 for first-prize winner with a total prize fund of £61,000.
Unrestricted entry.
Focus on promoting young figurative painting. More traditional outlook.
In 2015 a new procedure was introduced which required artists to submit a digital image of their work. From these, 456 works were selected for second stage judging where the original paintings were viewed and the exhibition selection made.

 Deadline: tbc

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

The Photographers’ Gallery. Annual.

First prize of £30,000, and £3,000 for the three runners-up, with an exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery for all four shortlisted candidates.
Artists can be of any nationality and are nominated on the basis of a previous exhibition/publication within Europe.

Rewards artists who have made a ‘significant contribution’ to the medium of photography in Europe over the previous year.
Candidates are nominated by an independent academy of experts and are subsequently judged by a jury of four.

 Deadline: tbc

The Gilchrist-Fisher Award

Rebecca Hossack Gallery. Biennial.
First prize of £6,000.
Open to artists under the age of thirty whose work deals with the broad theme of landscape. Application by written form and electronic submission of selected portfolio. Shortlist of six is chosen to produce work for an exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery.

Prize winners chosen on the basis of exhibition.

 Deadline: Jan 2023 entries open again.

ING Discerning Eye

Discerning Eye, ING and Parker. Annual.

Sponsor’s prize of £5,000 and Founder’s prize of £2,500. Various other monetary awards down to £250. A key reward for this scheme is the exhibition of work in the Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
Open to all British artists or those resident in the UK.
The programme is advertised as providing a unique opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be displayed alongside those by internationally known names.
Combination of invited artists and open submission of works. Six selectors – two artists, two collectors, two critics – curate their own separate exhibitions, taking a minimum of 25% of their final selection from the pool of submitted works.

 Deadline: tbc

The Loewe Foundation Craft Prize


Any professional artisan aged over 18 can apply for the award, with the sole requirement that the submitted work combine an innovative application of its craft with an original artistic concept.

The prize awarded to the winner is 50,000 Euros, who is chosen by a jury of up to 12 figures from various parts of the craft and design world.

Deadline: tbc

Mall Galleries – Art Prizes

The Mall Galleries runs a number of competitions and prizes throughout the year. There are regular ones plus individual arts society competitions – they are partners with eight major UK arts societies.

 Deadline: Various

John Moores Painting Prize

National Museums Liverpool/ Walker Art Gallery/ John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust. Biannually – to coincide with the Liverpool Biennial.

First prize of £25,000 with four other prizes of £2,500. In addition, the winner of the popular ‘Visitor’s Choice’ prize will win £2,016 (in 2015). Exhibition at Walker Art Gallery for selected works

Artists must live or be professionally based within the UK. Candidates are judged on a particular piece. Marketed as the UK’s biggest painting prize.

Open submissions shortlisted by a jury. Works must then be submitted through six depots across the UK and are brought to Liverpool for judging. Paintings worthy for exhibition and prizes are then selected.

 Deadline: tbc – expected 2022

RA Summer Exhibition

Royal Academy of Arts. Annual.
Several monetary awards:

£25,000 (The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award) for the most distinguished work
£10,000 (The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture) for sculpture first prize
£10,000 (Turkishceramics Grand Award for Architecture) for the most outstanding work of architecture.

Two prizes of £5,000 and £3,000 (The British Institution Awards for Students) for work across a comprehensive range of creative disciplines from painting to architecture £5,000 (Hugh Casson Drawing Prize)
£4,000 (Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist) for a painting or sculpture £2,500 (London Original Print Fair Prize) for a print in any medium £2,000 (The Arts Club Award) for an artist aged 35 or under for a work in any medium except architecture
£1,000 (The Rose Award for Photography) for a photograph or series of photographs

Unrestricted entry within the UK – works are judged automatically according to their categories. The largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world.

Deadline: 2022 dates have no been announced but digital sub mission could start in April 2022 based on 2021 submission schedule.

Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour

Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.
Various awards open to artists of all ages, both young and established.
The annual awards reflect a commitment by the Society to promote and encourage member and non-member artists working in waterbased media.

Deadline: tbc for 2022

Royal Society of Sculptors Awards

Royal Society of Sculptors Awards
Gilbert Bayes Award(Annual) supports early career sculptors (previously the Bursary Awards) and is given annually by the Society to a small group of outstandingly talented sculptors.
First Plinth (Biannual) is open to any artist working in three dimensions, providing a unique and rare opportunity for the winner to build a track record in the competitive arena of public art.

Deadlines:    First Plinth 23/24 tbc

                        Gilbert Bayes 2022 opens in September 2021

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

Taylor Wessing and National Portrait Gallery. Annual.

First prize of £12,000, second prize £3,000, third prize £2,000, fourth prize £1,000. National Portrait Gallery exhibition of the work of 60 artists. Elle magazine commission for the winner. Any photographer of any nationality may enter, as long as they are over 18..

Aims to ‘…showcase the work of the most talented emerging young photographers, photography students and gifted amateurs alongside that of established professionals’.

A panel of six whittles down the entries to 60 for the exhibition. The prize winners are then chosen.

 NOTE: Gallery Closed until 2023 – so no competition announced to date.

Wellcome Trust Arts Awards (under Review)

The Wellcome Foundation has supported numerous art collaborations over the years, and is expected to announce new opportunities in 2021.

I hope you have found this useful.

For more information on different funds for Artists and Makers please register  for FREE  see below – you will receive a regular newsletter, access to a larger listing,  a free peer-to- peer chat room.

Or subscribe to our Support Basic or Support plus memberships to obtain more extensive support materials, information and subsidised courses and marketing advice.





Includes :
ArtMakers Newsletter
Peer-to-Peer chatroom
Competition and events listings
Basic Information and Jargon explainers
Detailed Information pdf’s – download up to 3 per year
Articles – read 3 a month
Reduced cost half day Marketing Health Check with Dirty Martini (Northern Devon only)
Sign up to subscribe


£7.00 / £73.50

per month

Includes :
30 Day auto reminder of upcoming deadlines
Membership of The Maker Series
Podcasts and Masterclasses
Networking Events
Detailed information pdf’s – download all
Articles – read all
2x Short Training Courses* per year included
Sign up to subscribe

Standard Plus

£9.00 / £97.20

per month / year

Includes :
45 Day auto reminder of upcoming deadlines
Membership of a-n – inc. insurance benefits
Includes up to 4 Short Training Courses per year §
Further £50 reduction on Half day Marketing Health Check with Dirty Martini**
Sign up to subscribe

Do you find this advice helpful?