Entering and winning art prizes is an essential part of establishing yourself as an professional artist. Winning an important art prize can set you on the path to becoming a successful and full-time artist. Even making it into the exhibition of a well-respected prize is a success in itself.
Research and make a yearly list
You can't enter every prize, but do your research (try art-prizes.com, visualarts.net.au, art-almanac.com.au) and give yourself a goal of entering, for example, three to five a year. Each prize will involve an entry fee, usually a written statement, and possibly an artist biography. You will need time to prepare these. Think about where in Australia the prizes are held; you may want to concentrate on building your profile in NSW, or instead on capital cities or regional art galleries. Find your focus. Research past winners and find out who the judges are.
Enter art prizes that match your art practice
If you're not a portrait painter, don't enter the Archibald; enter the Wynne or the Sulman. Choose entries from your own body of work. Making work simply to win a prize isn't good practice and will distract your focus from the kind of artist you are and want to become.
Print out the entry form
I know this sounds obvious, but it's easy to misread details online, such as size restrictions, how to pay, or the due date of the entry as opposed to the exhibition dates.
If you’re an emerging artist and you live in the Hunter area and haven't already heard of the
Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize (NEAP), then it's lucky you've read this far. NEAP is the longest-running emerging artist prize in Newcastle. Presented by Newcastle Art Space and funded through small business sponsorship and fundraising, it is now in its 16th year and will be accepting entries on Monday 15th August. Visit newcastleartspace.blogspot.com.au for details.
Independent Galleries Newcastle
NOTE: Get your work together for the 16th Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize! Works due 20th August, 2016 10-6pm to Newcastle Art Space. Conditions of entry available from NAS blog or contact email@example.com with any questions