Art Competitions and Contests

Becoming a finalist gives the best publicity, even if you’re not a winner, making competitions and contests highly recommend as a marketing tool and a great way to swiftly elevate a career.

Young International Contest of Contemporary Art (YICCA)

YICCA is an international call for artists working on all kinds of contemporary artworks including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, graphics, mix media, video, installations and performances. In 2017 the winner was Anne Cecile Surga from France for her marble and wood sculpture, Carry On - San Sebastian.

The Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition

This competition is open to artists anywhere in the world working in traditional media.
Whilst photography and sculpture are not permitted, the wide range of prizes on offer for 30 finalists, makes this one of the most appealing art competitions for emerging talents 30 finalists. The winners in 2017 were:

  • Portrait/Figure: I am everything by Sarah Marie Lacey, oil on linen
  • Landscape: Bermondsey, London by Ron Stocke, watercolor on paper
  • Animal/Wildlife: Descend by Dale Marie Muller, oil on canvas
  • Still Life/Interior: Family Reunion by Mimi Jensen, oil on canvas
  • Abstract/Experimental: Conversations in Blue Sally Cooper, acrylic on canvas

BP Portrait Award

This competition from the National Portrait Gallery is considered the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world that offers the chance to have your work exhibited for three months at the National Portrait Gallery, plus a £30,000 winner’s prize. The 2018 winner was An Angel At My Table by Miriam Escofet, a portrait of the artist’s mother.

World Illustration Awards

If you want your artwork in front of as many people as possible, the World Illustration Awards from the Association of Illustrators will see their work on tour to around 50,000 visitors, a full page in Directory of Illustration including an online portfolio with 100 images. All 200 shortlisted entries are published online and in a 128-page catalogue sent to 1,300 major commissioners around the world.

2018 category winners are:

Children's Books Monika Vaicenaviciene, What is a River? Soo Kyung Cho, Me and Me
Editorial Esther Goh, EMOJIWORLD Chen Wu, Eggs
Research Ella Nitters, Medical Art Microsurgery of a Rat Carol Adlam, Thinking Room
Advertising Andreea Dobrin Dinu, Art Safari 2017 illustrations Stevie Gee and Nicos Livesey, Here to Create - Adidas
Design Katja Grosskinsky, Magister Ludi Stevie Gee Stevie Gee - Stella McCartney, Kids packaging
Site Specific Ana Jaks, House of Us Paul Thurlby, National Treasures
Experimental Book of Lai 360, Tiny Living Space Jip van den Toorn, Inappropriate grandma
Books Shih-Hsien,Hsu, Nordic Happiness Jim Butler, Blackrock Sequence

Chelsea International Fine Art Competition

Painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media, and print are welcome in this competition from Agora Gallery, which selects 30 artists are selected to exhibit in this competition’s collective exhibition in the famed New York gallery, as well as USD1,000 prizes.

Selected to participate in the competition exhibition in 2018 were Arinze Stanley, Carlos Salazar Arenas, Dong Kyu Kim, Meike Lohmann, Gabrielle Kruger, Ayo Filade, Candelaria Palacios, Cynthia Evers, Hiromichi Matsudaira, Oluwatobi Adewumi, Samuel Wyatt, Kristina Daukintyte Aas, Ada Luisa Trillo, Terence Finch, Emily Jones, Sidney Chambers, Nemo Nox, Adeyemi Ramon Omolaja, Peter Genssler, Yvonne Muinde, He Chunqing, Eileen Olimb, Beth Cavalcanti, Jennifer Day, Chenyi Sun, Denis Baudrier, Martijn Weiffenbach, Dana Edmonds, Kara Daviau Cook, Herold P Alexis. Winners of the USD 1,000 were Domingo Donoso, Eric W. Shute, Anne Rudanovski, Rodrigo Calixto, Wenqian Leng.