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BP Portrait Award 2013

Content of National Portrait Gallery communication:

National Portrait Gallery
Trafalgar Square

Dear BP Portrait Award 2013 entrant,

Click to view National Portrait GalleryThank you for entering your painting in to the BP Portrait Award competition this year. The judges have now made their final decision and I am delighted to inform you that your work has been selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 June - 15 September 2013. The exhibition will then go on tour where it will be shown at the Aberdeen Art Gallery (2 November 2013 – 1 February 2014) and Wolverhampton Art Gallery (3 March – 14 June 2014).

This year we received a total of 1,969 entries of which 55 were selected for exhibition, including three prize winners. Although your work will be included in the exhibition, unfortunately it was not one of the prize winners. However, for the twenty third year running, BP continues to sponsor the Travel Award which will enable an artist to work for an agreed period of time in Britain or abroad. The Travel Award is open to all exhibitors in this year's exhibition, an email will follow containing details of how to make an application.

Please find attached a basic biographical form for you to complete. The information you provide plays an important role with regard to press and publicity and will also be the basis of the text labels which will accompany your work whilst on display, as well as the caption in the catalogue published to coincide with the exhibition. Please email the completed form to by Friday 5 April. It is important that you meet this deadline as the information will be required for the catalogue for which the schedule is very tight. The press announcement will go out on 22 April so we would appreciate it if you could keep this information relatively confidential (and away from social media) until then.

I am delighted that your painting has been included and I hope that you will be able to attend the Private View of the exhibition on Wednesday 19 June. Invitations will be sent to you and three guests of your choice nearer the time.

With very best wishes,
Yours sincerely

Michelle Greaves
Exhibitions Manager: Competitions and Special Projects

The Portrait Award is now in its 34th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 24th year of sponsorship by BP. This highly successful annual event aims to encourage artists to focus upon, and develop, the theme of painted portraiture within their work. The BP Portrait Award 2012 had 255,982 visitors.

The competition was judged from original paintings by: Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, and Chair of the Judging Panel; David Dawson, Painter and Photographer; Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery, London;  Victoria Pomery OBE, Director, Turner Contemporary; Ali Smith, Writer; Des Violaris, Director UK Arts & Culture, BP

  • Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘Thanks to BP’s continued and generous sponsorship, the new level of prizes can be awarded and the works can be shared with thousands of visitors.’
  • Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP, says: ‘It is always such a pleasure to judge the work of such talented artists. BP is delighted to continue its support for such a prestigious international competition that attracts entries from over 70 countries each year.’

One of the 55 exhibited artists will also be eligible for the BP Travel Award 2013, an annual award of £6,000, which allows artists to experience working in a different environment on a project related to portraiture. The resulting portraits are displayed in the following year’s exhibition. The winner will also be announced on Tuesday 18 June. 

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