Derwent Art Prize: 3 reasons to enter the Derwent Art Prize

Are you thinking of entering the Derwent Art Prize, but still hesitant about putting yourself out there? We’ve asked past exhibitors as well as industry professionals why you should go for it. Here were the 3 main reasons they gave us.

Derwent Art Prize 2018 exhibition

  1. Exposure

“Alongside the generous prizes on offer, shortlisted artists are given the opportunity to exhibit their artwork on a national stage.” says Kate Black, a Derwent Art Prize 2018 exhibitor. In fact, the Derwent Art Prize gives shortlisted artists the chance to exhibit in central London at the prestigious Gallery@OXO. And, for the first time, the exhibition will tour overseas, with a show in the heart of Paris, at 20 rue Saint Claude.

“For me, this developed my profile within a specialist drawing context and also gave my work exposure to a broader audience. Being part of the Derwent Art Prize adds validity to my standing as a practitioner for other galleries, clients and collaborative opportunities.”

Finally, according to David Terry, Director of C24 Gallery in New York, taking part in competitions like the Derwent Art Prize gives artists “exposure to a certain group of selectors or curators and the opportunity to have your work exhibited along [side] artists you admire.”

Derwent Art Prize 2018 exhibition

  1. Confidence

After entering the Derwent Art Prize, you will get a chance to showcase your work in front of an esteemed jury. This year, your drawings will be looked over by: internationally renowned artist Charles Avery; Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary; and Alice Rawsthorn, author of Design As An Attitude as well as regular contributor to the New York Times, W Magazine, and Frieze. Getting recognition from these big industry names could provide you with a significant confidence boost!

That was the case for Emma Bertin Sanabria who says: “When I decided to enter the Derwent Art Prize, I was far from imagining I would be one of the winners. The day the selected artists were announced, I didn’t even think I would be shortlisted!” But as she went on to win the Young Artist Award, this French creative declared: “The Derwent Art Prize allowed me to show my work to a wider audience, and encouraged me to further pursue exposure. On a personal level, it bolstered my confidence in my work, and my willingness to share it.”

Additionally, says the artist, “the exhibit gave me the chance to meet international artists. The prize also gave me the means to invest in art materials and the freedom to experiment more with my drawing. I’d love to enter again to get the chance to share my work to a larger audience.”

Emma Bertin Sanabria and her drawing Noé, Derwent Young Artist Prize 2018

  1. Inspiration

Even if you don’t secure a spot in the exhibition, you can still take a lot away from entering the Derwent Art Prize, and use the open competition to grow as an artist. According to artist Jake Spicer, from Draw Brighton “The aspirational drawer often needs two things – boundaries and a deadline. Whether you aim to test them, or use them to channel your drawing, nothing promotes creative development like a set of boundaries; a deadline puts a timescale to your development and both are provided by open submission exhibitions.”

In fact, the Derwent Art Prize allows you to experiment with the following brief: to create 2D & 3D artworks in pencil or coloured pencil as well as water soluble, pastel, graphite and charcoal. There is plenty of room for you to get creative with drawing, sculpture, collage, and more! That is why Jake Spicer concludes “Take a look at the Derwent Art Prize. This exhibition only happens every two years, so take the opportunity to enter it now!

To gain exposure, confidence and inspiration, enter the Derwent Art Prize. Visit and submit your work before Monday 17 February 2020, at 5pm gmt, for a chance to exhibit in London and Paris, plus win prizes totalling over £12,500!