Entries now open for WA’s Premier Portrait Prize

POSTED ON 05 April

Submissions are now open for both adult and youth categories for WA’s premier portrait prize ¬– The Lester Prize. This award is one of the nation’s most recognised and prestigious art prizes and is now in its fifteenth year.

The prize pool available to professional, emerging and young artists is worth over $95,000. More than 750 artists from across Australia are expected to enter this prize, which had a record 750 entries last year. Submissions close on 25 June 2021, and the finalists will be announced on 6 August 2021.

The finalists’ works will be open to the public at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) in the Centenary Galleries from 16 October 2021 until 29 November 2021, with the winner announced on 15 October 2021. The exhibition season at AGWA has been extended to six weeks this year due to popular demand.

The Youth Portraiture Prize for high school students across Australia is also open for entries, closing on 16 July 2021. Finalists for this competition will be on announced on 6 August 2021 and these works will be on display in Brookfield Place in October and November 2021 along with select Salon de Refusés works.

The Prize has had over 5,600 artwork entries submitted and showcased more than 1,300 finalists from across Australia since its inception. Over the last 15 years, more than 3.2 million visitors have attended its exhibition season events and activities.

“This year’s inspiration is centred on the power of portraiture to reveal human stories, interpret meaning and cultivate inclusivity. We are thrilled to celebrate and showcase the stories of artists from across the country and bring the community closer through engagement in art,” said Annie Silberstein, Executive Director from The Lester Prize.

Artists from across Australia are invited to submit portraits of an Australian, or Australians, that they respect or admire, or a self-portrait. Full Terms & Conditions are available at www.lesterprize.com.

Artists are allowed to submit an unlimited number of portraits (instead of a maximum of two) and works can be created from a photograph instead of from “life” – as long as the photograph has been approved by the subject. These changes to entry requirements were bought in last year due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel and physical distancing.

The Lester Prize pool includes $50,000 cash, $15,000 Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize (selected by artists’ peers), the $10,000 People’s Choice Prize kindly donated by the Baldock Family (selected by the general public), the $10,000 Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize (selected by the Minderoo Foundation), the $5,000 Ashhurst Emerging Artist prize (selected by our judges) and two Highly Commended Prizes which will be awarded $2,000 cash, a $550 domestic art transport voucher, $500 framing voucher and $250 art supplies voucher each.