Applications are now closed for entries, but we would love you to come along to our Heats and watch the artists take part in this year’s competition. You will also be able to see a gallery of the submitted paintings from this year’s artists.
Standard entry fees into the National trust apply
Heat 1: Tuesday 14th June 2016
Heat 2: Wednesday 15th June 2016Visit Scotney Castle
Heat 3: Tuesday 21st June 2016
Heat 4: Wednesday 22nd June 2016Visit Wray Castle
Heat 5: Tuesday 12th July 2016
Heat 6: Wednesday 13th July 2016Visit Stowe
Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner will host both competitions, which will be judged by award-winning artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, independent curator Kathleen Soriano and art historian Kate Bryan.
Competition days are very exciting for us all: from the beautiful locations to the famous sitters and the incredible variety of artists, to the high level of work completed by the end of the heat. Of course it is stressful for competitors, but without exception they all say they've thoroughly enjoyed the intensity of the day, and the opportunity to work alongside fellow artists.
The art world is a highly respected but sadly largely closed arena. It takes years of dedication, practice, determination and luck to find an audience as a painter. It’s such a thrill to think that these series are able to bulldoze down some of the walls and let new talent burst though.
The events themselves are a joyful celebration of art - like multiple art masterclasses all rolled into a day, or like a super-powered souped-up single day at art school. With so many styles, different types of artists and media, such a wide range of ages and an incredible camaraderie between all involved in the day, the atmosphere is always upbeat, energetic and heavy with promise.
Winning the competition has had an amazing impact on my career as an artist. I’m so busy with painting and I have had a lot of commission work as a result of the programme. I also have my first solo exhibition planned for later this year.
This is not a gimmicky programme. There is no humiliation or personal probing, just a real search for talent. Taking part was such a positive experience. It helps you to see the strengths and weaknesses of your own work. Aside from that, it is a really fun day and you are surrounded by like-minded people. This is a programme that is serious about unearthing talent and it gives you an amazing opportunity to get your work noticed by a wider audience.