Following a record-breaking 1,400+ entries last year, this year’s call for entries opens on Thursday 29 June 2023 under the brief: ‘The Journey of Self-Actualization: Exploring the Illusion of Greener Grass and the Pursuit of the Dream’ – and is expected to attract a multitude of entries according to the judges.
The theme of the exhibition focuses on aspirations and dreams and plays into the notion that we all share a common desire to find the perfect job or career path that brings us fulfilment and self-actualization – with this journey not always being straightforward.
Judges will include Robert Walters – art enthusiast, collector, and Founder of Robert Walters Group; Paul Foster – Director of Saatchi Gallery; Michelle Bowen – Director of UK New Artists; Alex Zawadzki – Director and Curator of The Second Act Gallery; Harold Offeh – Artist & Educator; Inger Margrethe Stoveland – Director of Fluks – Centre for Young Art at the University of Agder, Norway; and Habib Hajallie – Artist and winner of the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award 2022.
The awards have a track record of providing a springboard for emerging artists where previous winners such as Conor Rogers (2019) were subsequently selected for the Freelands Foundation Artist Programme and showcased his work at National Portrait Gallery. 2021 winner Anne von Freyburg went on to win the ‘Tsivrikos Shake Emerging Artist Award.’ And last year’s winners Habib Hajallie (2022) became one of youngest members elected to The Royal Society of British Artists and was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 for Arts & Culture Europe (2023).
The success list goes on, with 2019 runner-up Camilla Hanney being awarded a Gilbert Bayes Award 2021 by the British Society of Sculptors, and 2021 runner-up Catriona Robertson awarded the Gilbert Bayes Award 2022 by the Royal Society of Sculptors, as well as having her shortlisted runners-up piece commissioned by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Entries for the 2023 award open on 29 June and close 3 September. Judges are expecting to see works demonstrating a strong and original voice, displaying exceptional artistic qualities.
The final shortlist of 10 artists, selected by the judging panel will have the opportunity to have their work exhibited at London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery – with all travel and logistics costs covered by Robert Walters Group – at the awards evening on Thursday 9 November.
The winner will receive a cash prize of £10,000 and the artist’s work will be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office in Covent Garden for 12 months. The runner-up will also receive £5,000 from the Robert Walters Group to help fund their future career in the visual arts.
In addition, the People’s Choice Award is back by popular demand- which will be decided by a public vote during the virtual exhibition Friday 10th November – Sunday 10th December and announced on Tuesday 12th December 2023.
How to enter
To be eligible for the award, you must be aged 18 or over, within the first 10 years of your professional practice, and have the right to live, work or study in the UK. Upon application, we will ask you to define the start of your professional practice using one of the following:
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