Judging took place this week for the RBSA’s prestigious Portrait Prize exhibition, which opens this Thursday and features some of the best contemporary art in the UK.
Entries have flooded in from across the country, and include work by artists who have exhibited at national and international level.
The judges for this year’s Portrait Prize are:
- Tim Benson: Vice President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters
- James Lloyd: a former winner of the BP Portrait Award
- John Davenport: Member of the RBSA
Tim Benson tweeted: “Off to Birmingham to judge the prize winners at the @rbsagallery biennial portrait competition. This is my piece in the show.”
The exhibition was hung at the weekend and judges viewed the paintings and sculptures on Monday.
Excitement is mounting as Thursday approaches.
ART BLOG went behind the scenes on Sunday to see artists deliver their work to our Jewellery Quarter gallery…
Delivery day requires all hands on deck as works arrive and are hung.
Artists check in at the gallery, and unwrap their paintings and sculptures from layers of bubble wrap. They are helped by members of the RBSA display team, made up of Members, Associates and Friends of the Society.
Once the artists have delivered their works, staff arrive to commence the layout and install.
Paintings are hung using a screw and rod system, and the team works with the Hon. Curator to decide on layout. This will vary according to the size of the show, the genre of works exhibited and the medium of artworks.
Changeovers can take between one and three days depending on the nature of the show.
Natalie Osborne, RBSA Learning and Engagement Manager, said: “Exhibition changeovers, deliveries, and installs are very busy times. However, the Display Team Volunteers have refined the process over the years to help things run as smoothly as possible.
“For the artists delivering their works, it’s very difficult to reduce the amount of queuing involved… but this does give them a nice opportunity to meet and chat with fellow artists!”
The Portrait Prize results will be announced at the closing party and prize-giving on August 18.
Judge John Davenport reiterated his message to all those who entered: “We would like to warmly congratulate the successful entrants. The overall quality of the work submitted was very high.
“As competition was so fierce this year we would strongly encourage those who were unlucky this time to submit work in the future.”
Visit the RBSA Portrait Prize exhibition from Thursday until August 19.
Did you know?
- This is the fifth biennial Portrait Prize and the 70 works selected represent the best in the field of portraiture across a range of media.
- There’s a first prize of £1,000.
- You can book on one of many portrait-themed workshops running this summer.
- The full list of selected portraits can be viewed at the RBSA website and our Flickr page displays all the works.
In addition to a first prize of £1,000, a People’s Prize is awarded to the artist who receives the most votes from visitors to the exhibition, so make sure you attend and get voting!