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ABOUT


LGC’s mission has remained the same for over 50 years: supporting artists and creatives at all stages of their journey. We have been fortunate enough to witness the unwavering dedication of our artist community, who pour their passion and energy into their craft, daily. In recognition of their talent, supported by entrepreneur extraordinaire Theo Paphitis, we wanted to shine a spotlight on their work and give back to the community by launching our very own art prize.

We were overwhelmed by the response to the last two Art Prizes, and we look forward to seeing what 2024 has to offer.

Mark Draisey - 'Jack'

Jessie Stevenson - 'The Farewell Light'

OVERVIEW


Free to enter

One entry per person

Open to artists within the UK

All artists 18+ welcome to enter

2-dimensional artwork in any painting, drawing, or print media

Prize categories for LGC Art Prize Winner, People’s Choice Award, and The One to Watch

THEME


'JOY'

As the quote from C.S. Lewis goes, “Into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled.”, we are reminded that joy can flourish even in the darkest times. That is why we have chosen to celebrate and dedicate this year’s LGC X Theo Paphitis Art Prize to: Joy.

This theme can be interpreted in countless ways, allowing you, the artist, to explore what Joy means to you. Joy can be anything from nuanced to expansive, personal to poignant, carousing to heartbreaking, and everything in between, meaning there’s no limit to where Joy can take you. So get creating!

Morgan Penn - 'It's a Snail's Pace in Twickenham'

Adebanji Alade - 'BROWN SKIN GAL'

PRIZES


LGC ART PRIZE WINNER

£5,000

+ £500 worth of materials from
London Graphic Centre
+ £500 product bundle from Liquitex and
Winsor & Newton
+ £500 product bundle from Pébéo

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD

£2,000

+ £250 worth of materials from
London Graphic Centre
+ £250 product bundle from Liquitex and
Winsor & Newton

THE ONE TO WATCH

£500

+ £250 worth of materials from
London Graphic Centre
+ £250 product bundle from Faber-Castell

About Adebanji

Adebanji Alade is the President of The Royal Institute of Oil Painters. The President of the East Kent Art Society. He is also a member of the Chelsea Art Society, an Honorary member of the Society of Graphic Fine Artists and a member of the Guild of Fine Art Nigeria.

Adebanji has written three art instruction books, “The Addictive Sketcher”, “Addictive” and “Painting People & Places”

He is a powerful portrait, figurative and landscape painter. Adebanji presents art documentaries on the One Show for the BBC. He teaches at the Heatherley School of Fine Art and the Art Academy, London. He also does talks, demonstrations and workshops for schools, colleges and art societies. On social media he is @addictivesketcher

From the judge

"The theme of joy is such a beautiful way to see how each artist interprets this amazing perpetual state of being. Joy is unspeakable and it’s full of glory! It’s exuberant and rich with the breath of life itself!

It transcends all nature and it can be seen and experienced in the highs and lows of existence. Now, how would each artist show this in their masterpieces is something I can’t wait to see. Let the work start rolling in!!"

About Barbara

Barbara Murray is an artist living and working in the English Lake District, where she gets much of her inspiration for landscape painting. After attending Art College in the North East of England, where she learned painting techniques, particularly working in oils, Barbara moved to the Lakes and started work for Derwent. It was then that she discovered a love of colour pencil drawing.

Barbara has now worked for Derwent for 39 years, and is a passionate advocate for colour pencil art. She is also Chair of the UK Colour Pencil Society and a Gold Signature member, having exhibited in many of their exhibitions. The UKCPS has around 700 members from all around the world.

From the judge

"Joy means different things to different people, I’m sure. Joy can stem from a momentous life event, but it can be found every day in small things. Spring is such a joyful time – I’m currently experiencing so much joy at listening to birdsong in the morning, watching flowers blooming, lambs jumping, glimpses of sunshine! I’m so excited to see how people interpret their own sense of joy!"

About Tom

Tom Croft is a portrait painter, working out of his studio in Oxford. He has produced paintings for a wide range of clients, from Manchester United Football Club to Oxford colleges and private commissions.

Some of Tom’s most notable portraits include the first female bishop Libby Lane, author Mark Haddon, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, musical artist Tinie Tempah, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, Radiohead bass player Colin Greenwood and footballers Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. Tom appeared on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and featured on the BBC One TV show Extraordinary Portraits, where he painted the former Royal Marine and the first triple amputee in the UK to survive the Afghanistan conflict, Mark Ormrod MBE.

He opens his studio to the public during Oxfordshire Artweeks each year and is a member of the Oxford Art Society. He is also a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters Collective (CBPP), a group showcasing the best portrait artists working in Britain today.

From the judge

"With the world in turmoil everywhere you look at the moment, what we need now more than ever is a reason to feel joy. It’s the perfect theme for this year's London Art Prize, joy in whatever form the artists want it to take, for them and for us.

The myriad of forms joy can take, love, friendship, compassion, birth, a view, a celebration, all conveyed through a line, a mark, light and colour, I can’t wait to see how the artists interpret and convey it. Ideally I’m hoping not to just see a portrait of someone called Joy. Push the creativity, uplift and dazzle us with your joyful skills!

About Jessie

Jessie Stevenson (b. 1993, Norwich, UK) is an artist based between North Norfolk and London. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (2017) and an MFA in Painting from the Slade School of Fine Art (2022), where she was honoured with The Bartolomeu dos Santos Award. Currently, Stevenson serves as an Honorary Research Associate at the Slade School of Art.

Stevenson's work is inspired by landscape and explores physical and emotional energies. Drawing from natural surroundings, particularly the North Norfolk coastline, her work captures the essence of memory and place through shifting colour dynamics. Stevenson aims to embody an ideal beauty while prompting alternative levels of reality which she unfurls on the expansive canvas. She replicates unfolding shocks and surprises, embracing both pandemonium and paradise, euphoria and darkness, public and private realms. Stevenson’s process in relation to painting is akin to a layered tapestry; it begins from the ground, rooted in the immediacy of the present moment, and expands outward, weaving together a narrative that reflects the ongoing flux of existence.

From the judge

"Joy often emerges from the depths of adversity. The act of making can involve breaking down existing ideas or materials to forge something new and meaningful. Through this dynamic interplay of destruction and creation, joy can be found in the evolution of the work—turning challenges into opportunities, and ultimately, celebrating artistic rebirth. The recurrent cycle builds satisfaction in the studio, where the process itself becomes a source of fulfilment and transformation."

About Theo

Cypriot born Theo Paphitis launched the Art Prize in 2022, and has a business empire that spans retail, property and finance. He has been in retail for over 40 years and in that time bought and revived the fortunes of the likes of Ryman, La Senza, Contessa, and Robert Dyas and launched global lingerie brand Boux Avenue in 2011. In 2016 he added the London Graphic Centre to his portfolio.

Theo is also known for his 8 years as Millwall Chairman, as well as many TV appearances, including most notably as a Dragon on the BBC's Dragons' Den. He supports several children and youth charities, through his Theo Paphitis Charitable Trust, and has also been Chancellor of Solent University since 2018. Theo is the Dyslexia Empowerment Patron for British Dyslexia Association, and recently also launched the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary.

From the judge

"The theme of joy is the perfect antidote to the challenges of everyday life, particularly at the moment with global uncertainty and elections on the tip of everyone's tongues. I look forward to seeing the uplifting, inspiring and joyous artwork entries, because who doesn’t need a bit more joy in their lives?"

About Tom

Mead’s fractured paintings challenge pictorial space, deconstructing the process of painting to re-contextualise the reading of the completed image. An interplay between two and three dimensional work similarly compels a reconsideration in how the viewer engages and interprets the artwork.

An exploration of the visuals and ideology from childhood encompasses many of Mead's artworks, with an inclusion of toys and naïvely constructed environments being juxtaposed with ambiguous narratives where an undercurrent of existentialism and suadade permeates. As a result, a melancholic, warped form of nostalgia remains. Mead has exhibited work in many UK galleries and has been part of prestigious painting competitions. He won the London Graphic Centre Prize 2023, was a finalist of SkyArts Portrait Artist of the Year in 2019 and has made the shortlist for the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize three times. Notable commissioned sitters of Mead include Theo Faberge, Professor Green, Jazzie B, Laura Linney, Axel Ruger, Sarah Healey and Courtney Pine.

From the judge

"I'm looking forward to seeing the different interpretations of the theme. Most of my own work stems from worries or frustrations, but in painting and exploring those issues I derive a sense of joy. Possibly other artists start with a sense of joy and turn it into something new. I'd be especially interested to see work that can capture pure joy without stepping into saccharine territory, a challenge I think a lot of artists avoid. The Art world can tend to take itself too seriously, and it might just be limiting itself in doing so. Best of luck and my overall advice would be to make the work you want to make, not whatever you think the judges want to see!"

JUDGES


We are deeply honoured to have an exceptional panel of judges for this year's Art Prize.

Including practicing artists, art patrons, professors and 2023 LGC Art Prize Winner, Tom Mead. Each member of the panel brings their distinct perspective to the table. They will be making sure that we have a varied and exciting group of winners!

Barbara Murray - 'Antarctic Swim Team'

TIMELINE

28 MAY

SUBMISSIONS
OPEN

05 JULY

SUBMISSIONS
CLOSE

05 AUGUST

PEOPLE'S CHOICE
VOTING OPEN

19 AUGUST

PEOPLE'S CHOICE
VOTING CLOSED

26 AUGUST

SHORTLIST
ANNOUNCED

11 SEPTEMBER

WINNERS
ANNOUNCED

Jane Goodman - 'Untitled'

About


LGC’s mission has remained the same for 50 years: supporting artists and creatives at all stages of their journey. We have been fortunate enough to witness the unwavering dedication of our artist community, who pour their passion and energy into their craft, daily. In recognition of their talent, supported by entrepreneur extraordinaire Theo Paphitis, we wanted to shine a spotlight on their work and give back to the community by launching our very own art prize. 

 

We were overwhelmed by the response to the inaugural Art Prize last year, and we look forward to seeing what 2023 has to offer.      

Overview


Free to enter

One entry per person

Open to artists within the UK

All artists over 18 welcome to enter

Artist statement in pdf format

2-dimensional artwork in any painting or drawing media

“Living the dream”, Christine Roychowdhury

Malcolm Duffin - 'Untitled'

Theme


'Connection'

Connection is a universal concept that touches on the core of human experiences. It allows artists to explore the ways in which people relate and communicate with one another, promoting understanding and empathy through their works, but also the way we respond to our surroundings. The theme of connection can be interpreted in countless ways, allowing artists to explore a wide range of ideas, mediums, and techniques.

Prizes


LGC Art Prize Winner

£5,000

+ £500 worth of materials from
London Graphic Centre

+ £500 voucher from Liquitex, Winsor & Newton

+ £500 voucher from Pebeo

People's Choice Award

£2,000

+ £250 worth of materials from
London Graphic Centre

+ £250 voucher from Liquitex and Winsor & Newton

The One to Watch

£500

+ £100 worth of materials from
London Graphic Centre

+ £100 voucher from Liquitex and Winsor & Newton

+ Mentoring from a Citylit tutor

Tom Croft - ‘Looking back selfie', Oil on canvas

About Kate

British artist Kate Brinkworth graduated with a First in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent in 2000 & has worked as an artist since then. She has exhibited internationally alongside major collaborations with leading brands including Coca-Cola and Supreme.

Her work includes subtle drawings, black and white paintings – and photorealist paintings using iconic items as still lives. These stem from her curiosity in films, particularly those in the style of Hitchcock. She is inspired by effects created through experimentation with focus, camera angles & lighting. Using the language of film, advertising & photography to create her work.

From the judge

"After last year’s theme of Escapism, Connection feels like a natural continuation. We have all recently felt the various sensations that disconnection, connection & reconnection can bring. Whether it be literal - connections & bonds we find with each other, with the physical & natural world that surrounds us or exploring connections we feel & experience on a sensory level, this theme offers broad scope for exploration."

About Tom

Tom Croft is a portrait painter, working out of his studio in Oxford. He has produced paintings for a wide range of clients, from Manchester United Football Club to Oxford colleges and private commissions.

Some of Tom’s most notable portraits include the first female bishop Libby Lane, author Mark Haddon, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, musical artist Tinie Tempah, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, Radiohead bass player Colin Greenwood and footballers Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. Tom appeared on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and featured on the BBC One TV show Extraordinary Portraits, where he painted the former Royal Marine and the first triple amputee in the UK to survive the Afghanistan conflict, Mark Ormrod MBE.

He opens his studio to the public during Oxfordshire Artweeks each year and is a member of the Oxford Art Society. He is also a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters Collective (CBPP), a group showcasing the best portrait artists working in Britain today.

In March 2020 Tom started #portraitsfornhsheroes by offering a free portrait to the first NHS key worker to contact him on Instagram. He then encouraged other portrait artists to do the same, and the initiative grew into a global project. There is now an online exhibition of the NHS portraits in association with Google Arts and Culture and the charity Paintings in Hospitals. Tom also produced a book with Bloomsbury Publishers showing over 700 of the thousands of free NHS portraits produced. Tom received a British Empire Medal for services to the Arts and to Charity during the Covid-19 response.

From the judge

"I am thrilled to be one of the judges this year for the London Graphic Centre Art Prize. As a kid my dad would take me to the LGC whenever we were in town, so I have a strong history with the shop, and it still excites me walking in!

As a working portrait painter I know how important it is to get your work out there and be seen by as wide an audience as possible, to showcase your skills and potentially gain new sales and commissions.

I can also relate to the artists who enter and appreciate how nerve-wracking it can be to offer you work up for judgment.

However we will respect all the works, offer encouragement and any advice we think could help and I’m sure we’ll be blown away by the quality of the submissions. I can’t wait to see what is produced!

I’m also looking forward to trying to convince Theo to commission a portrait of himself to hang in the store…"

About Brian

Brian Reed is an educator, artist and designer and is the course leader of the graphic design and illustration undergraduate courses at Solent University. With interests in communication, narrative and the construction of meaning via images and text, his artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally with works placed in the collections of Saatchi, UAL and private collectors.

From the judge

"I am very honoured to be included on the panel and am extremely looking forward to reviewing the wide range of great creative work submitted on the theme of connection - experiencing the pleasure people had producing them - and discussing the works with the rest of the panel."

About Theo

Cypriot born Theo Paphitis launched the Art Prize in 2022, and has a business empire that spans retail, property and finance. He has been in retail for over 40 years and in that time bought and revived the fortunes of the likes of Ryman, La Senza, Contessa, and Robert Dyas and launched global lingerie brand Boux Avenue in 2011. In 2016 he added the London Graphic Centre to his portfolio.

Theo is also known for his 8 years as Millwall Chairman, as well as many TV appearances, including most notably as a Dragon on the BBC's Dragons' Den. He supports several children and youth charities, through his Theo Paphitis Charitable Trust, and has also been Chancellor of Solent University since 2018.

From the judge

"The quality of entries into last year’s Art Prize blew us all away, and we could see just how much it resonated with people when we saw the thousands who voted for the Peoples’ Choice Award. The competition showed the sheer breadth of artistic talent we have here in the UK and we are delighted to bring it back this year, with a new theme - tapping into that fantastic talent-base once again.

Art is such an important part of the fabric of our society and never more so now when times are tough and art can offer that light and escapism we are all after. I am excited to see this year’s entries and wish the entrants every success."

About Jayne

Jayne Kay has worked within the School of Visual Arts at City Lit for roughly thirty years after graduating from Wimbledon School of Art in the late 80’s where she studied painting. Throughout her years, Jayne has moved through various roles, including technician, tutor for drawing, printmaking and being part of the school's accredited art and design foundation course.

In her current remit as Head of School for Visual Arts, Jayne oversees the three programme areas that make up the school’s curriculum, these include 2D studies, 3D studies and advanced practice. Jayne continues to be an advocate for creative adult education and enjoys working with passionate, creative, and innovative people.

From the judge

"I am extremely excited to be part of this year’s judging panel and to continue our work with London Graphic Centre. I am interested to see personal subjects being explored within the artwork and how they have used materials and various processes in a creative way"

Judges


We are deeply honoured to have an exceptional panel of judges for this year's Art Prize. Including practising artists, curators, art collectors, and professors, each member of the panel brings their distinct perspective to the table. They will be making sure that we have a varied and exciting group of winners!

Kate Brinkworth - ‘London Casino', Oil on board

16 MAY

28 May - Submissions
Open

09 JULY

05 July - Submissions Close

09 AUGUST

05 August - People's Choice voting Opens

16 AUGUST

19 August - People's Choice voting Closes

25 AUGUST

26 August - Finalists

Announced

15 SEPTEMBER

11 September - Winners

Announced

Newsletter


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