Entries are now being accepted for the Zurich Portrait Prize and the Zurich Young Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland. For the Zurich Portrait Prize, the annual competition showcasing contemporary portraiture, the Gallery invites submissions from across the island of Ireland, and from Irish artists living abroad. The Zurich Young Portrait Prize, now in its second year, is open to young people aged 18 and under.
The Zurich Portrait Prize aims to encourage interest in contemporary portraiture and to showcase the National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and will be commissioned to create a work for the collection, for which they will be awarded a further €5,000. Two additional awards of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works. Judges for the Zurich Portrait Prize are artist Rita Duffy; Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD; Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.
Following a hugely popular inaugural edition in 2019, the Zurich Young Portrait Prize returns in 2020. The inclusive art competition is open to children and young people of all abilities aged up to 18 from across the island of Ireland. Winners in four age categories and an overall winner will be chosen from a shortlist of 20 works. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize. This year’s Zurich Young Portrait Prize judges are Head of Education at The Hunt Museum Maria Cagney; artist Colin Davidson; and illustrator, author and comedian Aoife Dooley.
Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “In these extraordinary times, we hope to bring joy to those staying at home with art. Today we open the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize, offering artists of all ages an opportunity to connect with their own creativity and with the Gallery. It’s wonderful to have the support of Zurich for the coming years: we are confident that culture will remain central to people’s lives, even in challenging times.”
Zurich Insurance plc have proudly supported these competitions since 2018 and look forward to a continuing relationship with the National Gallery of Ireland. Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich, commented, “Zurich is very proud to be associated with these competitions. This wonderful showcase of talent at all ages provides huge opportunity for artists to deeply engage with this rich art form. We are very pleased to support developments such as the continuation of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize and look forward to seeing the impressive variety of works that this competition always brings forth.”
The closing date for entries to the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize is 1 July 2020. Exhibitions featuring shortlisted works in both competitions run at the National Gallery of Ireland from 21 November 2020 to 21 March 2021. Details of both competitions can be found on the Gallery's website.