Enter the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2021

Deadline: 23 June 2021, 10pm (IST)

Our annual inclusive art competition aims to foster and support creativity, originality and self-expression in children and young people. The Zurich Young Portrait Prize accepts entries from young people, up to the age of 18, of all abilities, from across the island of Ireland. 20 finalists in four categories (ages 6 and under, ages 7–11, ages 12–15 and ages 16–18), chosen by our panel of judges, will be displayed in an exhibition in the Gallery from 13 November 2021 to 3 April 2022, before travelling to Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. The overall winner will be awarded a personalised wooden box of high-quality art materials, specific to their choice of material in their portrait, and a cash prize of €500.


The brief is simple: 

  • Create a portrait of someone you know. You could choose a friend, a family member, your teacher, or even yourself!
  • Paintings, drawings, photographs, collages, sculpture and videos are all welcome.
  • You can enter through your school or by yourself.
  • Have fun and enjoy the process!


Age categories

Young people of all abilities are invited to take part. Prizes will be awarded to one overall winner, plus one winner from each age category:

  • 6 years and under
  • 7  – 11 years
  • 12 – 15 years
  • 16 – 18 years


How to submit your portrait:

Step 1: Read the competition rules and frequently asked questions

Step 2: Complete the entry form in full. If you need help filling in the form, please ask your parent/guardian/teacher, as we cannot accept incomplete entry forms. You can download the entry form here

Step 3: If your portrait is 2D or 3D, you need to take a digital photograph of it.

  • This photograph must be clear and include the portrait only. Your portrait will be judged based on the image you send to us!
  • Make sure it is taken with a good-quality camera phone or digital SLR camera.
  • Photograph your portrait in good light (natural day light is best), and make sure there is nothing blocking your portrait.
  • Avoid using filters on your camera - the photograph should represent the real thing!
  • Try hanging your portrait on a wall - this will help you achieve a good representation of your artwork.
  • If it is a three-dimensional portrait take a picture from three different angles. Make sure you clear some floor space or a table to do this.
  • See a good example of a photo of an artwork, and a bad example of a photo of an artwork, below.

Step 4: Email your completed application form to [email protected]. If your portrait is 2D or 3D, you must attach the image(s) to the same email. If your portrait is a video or audio, you need to send it via the file-sharing service WeTransfer to [email protected]. Use your own name for the title of the file. You also need to email your completed application form to [email protected]

Don't forget! You must enter before Wednesday 23 June 2021, 10pm (Ireland time).


If your portrait is 2D or 3D, you need to take a digital photograph of it and send it to us. Here are examples:
This is a good example of a photo of an artwork - it's clear and only includes the artwork.


This is a bad example of a photo of an artwork. The full artwork is not visible.


Zurich logo

2021 judging panel

Headshots of Aideen Barry, Joe Caslin and Tadhg Crowley
L-R: Aideen Barry, Joe Caslin, Tadhg Crowley.Credit

We are delighted to have Aideen Barry, Joe Caslin, and Tadhg Crowley on board as the judges of this year's Zurich Young Portrait Prize.

Aideen Barry (ARHA) is a practising visual artist based in Ireland, but with an international profile. Barry is a member of Aosdána, and lectures in several universities and schools of visual art in Ireland, the United States, and around the world. Selected projects include exhibitions at The American Film Makers' Co-op NYC (US), NYU, The Katzen Centre (US), Elephant West (UK), Mother's Tankstation (IE), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Oaxaca (MX), Louise T. Blouin (London), Wexner Center (US), Moderne Mussett (SE), Liste Art Fair (CH), BAC Geneva (CH), Loop Biennale (ES), and Matucana 100 (CL). She is currently making a feature film "Klostés" commissioned by Kaunas 2022, and is working on a multidisciplinary collaborative work "ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᓐᓃᖅᑐᑦ /OBLIVION/SEACHMALLTACHT" for the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Music Network and the Bunting Archives. Recent awards and honours include the Anderson Lectureship at Penn State University, The Myron Marty Fellowship at Drake (Iowa), Project Awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks. In 2010, she was shortlisted for the prestigious AIB Prize, and in 2021 she won the Golden Fleece Award and the Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Prize. 

Joe Caslin is an Irish street artist, art teacher and activist, best known for his beautifully rendered pencil drawings, which manifest as towering pieces of street art. His highly accessible work engages directly with the social issues of modern Ireland, on an unavoidable scale. Caslin confronts the subjects of suicide, drug addiction, economic marginalisation, marriage equality, stigma in mental health, direct provision, institutional power, consent and, most recently, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people. The monochrome drawings Caslin creates live with us and against many of us for some time before washing away. They hold a mirror up to the kind of society that we are, whilst asking us individually what kind of society we want to be a part of.

Tadhg Crowley is the Senior Curator – Education + Community at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. Tadhg has recently curated projects with communities of interest and communities of place including Making Waves (2017), Future Forms (2019), and Tales of a City (2020). Tadhg has coordinated the Glucksman’s Creative Agency programme with young asylum seekers since 2015. These engagements at the museum have been realised through a variety of projects including Our Place (2016), Change the Beat (2019), and My Generation (2020). He has curated exhibitions at the museum including Viewpoints (2019), Moving Spaces (2019), and New Light (2020).  

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