Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2020: Rules and Guidelines

Photo of a young woman, dressed in paint-covered clothes, seated at an easel in a gallery and copying from a portrait.

We are no longer accepting applications for this competition: the deadline was midnight on 1 July 2020. Best of luck to all who entered!

You can download a PDF version of these rules here

Eligibility and entry requirements

1. You must be between 0 - 18 years of age on the date you created the portrait.

2. The portrait must have been produced within the last 12 months from the date of submission.

3. You can enter if you are ordinarily a resident of the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

4. You may submit one original artwork only. 

5. The submitted portrait must be the entrant’s own original work. 

6. You may enter the competition only once per year.

7. Immediate family members (child, stepchild, grandchild, niece, nephew, sibling, stepsibling or first cousin) of employees, directors and other officers of the National Gallery of Ireland (hereafter referred to the Gallery) are not eligible to enter.

8. Portraits that have already won an award other than the National Gallery of Ireland’s annual Zurich Young Portrait Prize can be entered.

9. Previous winners (overall and category winners) of the competition entitled Zurich Young Portrait Prize are prohibited from entering for 5 years.

10. Entrants who are shortlisted must have the consent of the sitter (or, where relevant, the sitter’s parent, guardian or estate) to submit the portrait to the competition.

The entry form

11. You must fill out the entry form in full. INCOMPLETE OR INACCURATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.

Please attach the entry form as a Word document if you are typing your form and signing a digital signature, or as a PDF if you are hand writing your form and scanning it. Email your form to [email protected] as well as your attached jpeg image(s) of your portrait.

If you are submitting an audio portrait or a video portrait, please email your entry form as a Word document if you are typing your form and signing a digital signature, or a PDF if you are hand writing your form and scanning it, to  [email protected]. Send your audio or video file to [email protected] via WeTransfer.

12. There are three easy ways that you can complete the entry form: 
a) Download the form from www.nationalgallery.ie, type your details into the form including a digital signature, save the form as a Word document, title the document as your full name, email your form and your image(s) to [email protected]

b) Download the form from www.nationalgallery.ie, print the form, hand-write the form, scan the completed form to a computer and save as a PDF, title the document as your full name, email your form and your image(s) to [email protected] 

c) Download the form from www.nationalgallery.ie, type your details into the form, print and sign the form, scan the completed form onto a computer, save the form as a PDF, title the document as your full name, email your form and your image(s) to [email protected]

13. No postal entries and no actual artworks will be accepted by the Gallery.

14. Portraits can be submitted through your school, but all submissions will be judged on an individual basis. 

Sending digital files of your portrait

15. Only entries submitted via email with a digital image/file of the artwork attached (in the format outlined below) will be accepted. No postal entries and no actual artworks will be accepted by the Gallery.

2D artworks: attach 1 image only. Please do not embed the image of the work in your email. Add the image as an attachment.

3D artworks: attach a maximum of 3 images.

Image format: JPG
Image quality: best quality / least compression
Maximum file size: 3MB

Any applications with image files larger than 3MB will not be accepted.

Video artworks: share video file via the file-sharing service WeTransfer. Use your own name for the title of the video file.

Audio artworks: MP3 or WAV. Share the audio file via the file-sharing service WeTransfer. Use your own name for the title of the audio file.

16. Image(s) in your submission 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. Photograph your portrait in good light (natural day light is best), and make sure there is nothing in the way of your portrait when photographing it. Avoid using filters on a 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.

Your portrait

17. All portraits must include a human subject. 

18. Portraits of unidentified, unidentifiable, fictional or imaginary figures (whether living or not) will not be accepted. Portraits of historical figures will not be accepted. However, you can be as imaginative as you wish in how you choose to represent your sitter.

19. The portrait must be of a size and medium that does not inhibit its display in the Gallery. The Gallery has the right to exclude artworks that cannot be reasonably displayed due to their medium or size.

20. Maximum weight is 40 kg.

21. The materials you use for your portrait must be non-perishables; no foods e.g. pasta, rice.

22. Your portrait should be original and made by you.

23. Only entries received via email to [email protected] by midnight (Ireland time) on Wednesday, 1 July 2020 will be accepted.

Shortlisted portraits

24. Entrants selected for the shortlist will be informed by early August 2020.

25. The twenty shortlisted entrants will come away with a professionally framed/display-ready artwork and will have their artwork shown at the Gallery. 

26. By entering the Prize, the entrant (or, where aged 17 or under or otherwise not capable of giving consent on their own behalf, their parent guardian on their behalf) agrees to be bound by these Rules.

27. The sponsors will have no influence on the judgement of the winners of this competition. 

28. The entrant (or, where aged 17 or under or otherwise not capable of giving consent on their own behalf, their parent guardian on their behalf) warrants that (i) the portrait complies with all of the eligibility and entry requirements set out in these Rules; (ii) the entrant is the owner of and holds the copyright in the portrait; and (iii) the entrant consents to, and has obtained the consent of the sitter to, use the portrait and the sitter’s personal details in the manner set out in these Rules.

29. The copyright in all portraits exhibited in the Zurich Young Portrait Prize will remain the property of the entrant. However, it is a condition of entry that the Gallery shall have a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, irrevocable licence: (i) to reproduce images of the artworks for publicity, educational, reference and all broadcast and digital purposes in connection with the Prize, catalogue, possible tour and any subsequent publications; (ii) to provide images to third parties such as national and international press/broadcasters in connection with the Prize; (iii) to use a representation of the winning artworks for any advertising, marketing, promotional or other purposes; and (iv) to permit the Sponsor to create and distribute 20 copies of each winning artwork to persons of its choosing. Should the Gallery decide to produce commercial products containing or comprising copies of artworks for sale (such as posters, postcards etc.), a standard royalty will be offered to the entrants as well as a set number of copies for their own use.

30. The Gallery may, but shall not be obliged to, film and broadcast the processes of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize. The entrant (or, where aged 17 or under or otherwise not capable of giving consent on their own behalf, their parent guardian on their behalf) irrevocably consents to their portrait, as well as footage of the entrant, being included in such filming, whether broadcast or not. The entrant acknowledges that all intellectual property rights and any other rights in such footage will vest in the Gallery and that Gallery shall be entitled without reference to the entrant or the entrant’s sitter, to edit such footage as it sees fit and to distribute it in any media anywhere in the world. The entrant (or, where aged 17 or under or otherwise not capable of giving consent on their own behalf, their parent guardian on their behalf) hereby irrevocably waives all and any performers’ moral rights and any other similar rights which may be vested in the entrants in respect of their contribution to such footage in favour of the Gallery and its successors and assigns.

31. Entrants selected for the shortlist will be required to complete a model release form stating that they have permission for the image to be reproduced in accordance with these Rules.

32. The Gallery is not responsible for any damage to or loss of an artwork while on display, however caused.

33. All shortlisted artworks will remain in the Gallery until the closure of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize display in March 2021 and will then be displayed at our partner venue, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, from 17 April to 11 July 2021. Following the display at the partner venue, shortlisted portraits (including the winning portraits) must be collected by (or on behalf of) the relevant entrants. This can be directly from the Crawford Art Gallery or from the National Gallery of Ireland where the works will be transported.

34. Shortlisted works cannot be reclaimed prior to the closure of the display.

35. Shortlisted works must be collected within a week of the de-installation of the exhibition at the Crawford Art Gallery.

36. The winning entrants will be awarded a prize of a personalised box of art materials and a cash prize. Make sure that you check the email you provide in your personal details between late July and early August. If a winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 30 days of notification, the Gallery reserves the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and select an alternative winner.

37. The prize-giving ceremony will take place at the Gallery on 1 December 2020. 

38. The decisions of the judges are final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to such decisions. 

39. The Gallery reserves the right to disqualify any artwork at any time if the entrant has not adhered to these Rules, even if the work has been shortlisted or selected as the winner.

40. Data Protection: The entrant (or, where aged 17 or under or otherwise not capable of giving consent on their own behalf, their parent or guardian on their behalf)  hereby acknowledges and agrees that any personal data provided to the Gallery pursuant to, or in connection with, these Terms and Conditions, including personal data relating to the entrant and the sitter provided on the Entry Form and the Consent & Release Form, may be processed by the Gallery (or third party processors on its behalf) for the following purposes:
a) for the performance of these Terms & Conditions, including, where applicable, processing payment;
b) where applicable, for recording the accessioning of the Work and any commissioned work produced by the winner of the Competition in the National Collection, in line with the Gallery’s obligations under the National Gallery of Ireland Acts 1854 to 1963;
c) in relation to the Credit Line, for publication on the Gallery’s website, in any catalogue, display label and/or promotional material produced by or on the behalf of the Gallery where the artwork is featured;
d) for any entrants shortlisted, for press and other promotional purposes in connection with the Competition;
e) for general administrative purposes in connection with the entrant’s artwork, including transport, delivery and collection of the artwork
f) where applicable, for entry into TMS, the Gallery’s collection management system; Capture, the Gallery’s CRM system and the Gallery’s copyright database;
g) to invite the entrant to any event in which the artwork is exhibited or related press, publicity or other events hosted by the Gallery;
h) for any data processing necessary in order for the Gallery to carry out its public interest task of increasing or diffusing knowledge of the visual arts, in accordance with its obligations under the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997;
i) for financial auditing purposes; and
j) for statistical, historical and archival research purposes.

Any personal information processed by the Gallery will be retained for a 24-month period to fulfil the purposes outlined above. For more information as regards your rights in relation to your personal data, please read our Privacy Notice.

41. These Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Irish law and any disputes arising under these rules shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts.


The Zurich Young Portrait Prize is an inclusive art competition open to children and young people of all abilities from across the island of Ireland.

Glossary of terms

Portrait: a representation of a person made out of any material e.g. a painting, drawing, collage, photograph, sculpture, audio or video.

Entrant: a person who enters or takes part in something.
 
Sitter: a person who sits for a portrait.

Consent: permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

Diptych: an image created on two hinged flat surfaces.

Triptych: an image created on three hinged flat surfaces.

Material: anything you use to make your portrait (e.g. paint, ink, crayon, collage, pencil, wire, wood)

2D: two-dimensional surface (e.g. a sheet of paper, card or wood, stretched canvas)

3D: three-dimensional object (e.g. a sculpture made of material such as wood, wire, steel) 

Video: a recording of moving visual images made digitally or on videotape.

Audio: sound that is recorded, transmitted, or reproduced.

MB:  Megabyte. This is a multiple of units for digital information. A digital image size is measured in bytes. 

Gerry Davis (b.1985), 'Portrait of Henry Shefflin', 2017.  © Gerry Davis. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

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