Portrait Artist Of The Year

Sky Arts is once again searching for the talented artist who can be crowned Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year 2014.

Following the enormous success of the first series, Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner will return to present series two. They will be joined by the judges: award-winning portrait artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, former Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy and the National Portrait Gallery Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan, Head of Contemporary at the Fine Art Society, in the search across the UK and Ireland for a new star of the art world.

The competition will be filmed over the summer and broadcast on Sky Arts in October. The series finalists will see their work exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery for a month and the winner will be awarded a £10,000 major commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The prize commission will be exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and will become part of its permanent art collection. The winner will also receive a year's supply of art materials courtesy of leading fine art supplier, Cass Art.

Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year 2014 will aim to discover and nurture artists of all capabilities who want to showcase their skills, whether amateur, professional or hobbyist. Anyone aged 16 and over can apply. Shortlisted artists will be invited to attend one of six regional heats over summer 2014. At these heats, participants will be challenged to produce a portrait of one of three famous sitters. At the end of each heat the judges will choose one artist to go through to the next round of the competition.

The heats will take place in:

- London on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th May
- Dublin on Sunday 15th June
- Edinburgh on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th July
- Cardiff on Sunday 13th July

The winners from the heats will then take part in more extraordinary portrait challenges with the semi-final to be held in London and the grand final taking place at the National Portrait Gallery. The overall winner will be chosen by the judges together with Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery says of this year's competition, "This is a great initiative for promoting the fascinating art of portraiture and finding new talented painters. It's terrific news that the winner will be awarded a major commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery - we look forward hugely to unveiling their work in Edinburgh."

If you'd like to apply for Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year 2014, now's the time. The closing date for applications is 12pm (midday) on 1st May 2014.

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