The 2018 competition will open for Registrations and Submissions on 1 April 2018 and close on 8 July 2018.

Please see below for information on how to enter the National Open Art competition.

Sign up to our newsletter to keep informed of the call for entries dates for our 2018 competition.


See previous National Open Art shortlisted and winning artwork in our Gallery.




Who can enter?

How do I enter?

How much does it cost?

What are the deadlines?

What can I enter?

What's new for 2018?

Promotion Codes

Can I enter reproduction prints?

What are the size limitations?

What constitutes a miniature?

What information is required for the work?

I’ve made a mistake, how do I correct it?

Do I have to sell my work?

Do I have to have a CV?

I’m having problems registering, who do I contact?

I have a problem with the photo of my work – who do I contact?

How is the judging done?

How do I send my work for the second round of judging?

The important “small print”


Who can enter?


You must live, or be professionally based, in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Éire).


To enter the main competition, you must be 15 years of age by 1 September 2018; to enter the Children’s Competition, you must be 14 years of age or younger on 1 September 2018.

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How do I enter?




After clicking on “Enter” you will be asked to enter your date of birth. This will then take you to the registration form appropriate for your age (over or under 15).


Register by completing the Registration Form (including choosing a username and password) after checking the Conditions of Entry. You will have to pay for your registration on completion.




Login using your Username and Password from your previous entry. If you have forgotten either of them, press the 'click here' button on the registration page. This will generate an email reminder.


In either case, you can submit your image(s) now or at a later date if necessary, up to the close of registration.

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How much does it cost?


Registration for the adult competition costs £20, which includes your first submission. You may enter up to three more submissions at a cost of £20 each.


Artists who are under 24 as of 1 September 2018 and over 14 as of the same date, will pay a standard rate of £12 for registration and submissions.


Registration for the Children’s Competition costs £5, which entitles you to enter one submission. Children may enter up to two more submissions at a cost of £5 each. Children must be under 15 as of 1 September 2018.


There is a special offer for bulk school entries: £10 for 10 children. Please email anne for a code and instructions.


What are the deadlines?


Registration for NOA17 starts on 1 April 2018 and ends at midnight on the 8 July 2018.

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What's new for 2018?


Sorry, we no longer accept Moving Image entries.

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Promotion Codes


Occasionally NOA issues Promotional Codes, for either Registrations or Submissions, for a variation of the usual price. Typically, these can be used only once.


NOTE: When using a promotional code for a submission, no error is issued, e.g. for an already used or an invalid code, until after you have uploaded your images, so please take care when using a code.

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What can I enter?


We accept the following mediums:



Miniature Drawings, Paintings or Wall Hung Installations

Original Prints


Wall Hung Installations

Digital art



We do not accept reproduction prints (e.g. photographic prints of paintings).

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What are the size limitations?


Adult Competition: Max size of Artwork: Width : 153cm x Height : 153cm x Depth : 30cm including the frame.


Miniatures, please click here for details.


Children’s Competition: Max size of Artwork: Width : 50cm x Height : 50cm x Depth : 30cm including the frame.

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What information is required for the work?



NOTE: Once you have registered or submitted, if you have made a mistake you cannot make any changes to the details. Please contact Anne or Amanda if you need changes made, giving the details.




Make sure you have the following ready:


Credit/Debit card ready to pay £20 / £12 for additional submissions. Your initial £20 / £12 registration fee entitles you to upload 1 image or film. Additional images £20 / £12 each (Max 4 = £80 / £48). For Children, a parent or guardian ready to pay £5 for additional submissions (Max 3).

Artists statement of MAX 30 words for each work. Please note that the statement must be about the work and should not include any personal details. If the work is based on someone else's image, you must state that in the satament and have confirmed their agreement.


For All Images

Digital photographic images of your work resized - 250KB - 2MB. For more details about the images, click here.


Medium, e.g. Oil, Lino Cut Print, Photograph, etc. – PLEASE do not just put “Print”

Type of work, e.g. Painting, Drawing, etc, selected from a drop-down list

Measurement in centimetres (with frame if applicable)

Price - Adult - mandatory: a sensible affordable market price please; do not overprice your work as this is not in the spirit of the competition

Maximum price for the Adult competition is £20,000

Price - Children’s works are not for sale.

ONLY Original prints, Photographs or Wall Hung Installations may be "editions". On the submission page enter the number of works in the edition available. If there are unframed works in the edition, please enter the number of those and the price.


For the Adult Competition


Optional: Current 'Art' CV. If previously registered please update CV if necessary. Ideally, CVs should be converted to PDF before uploading. If you have problems with this, please email your CV to Anne, who will convert it for you. As CVs may be published on line, please omit any personal details.


If your work is shortlisted or exhibited and displayed in our gallery, your CV will also be available for viewing, should a user wish to look.


If your work is included in our exhibition(s), your CV will be printed for viewing at the exhibition(s).

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I’m having problems registering, who do I contact?



For all enquiries please call Amanda Kings on 07986 697 693, or email Amanda.

For any technical problems, please contact Anne.

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I have a problem with the photo of my work – who do I contact?


Problems Sizing or cropping


If your image file size is larger than 2Mb, and you are having difficulties reducing it, please email it to Anne making sure that it is sent at “actual size”. Some email providers, and some photograph “manager”s, e.g. Picassa, iPhoto/Photos, etc., automatically reduce attachment sizes. If it is too big to email, contact Anne who will set up a temporary DropBox link for you.


If your image needs cropping or straightening up, also send it to Anne as above.


Please note, that file sizes that are smaller than the minimum of 250Kb, cannot be made larger without loss of quality and colour correction cannot be made.




Some users experience problems when uploading images. Once you have browsed and selected your work, you should be presented with an orange button to allow you to upload the image and progress to the next page, if not, then Javascript needs to be enabled. Some instructions for doing that are here.


If you experience other problems, you might consider trying a different Browser, e.g. Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.


If you still have problems, please send the details of what is happening to Anne, along with a screen shot of the error, if possible, and including the type of Browser you are using, e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox.

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How is the judging done?


Adult Competition


The first round of judging is done digitally, projecting your images up to 10ft square, in front of the judges. Because of this large projection, it is important that your images are as good as you can make them and a reasonable file size. Approximately 500 works are selected for the second round of judging.


If your work is selected in this round, you will be required to send your work to the judging venue, details, here. Approximately 150 works are selected for the exhibition.


It is worth noting that the judging in both rounds (including the children and moving image) is done completely anonymously. Your name, age, gender, and background i.e. education, is strictly not available to the judges so you can be sure that your work is being judged on talent alone. The only information the judges have available to them is the title, size, medium, type and artists' statement.


Children’s Competition


There is only one round of judging for the Children’s Competition, both done online.


Children, whose work is selected at this judging for the exhibition, will be notified in time for them to send their work to the judging venue, if they wish, taking advantage of any collection offers, shown here. Other works will be selected for display on our online Children’s Gallery.


Three children prize-winners will be selected along with three highly commended age-related works – under 6, 6-10 and 11-14 and 4 non-age related highly commended works.


For the national Open Art Childrens Exhibition, approximately 100 works will be selected, including the 10 selected for prizes.

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How do I send my work for the second round of judging?


If shortlisted for the second round of judging, you may deliver the work yourself, use one of our recommended couriers or make other arrangements. Details of the couriers are here.


You are required to send your work to us in an Art Bag from ArtPakk (discounts available to NOA artists) or something similar please.


Traditional wrapping methods give poor protection and are extremely time-consuming, not only for you but also for NOA. We have 500 pieces of Art delivered which need careful unwrapping and then wrapping up again - some will repeat this cycle 5 times on a NOA Tour.


Also, think of the environment! Several clumsy materials are required (bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, paper, tape and string) which cannot be reused.


All work shortlisted for the second stage must be sent in its final form, e.g. framed, mounted, etc.


PLEASE NOTE: All works submitted in bubble wrap or unsuitable wrapping will be returned after the judging unwrapped as we have no wrapping service.


Please call Amanda Kings to discuss special packing arrangements for large works on 07986 697 693.


All work is submitted at your own risk; it is, therefore, advisable that artists insure their work.

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Paintings or drawings (no prints, photography or digital work allowed) inclusive of frame should be no more than 11.5cm x 15cm for Rectangles and Ovals, 11.5cm x 11.5cm for Square or 11cm in diameter for Circles

Surface area should be no more than 100cm squared

Wall Hung Installations should fit inside a cube of 20cm x 20 cm x 20cm including the base and must be wall hung – if selected a shelf or some method of hanging must be provided.

If a Portrait the measurement from chin to the top of the head must be no more than 5cm

Single objects in either the painting or drawing must not be any larger than 5cm

The work must stand up to close inspection, but at the same time hold its own when viewed from afar.

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The important “small print”




Apart from Children's work: For Sale at a sensible and affordable market price in the spirit of the competition and its exhibitions. NOA’s commission is 40% of the price if a work is sold.

Available for use by NATIONAL OPEN ART for advertising and online postings for up to two years from the close of entry date.

Available for all the exhibitions as advertised relating to the year of entry even if they take place in the following year.

Must be collected from NOA after the Stage 2 judging or the exhibition(s) by the deadlines published on the Key Dates. Works not collected by those dates will be disposed of.

Click here for more details of conditions of entry.

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Page updated 23 January 2018


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