VAA International Exhibition & Scholarship Prize


Created to empower, teach, and support artists from all walks of life.

Applications Closed

The Visual Artists Association has introduced an exhibition and scholarship worth £20,000. Created to support emerging artists to develop their arts businesses, The VAA International Exhibition & Scholarship Prize, launched in Summer 2022, aims to benefit emerging and re-emerging artists. This will be achieved by increasing artists’ international exposure, whilst raising funds for VAA artist education programmes.

How is the prize judged?

A judging panel comprised of world-class art experts will shortlist the top ten most accomplished artworks from the range of digital entries.

The shortlisted works will be exhibited firstly in London. Artworks will be for sale in the finalist’s London exhibition, proceeds will be split evenly between the artists and the VAA.

How does it work?

The winners of this prize will receive a three-month artist programme. The programme will be delivered online from March 2024 and includes the VAA Artists Momentum Programme; 4-Weeks Online Workshops. These will take the form of group sessions, that allow peer-to-peer feedback and a private chat community. This allows artists to share ideas and gain support.

Artists will then receive both group and individual support. Following the three-month Momentum Programme, the artists will participate in the VAA International Exhibition, held in London.

Who is it for?

Open to artists across the globe, the prize has been specifically tailored for artists who are not yet established in the art world. The VAA Scholarship Prize is designed to build your confidence to build a sustainable practice. Its unique format includes training for artists with leading art professionals delivering the Momentum Programme.

The Curriculum

Delivered through group workshops as well as one on one support:

  • Creating your artist’s strategy
  • How to present your art confidently in a way that is authentic to you
  • How to find your ideal art buyer
  • Visibility and opportunities; how to claim opportunities and create multiple streams of income
  • How to build an email list of loyal buyers
  • Creating consistent sales with a proven system
  • Pro-Artists mindset and habits – the foundations for your practice

Key Dates*

  • Applications Closed
  • Shortlist announced January 31st 2024.
  • Winners announced February 2024.

Artist Momentum programme – 4 weeks – starts March 2024

*Dates are provisional and subject to slight change

Prize Details

  • Winners Exhibition in central London. Showcase your artwork to a massive audience of over 100,000 art collectors and enthusiasts. Sell your pieces and connect with gallerists, agents, and art media. It’s the perfect platform to gain recognition and make valuable connections.
  • Mentorship package. Immerse yourself in VAA’s four-week Artists Momentum course, featuring weekly online sessions. Learn from industry experts, receive personalized guidance, and unlock your full creative potential.
  • Art Portfolio Review. Engage in an exclusive one-on-one session to discuss your current practice. Gain valuable insights, identify new opportunities, and overcome challenges in your artistic journey.
  • Monthly online group support drop-in sessions. Connect with like-minded artists in a supportive and collaborative environment. Share experiences, knowledge, and receive valuable support to fuel your artistic growth.
  • Networking opportunities with fellow winners. Build lifelong connections with talented artists through exclusive networking events and activities. Inspire each other, collaborate, and propel your careers forward.
  • Invitation to an exclusive VAA Industry dinner event to network with professionals and experts in the art industry. An opportunity to expand your network, gain valuable insights, and forge important connections.
  • Support of VAA Resources Vault. Gain unlimited access to a wealth of resources specifically curated for professional artists. Stay informed, inspired, and empowered every step of the way.
  • Winners Certificate. Proudly display your certificate, symbolizing your remarkable achievement and the start of an incredible artistic journey.

The VAA Scholarship Prize offers unparalleled opportunities to showcase your talent, gain valuable mentorship, connect with industry professionals, and access invaluable resources. Apply now and open doors to a world of artistic possibilities!


The scholarship cohort will consist of a maximum of 6-8 artists, chosen from applications to this call for art.


FREE for VAA Members*

Non-members: £20 for 1-5 entries.

*Those who join our Membership to apply to the prize must remain a member for the duration of the prize.

ink splat, Artist scholarship, call for artists, call for art, open call


Hugo Barclay – UK Fair Director at Affordable Art Fair

Hugo leads an expert team in the execution of three major London fairs. His previous experience includes managing the gallery programme at London Art Fair and among previous roles at Artsy and running art advisories. Hugo has an expansive knowledge on the international art world and an acute understanding of the gallery ecosystem at all levels. He is particularly passionate about nurturing living artists, and the galleries supporting them.

Kate Enters – Artist, Curator, Founder of ArtCan, Art Collector

Kate Enters works at the prize-winning London architecture practice, Stanton Williams, is an experienced curator, a figurative artist and regularly writes about art. Over the last decade she has developed this community of artists and art supporters across 26 countries, built international corporate partnerships and during the pandemic worked with a designer to create a bespoke virtual art gallery. ArtCan has been awarded Most Empowering Artist Opportunity Provider – UK for the past two years and is a member of Social Enterprise UK and the Global Climate Coalition.

Hannah Grout

Hannah Grout – Artist and Community Coordinator at The Other Art Fair

Hannah is Artist and Community Coordinator at The Other Art Fair, working with London based and International artists alike to build an exhibitor base of impressive artistic talent. Her current role intertwines curation and feature management, with previous experience in Marketing of the global editions of the Fair and PR at a leading Fashion House. With a strong background in the Arts Hannah has completed an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, along with a BA from the University of Leeds.

Richard Kalman – Owner and Founder of the Crane Kalman Brighton Gallery

With a family background in the art world and in modern British painting in particular, Richard branched out and opened his own gallery in Brighton in 2005 specialising in contemporary photography.

The gallery has established a reputation for providing a platform to showcase the work of mostly up-and-coming, young British and some International artists. The gallery has held solo exhibitions by artists such as Polly Borland, Simon Roberts, Jane Hilton, Tim Flach and the late Michael Ormerod, as well as the work of international photographers such as Terry Richardson, Joseph Szabo, Karine Laval and Hans van der Meer.

Richard also continues to work with emerging young photographers through the annually held Cream Graduate Showcase exhibition. He also lectures at Universities giving advice to students on photography and careers in the art world.

Richard Kalman
Amy Jobes

Amy Jobes – Contemporary Landscape Painter and Artist Mentor

Amy Jobes is a contemporary landscape painter based in North Devon. Amy has previously worked with the likes of Echo Beach Gallery, Artists & Illustrators Magazine, and even the VAA as a speaker at our ‘How to Build a Small but Mighty Artist’s List’ Masterclass. She has been a self-employed artist for ten years- taking the leap in 2012. Amy has now joined the Visual Artist Association as an Artist Mentor alongside Karen van Hoey Smith.

Rachael Noon-Powell – Gallery Director and Curator at NoonPowell Fine Art, London, a Contemporary Art Gallery

Rachael worked in advertising, exhibitions and make-up / prosthetics for TV and film mainly freelancing for the BBC,  prior to completing a BA (Hons) in Art Theory and Practice at the formerly named Wimbledon School of Art (UAL).  

After graduating, she developed her own practice working mainly in sculpture and on illustration projects. She then made the decision to combine her business background with her knowledge and love of visual art by opening her own contemporary gallery. 

Richard Kalman

2022 Winners

Last year’s inaugural Scholarship Cohort featured ten spectacular artists, who’s works can be seen both above and via the 2022 Winners page.

Take a look at our Scholarship Artists here >>


Who can enter?
Our open call to the VAA International Exhibition & Scholarship prize is open to both amateur and professional artists, working in any visual art medium (i.e. drawing, printing, painting, photography, digital art, sculpture, mixed media).
What is the submission procedure?

The application form can be found on our website, here. You can also download the application form and email it to hello@visual-artists.org

Once you have submitted your application, your application will be processed within 5 working days. You will then be sent a confirmation email, to the email address provided in your application form.

If you have not received an email from us then please email hello@visual-artists.org

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are only able to notify artists that have been successful in both stages. You will be notified by email, using the email address you have provided

Why are there two application phases?
We run two application phases throughout the year. All phases are exactly the same, we simply run it in phases to limit the amount of artwork that is sent to the judges at one time. All artwork is judged the same, so it does not matter what phase in the competition you enter.
Do I need to submit artwork that is for sale?

No, we can select an alternative artwork for the finalists’ exhibition

How do I submit an image?

Within the online application form, you can upload your images, if you have any trouble doing so please email us, at hello@visual-artists.org.

Will there be a private view for exhibitors?
Winners of the prize will be contacted to be advised on dates.
How will my work be displayed?

The exhibition layout is determined by the jurors and the curators.

Will my artwork need framing?

If you have been shortlisted, you will be required to send your work framed in preparation for events where your artwork will be showcased (if applicable).

Can I learn the name of who purchases my work?

The name of the purchaser of artwork is shared with the artist of that work unless the purchaser has requested otherwise.