Take hold of 2021 with these amazing new international and virtual opportunities for you to take part in this January. Don’t put applying on hold, these opportunities all have deadlines within January.


VAA International Art Exhibition 2021

The VAA International Art Exhibition 2021 is an online space for Artists & Collectors to connect. The event is an ambitious exhibition expanding across four virtual gallery spaces, featuring the work of over 2000 talented Artists. All works are available to purchase directly from the Artist; buyers can simply click on the artwork for details. The event is an opportunity for emerging artists to be discovered internationally by buyers, gallery representatives, publishers, and art agents

Who can enter: Artist’s worldwide

Entry Fee: Free for VAA Premium Members

Applications Open: 21st October 2020

Deadline to enter: 26th February 2021

More details: https://visual-artists.org/artexhibition/


World Photography Organisation Open Competition

The World Photography Organisation’s Open competition celebrates exceptional standalone images from around the world, and seeks to give opportunity to photographers whose work might otherwise not be seen. Judges are looking for photographs that are striking, well crafted, and of exceptional quality. Photographers of all abilities can enter multiple single images to the following categories: Architecture, Creative, Motion, Landscape, Lifestyle, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Object, Street Photography, and Travel.

The overall Open Photographer of the Year winner will receive a $5,000 prize and a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, while 10 category winners will receive a range of Sony digital imaging equipment and publication in the Sony World Photography Awards book.

Who can enter: Artists Worldwide

Deadline to enter: 7th January 2021

More details: https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/open


Career Makers: Rising Stars 2021

Rising Stars is a curated national platform aiming to champion early-career makers, students, and graduates from BA and MA programmes in crafts, design, and applied arts across the UK. The platform offers new makers a first step into the marketplace through a curated selling exhibition at New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, in addition to advice on topics such as pricing, marketing work, and how to gain and manage new connections, as well as a catalogue serving as a promotional tool for participants. One maker will also be selected for a professional development award of £500, and a solo exhibition at New Ashgate in 2022.

Who can enter: UK Artists

Deadline to enter: 10th January 2021

More details: https://www.newashgate.org.uk/information-for-artists/rising-stars-2021-call-for-early-career-makers


Dreamboys – Erotic Print Design

Dreamboys invites applications from artists working in illustration, graphic design, and fine art to design an erotic print.

Selected artists will be invited to contribute to the Dreamboys merchandise range and have their fun erotic design featured on items such as notebooks and bedding. The design should ideally be repeatable to form a pattern, but this is not a prerequisite. There is a fee of £250 and artists will also be featured across the brand’s social media which has a collective following of over 1 million.

Deadline to enter: 15th January 2021

More details: https://www.dreamboys.co.uk/news/artist-competition-erotic-print-design


Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2021


£10,000 of prizes & exhibitions in London
Renowned judging panel
Consideration for the Ashurst Art Collection 2021
Every entrant is promoted on our social media channels
​Free career development talks for artists
20% discount on art supplies from Cass Art
20% discount on printing and production at Genesis Imaging

Who can enter: Artists Worldwide

Entry Fee: £20 for first artwork, £10 per additional artwork

Deadline to enter: 17th January 2021

More details: https://www.artprize.co.uk/


Royal Society Of Portrait Painters Award

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters invites artists from all over the world to submit portraits for our Annual Exhibition in 2021.

The final exhibition is selected by leading portrait painters and being selected is a mark of distinction. Selected artists will have their work exhibited in a prestigious showcase at The Mall Galleries in Central London at which a number of works will sell and a number of commissions will be placed. There is also the chance to win a number of prizes and awards totalling over £23,000.

Who can enter: Artists Worldwide

Entry Fee: £20 for standard images, £14 for artists aged 35 and under

Deadline to enter: 25th January 2021

More details: https://therp.artopps.co.uk/


The Viking Cruises British Art Prize

The overall winner of The Viking Cruises British Art Prize 2021 will receive a £2,000 cash prize, a feature in Artists & Illustrators, a solo exhibition with Panter & Hall, and a Viking river cruise worth £7,000, which visits Lyon, Provence and Arles, following in the footsteps of Van Gogh.

There are additional prizes for the second, third, and people’s choice winners.

Who can enter: UK Artists Only

Entry Fee: £20 for standard images, £14 for artists aged 35 and under

Deadline to enter: 21st January 2021

More details: https://awards.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/?%2Fbritishartprize


International Call for Online Art Competition

Online Art Competition to be open for entries from December 28th, 2020 to January 24th, 2021.  Contemporary Art Gallery Online encourages entries from all 2D artists regardless of their experience or education in the art field.  An exhibition of all entrants will be held online from January 28th, 2021 to February 27th, 2021.  Artists should submit their best representational and non-representational art.  This competition will be judged on Painting & Drawing Art.  Mixed Media will be accepted as long as 75% of the work is painting.   Awards will be given for the top 5 to 8 works selected, (this will depend on the number of submissions).   Winners will be announced on February 11th, 2021.

Who can enter: UK Artists

Entry Fee:  $15 for up to three images

Deadline to enter: 24th January 2021

More details: https://www.artshub.co.uk/callout/national/call-for-artists/international-call-for-online-art-competition-all-painting-drawing-art%E2%80%9D-109744 


Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2021

Portrait Artist of the Year offers you the chance to win a £10,000 commission for a major British institution and £500 of art materials from Cass Art.

Filming of Portrait Artist of the Year is planned to take place at Battersea Arts Centre in March 2021.

We hope to open the heats to the public but this will be subject to government guidance closer to the time If you’d like to receive information on filming dates and locations and updates about the series please join our mailing list and follow Sky Arts TwitterInstagram and Facebook pages.

Who can enter: UK Artists Only

Entry Fee: No Entry Fee

Deadline to enter: 29th January 2021

More details: https://www.skyartsartistoftheyear.tv/portrait/


The King House Gallery – Seasons

The King House Gallery is calling for entries for a brand-new edition themed “Seasons”. The competition gives artists across the world the opportunity to showcase their work, participate in a unique virtual exhibition, join an exhibition in United Kingdom in 2021, cash prizes, as well as getting participation certificates to strengthen their art credentials.

“There is always something about a specific season of the year that attracts people and makes them wait, linger – or dread it. At winter, it might be the grey and colder skies, the white snow, the extra need for skin contact and the longer darker nights. During spring, it could be the flowers, the colors, the promise of warmer and happier days. On summer you have the heat, the extra sunlight and possibly a shiny tanned skin tone to match it. And the autumn, with warm yellow and orange colors and the chiller sensation of change always in the air. ”

Who can enter: Artists Worldwide

Entry Fee: £10, no limit to entries

Deadline to enter: 31st January 2021

More details: https://www.kinghousegallery.com/seasons-call-for-artists


Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition 2021

The Royal Society of British Artists invites painters, sculptors, and printmakers to submit their work for consideration for the Society’s Annual Exhibition 2021. The exhibition offers several prizes and awards, worth over £5,000, which are open to all participating artists, as well as the opportunity to exhibit work at a prestigious central London gallery. Judges will be seeking skill, draughtsmanship, originality, and creativity.

Who can enter: UK Artists

Entry Fee: £18, £12 for artists under 35

Deadline to enter: 5th February 2021

More details: https://royalsocietyofbritishartists.org.uk/annual-exhibition-2021/


Visual Art Open

The VAO art competition is currently running in its fifth consecutive year and is open to both amateur and professional artists. The primary goal of the awards is to reveal and establish artists’ profiles in the contemporary art world. The prize fund is worth £8,000 and all category winners achieve £250 cash prize.

Who can enter: Artists worldwide

Entry Fee: £15 for the first image, an extra £10 for each consecutive image. (No more than five artworks)

Deadline to enter: 15th March 2021

More details: https://www.visualartopen.com/