Who can enter the VAO awards?

The competition is open to both amateur and professional artists, working in one or more of the following media: drawing, printing, painting, photography, digital art, sculpture & young artists (16 -24)

What is the submission procedure?

The application form can be found on our website. You can also download the application form and email it to info@visualartopen.com


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 info@visualartopen.com

The jurors are selected and appointed by VAO. The members can be artists, writers, art critics, collectors and curators from the international contemporary art world. 

When is the Call for Entries for the VAO22?

Shortlisted Artists & Finalists:

Shortlisted artists will be notified by email that they have been selected for the final stage of judging. Finalists will be notified if they are successful in the awards and be invited to attend the VAO exhibition.

Why we have 3 Phases

We run 3 Phases through 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

How much does it cost to enter?

£20 for 1st submission and £10 per additional artwork, totalling a maximum of £60. Young Artists under the age of 24 pay £15 for 1st submission and £10 per additional artwork, totalling a maximum of £55 for 5 artworks entered.  


The overall winner will be awarded:

  • A cash prize to support the production of new works

  • Annual Mentorship Programme with the Visual Artists Association 

  • International Online Art Exhibition of Finalists

  • Solo stand space at the following year's exhibition (depending on covid restrictions) 

  • Free Career Development Talks

  • 20% Discount with Cass Art

  • Certificate of achievement

£250 will be awarded for each Category Winner

  • Premium Annual Membership with the Visual Artists Association

  • International Online Art Exhibition of Finalists

  • Certificate of achievement 

All Finalists will be awarded

  • Additional promotion 

  • Certificate of achievement

Every artist that enters

  • Promotion of artwork on our social media profiles

Where can I view the full terms and conditions of entry?

How many images of the work can I send in?

You may send a maximum of two images per submission.

Can I enter if I am not a trained artist?


How recent does the work need to be?

The painting must be a new or recent work, preferably created in the past 3 years.

Application Open: including submission of image

VAO has 3 Phases that Artists can enter.

Artists must submit an image(s) of their work and complete the online form by the final deadline. The jury then views and discusses the entries from the digital image submitted. This process is anonymous: jurors are not given the names of the artists but are provided with the following information: title, size, and medium.

How do I register?

Artists can enter via our website or using:

Email: info@visualartopen.com

Post: 85 Great Portland StreetLondon W1W 7LT

Tel: 01244 952020

How many works can I enter?

What happens if I change my postal or email address, or phone number, after entering?

Please inform VAO and we will amend our records.

Does my work need to be for sale?

Yes finalists work will be placed on sale in the final exhibition, and VAO will exclusively undertake all sales of shortlisted paintings in the exhibition.

Can VAO advise me on how much I should charge for my painting?

We can put you in touch with an independent art valuation expert who will be able offer guidance. 

If my work is accepted, when is the private view for exhibitors?

A maximum of 5 works are permitted.

You will be contacted to be advised on the dates.

When do I submit my image?

Within the online application form, you can upload your images, if you have any trouble doing so please email us. 

Do you have an upper age limit to enter?

Do I get any say in how my work is displayed?

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

What happens if my work has been sold?

16 +

Do I have to frame my paintings?

If you have been shortlisted, you will be required to send your work framed in preparation of events where your artwork will be showcased.

Can I enter using an alternative exhibiting name?

VAO will contact you as soon as possible after the sale and you will be contacted about payment. After the exhibition, we will arrange for the purchaser to collect the work.

Can I find out who has bought my work?

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

Artists can use a pseudonym or exhibiting name.

When will I find out if my application has been shortlisted?

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are only able to notify artists that have been shortlisted. You will be notified by email, using the email address you have provided. Please see key dates on the home page, to find the VAO announcement dates.