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Terms & Conditions

By entering the VAO you are deemed to have read and accepted all aspects of the rules described on this page. 

1.    The VAO age limit 16+ under 18 must have authorisation by their legal guardian. 
2.    All work submitted must be solely produced by the artists registered for this award. 
3.    Acceptable media: drawing, printing, painting, photography, digital art, sculpture and video. 

4.    Mature Content – artwork containing artistic nudity, large amounts of simulated blood and gore, or generally violent themes maybe classed as inappropriate content on our social media platforms, in this case they maybe blurred out or labelled as "sensitive" 
5.    Submission fee: £20 for 1st submission and £10 per submission after that. (£15 for 1st submission for artists aged 24 or under). A maximum of 5 entries per person. 
6.    Work must have been completed in the last three years.
7.    Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.

8. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are only able to notify artists that have been Longlisted, Shortlisted and Finalists. 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. 
9.    Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
10.    Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident abroad are welcome to submit work. If your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. 
11.    Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post - Tel: 0044 (0)1302 711011 / Mobile: 07833 450788 / Email:
12.    Applicants are responsible for providing correct personal information for the organisers to be able to contact them. 
13.    The VAO only accepts artwork that has not been sold previously at the time of entry.

14.    Entrants must ensure that they have the commercial rights if they are currently represented by a publisher so that there is no conflict of interests.
15.    VAO respects your rights and does not claim copyright for works you submit to the contest. You will retain full copyright in each entry.

16.    VAO will not be held responsible for any breach of the commercial contract between the Artist, The Gallery or Publisher, our role is to provide the commercial platform and introduction.  
17.   VAO will not be responsible for any travel or personal expenses to the VAO exhibition final or any visa requirements.

18.    The winners agree to permit external communication of the artwork; not limited to publicity, press, website, social media, and any printed or digital material. 

19.    The jury’s decision is final and if VAO is unable to contact any short-listed artist or winner via the email address supplied by the entrant, the short-list position/prize lapses and VAO reserves the right to select alternative winners.


20.  Shortlisted artists will be contacted directly. The names of the winner and Finalists artists will be published on our website and our social media and elsewhere in competition publicity. 
21.  Paintings submitted for exhibition should be available until December 2024 and should be for sale. 
22.  The artist will be responsible for the delivery and collection of artworks for any finalist exhibition, and also for insurance whilst in transit and for the duration that the artwork is with the VAO for exhibitions. 
23.  Although strict handling measures are adhered to in receiving and hanging Finalists’ work, for the avoidance of doubt, the VAO can accept NO LIABILITY whatsoever for any damage to Art Work whilst in transit and during the Finalists’ shows (whilst in the care and being stored by the Organisers). Please make sure your artwork is adequately insured during this period.

24.  Finalists are welcome to take delivery and hang their artwork. If you wish to do this please contact the Organisers on to arrange.
25.  In all matters arising in connection with the competition, VAO decision shall be final. No cash alternative is available. 
26.  VAO depends on its sponsors and affiliated partners when promoting the prizes offered for each edition. Should any VAO’s affiliated partners or sponsors fail for any reason to complete their commitment in providing the prize promoted, the VAO shall not be held responsible whatsoever for this failure. 
27.  Should for any reason the event be partly or wholly cancelled outside of the organizer’s control, VAO shall offer an online exhibition or alternative. 
28.  All entry submissions are final and entry fees are non-refundable. No compensation can be requested in any of the above cases.

29. The VAO is non-profit making. The entry fee goes towards our organisational and administrative costs. 
30.  Any works sold for finalists at the exhibitions will incur a 40% commission.

31.  VAO reserves the right to cancel this competition or alter these rules if it considers that it has good reason to do so. 
32.  These rules are governed by English law and any disputes will be decided only by the courts of the United Kingdom 
33.  Full details of each piece of work must be supplied when applying including the title of work, dimensions and a description of each piece is required (where is it an installation and not self-explanatory).
34.   More than two images of the artwork should be supplied where it is necessary to show 3-D work properly.   
35.  Applicants are responsible for correctly pricing/sizing/describing their artwork. Any changes to the original details provided upon application must be notified in writing to the Organisers.

36. VAO Exhibitions will be recorded and used for promotional purposes. By attending an exhibition you agree for any footage of you to be used. 

37. Please note that for overseas winners, payments will be made via PayPal. It is important to acknowledge that there may be discrepancies in currency conversion rates applied by PayPal, which could differ from standard rates. We kindly ask you to understand that we cannot be held responsible for any variations in these rates. By participating in our promotions or contests, you agree to these terms and conditions regarding payment processing. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

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