National Capital Art Prize

by | 25 May 2021 | Blog post

The inaugural annual National Capital Art Prize is the first Australia-wide competition for paintings of any subject.

The National Capital Art Prize is a new art competition that aims to ignite the passion and courage of artists across Australia.

It offers an exciting platform for Australian artists of all genres, ages and experience levels. Entrants have a unique opportunity for exposure with finalists’ work put on public display and made available for sale.

One of its aims is to support artistic education and endeavours of young people. The National Capital Art Prize has a dedicated prize category for students and is offering an Art Scholarship in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU).

Designed to minimise restrictions often placed on artists in competitions, entrants can paint any vision, such as portrait, landscape or abstract, and use any medium including oil, acrylic, watercolour, mixed media, or pencil. Artists can enter up to four paintings in any of the four main categories.


This year’s judging panels will include:

  • Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin AM, long-term art critic and author of over 25 books
  • The Hon. Justice John Sackar, President of Arts Law and advocate for the Australian arts community
  • Bernard Ollis, renowned artist and former Director of the National Art School in Sydney
  • Lynnice Church, renowned artist, teacher and a member of the Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi Tribes
  • Peter Johnson, Curator, Projects, National Gallery of Australia
  • Dr Rebekah Davis, Head of School, Art & Design, Australian National University
  • Dr Sarah Schmidt, Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery

Entry is open to Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia over 18 years of age.

Entries can be made via the National Capital Art Prize website and close on 1 July. Finalists will be announced on 2 August and displayed in a public exhibition in Canberra from 18 September


Prize valued at $15,000

First Nations Prize

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists valued at $15,000


Prize valued at $5,000

Student Prize

Valued at $2,500

People’s Choice Award

Valued at $2,500

Art Scholarship

Valued at $5,000


About National Capital Art Prize

National Capital Art Prize is a not-for-profit company established in Canberra in March 2021. Managed by honorary Directors, the company supports and showcases Australian artists and celebrates their skill and diversity through an annual national painting competition. The competition was also established to profile Australia’s National Capital as a cultural hub.

All funds generated through partnerships and entry fees are used in the running of the National Capital Art Prize and are continuously reinvested in the Prize to encourage artistic endeavour into the future.