Submissions now open for the 2021 Bloomsbury Festival Art Competition


A competition for art students to submit a new artwork which responds to the 2021 Bloomsbury Festival theme, Shining Light, as part of the Festival’s New Wave programme. Closing date for submissions is 5pm on Wednesday 2 June 2021.


Download the full brief here.

The submission may be a completely new work,  or a recently completed work, or an artwork you are currently creating as part of your art studies. We welcome submissions of more than one artwork if relevant. We invite artworks on paper, canvas or other 2D media including painting and photography.


The competition is open to current undergraduate or post-graduate students of Fine Art and related courses at London universities, colleges or professional training schemes for artists. The winner will be offered a unique opportunity to hold their own exhibition with artworks responding to the theme ‘Shining Light’ as part of the Bloomsbury Festival 2021 (15-24 October) and a cash prize.


The winning artist will be selected by a panel of experts and influential partners at the end of June, including the Duchess of Bedford, The Slade School of Fine Art, the Director of Bloomsbury Festival, and representatives from Camden Council’s Arts Development team.


To enter please create at least one artwork based on the festival theme Shining Light.



  • A £300 cash prize
  • The winning artwork will be displayed as part of a solo exhibition, throughout the Festival, at a venue to be decided in consultation with the artist. 
  • The winning artwork will be themed ‘Shining Light’ and the additional exhibited artworks may be on that theme or other artworks you have completed.
  • Bloomsbury Festival will contribute up to £100 towards the cost of the exhibition installation (including framing, printing). The exhibition will be listed in the Bloomsbury Festival brochure and online. 
  • The winner will receive a free festival pass, and an invitation to an exclusive Festival opening reception.
  • A press release citing the winner of the competition will be sent to local and arts & design press, alongside a news feature on the Bloomsbury Festival website.

Runners-up will receive a free festival pass.



Applicants should be

  • 18 years old or over
  • Continuing degree level or higher students of Fine Art or related art courses



  • Artworks on paper, canvas or other 2D exhibition materials are eligible including painting and photography
  • Please submit either the completed artwork, or a detailed proposal for an artwork
  • If submitting a proposal rather than a completed work you should also include a selection of previously completed artwork images. 
  • If submitting a completed artwork it is also helpful to send other related completed artwork you might like to exhibit
  • Please include images of your entry, and any associated artwork or mock-ups.  It is also helpful to include some brief explanatory text about your artistic work generally and technical details– materials, sizes, display options, short written description.
  • Artwork proposals should be submitted electronically as a hi-res pdf to: by 5pm on Wednesday 2 June 2021
  • The winning proposal will require the final artworks to be submitted by Friday 1 October 2021 for installation prior to Friday 15 October and the exhibition will be from Friday 15 October to Sunday 24 October 2021 (with possible extension depending on the exhibition space). The festival may also choose to present a digital version of the exhibition.
  • When sending entries, please include your name, phone number, institution, course and year of study in your email
  • The winner will be contacted by email in the first instance by end of June 2021, to be followed by an online announcement
  • By entering this competition, you are agreeing to have your name and details used in a press release and online

Download the full brief here.


The 2021 Art Competition is supported by The Bedford Estates.

Submissions now open for the 2021 Bloomsbury Festival Art Competition