Open Call for Artists - About the Art Prize

The Sunny Art Prize is sponsored by the Art Council England and has established itself as one of the UK’s most prestigious international art competitions. The scope of this contemporary art prize is about sourcing the most talented artists from all over the world, both established and emerging ones, who produce ground-breaking and innovative artworks. We select artists who work with a wide range of media, making the art prize a varied and stimulating global platform to engage with critical contemporary issues and topics. The art competition is then open to everyone, regardless of location or preferred medium and theme.

Every year, we shortlist 30 artists, among whom we select three winners. All the shortlisted artists have the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Sunny Art Centre, London, a prestigious art institution with an extraordinary collection of old masters and artworks by leading contemporary artists. The winners, alongside seven other artists chosen from the shortlist, have the chance to exhibit their work with our partnering galleries in China. The exhibiting galleries are located in cities across China, such as Beijing and Shanghai. They are amongst the leading art institutions in the Asian art market.

This art contest also gives the art prize-winners the chance to experience a one-month artist residency in China. The Artist Residency Programme is organised in collaboration with established Chinese art institutions, and it provides the opportunity to engage with historically and culturally rich places in China. 

The Sunny Art Prize 2021 is now open for submissions. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience exhibiting in multiple international exhibitions and participating in a residency in China, visit our “Apply Now” page and submit your application today.

First Prize

Second Prize

Third Prize

27 shortlisted artists will also participate in a group exhibition at the Sunny Art Centre, London. From these 27, 7 artists will be selected to exhibit their works at one of our partners’ galleries in China along with the three Prize winners.


Exhibit your work globally in prestigious galleries from London to Shanghai.

Win from a cash fund of £6,000 to expand your practice.

Win the First Prize and get an exclusive 1-month solo exhibition in the heart of London at the Sunny Art Gallery.

Participate in a residency in Asia, and engage with historically and culturally rich destinations in China.

Reach audiences worldwide by showcasing your work online to over 100,000 visitors.

Be included in the finely printed catalogue released internationally for each edition of the Prize.

Submissions are accepted from every country in the world and are all equally judged. Please note that you must be at least 18 years old to enter the competition.

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Ceramic
  • Original Prints
  • Installation Art
  • Mixed Media (both wall-hung and three-dimensional)
  • Video Art (Including moving image, projected work, and digital installations)
  • Drawing

Size Restrictions

All 2D work such as painting, drawing, projected videos (including moving images and installation) must be 120x120cm in size max.

All three-dimensional work, including sculptures, ceramics, and mixed media artworks, must be 80x80x80cm max in size. Installation art (whether made of mixed media or digital) must be assembled on-site at the exhibiting location and can reach 100x100x100cm max.

What Do We Look For?

We wish to find artists who are engaging with pressing contemporary issues.

Winners of previous editions did so by raising awareness of global issues and themes ranging from climate change, the current international debate regarding immigration and refugees to our perception of identity, gender, and much more.

Feedback from Previous Shortlisted Artists

Find out more about what the shortlisted artists and winners of previous editions experienced and thought of the Sunny Art Prize programme. Check their feedback and stories on the residency, the exhibitions, and more on the previous edition page here.


The complete catalogue with all the participating artists of the Sunny Art Prize edition III. Order now and get the catalogue for the edition II for free!

The Sunny Art Prize provides a unique opportunity for pioneering artists of the 21st century to raise awareness on current world affairs through our printed publication. The exhibition catalogue immortalises work of creative talent from all over the world. Each shortlisted artist and their work are rigorously selected by a panel of world-leading art historians, art museums, and gallery professionals to provide the public with the finest artists the world has to offer.

The diversity of the shortlisted artists guarantees innovation and fresh approaches to contemporary art practices from 3D work, ceramics, and installations to paintings, sculpture, and video art. This catalogue is an excellent opportunity to explore some of the most thought-provoking issues of contemporary life ranging from colonialism, consumerism, climate change, wildlife extinction, mental health, and war. 

Order now and receive a complimentary tote bag in fine black cotton with gold embossing from us (bag size 38 x 30cm).

Format: Linen hardback cover (silver embossing)

Dimensions: 21x21cm

£35.00 £16.00 (ex. VAT)