Final Call for Entries

Last chance to register for John Moores Painting Prize 2012

The last chance to register for the UK’s biggest painting prize, John Moores Painting Prize 2012, is Friday 20 January 2012.

With a first prize of £25,000 along with four further prizes, each of £2,500, this is the biggest painting prize in the UK. In addition, the winner of the popular Visitors' Choice prize of £2,012, will be announced towards the close of the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition.

The judging will take place throughout 2012 and will result in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery which runs from 15 September 2012 to 6 January 2013, forming a central part of the Liverpool Biennial.

Judges for this year’s competition are Fiona Banner who is from Merseyside, director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery Iwona Blazwick, Spanish born Angela de la Cruz, a former Turner Prize 2010 nominee, Turner Prize 2011 nominee George Shaw and creative director of the BBC, Alan Yentob. 

The John Moores Painting Prize is an anonymous and open submission competition available to all UK-based artists working with paint. Previous winners have included David Hockney, Peter Doig and Lisa Milroy. The 2010 First Prize was won by Keith Coventry.

The final deadline for artists to enter is 20 January 2012. Online registration can be found on and the winners will be announced on 13 September 2012.

Reyahn King, director of art galleries at National Museums Liverpool says:

“Not only does the John Moores Painting Prize give contemporary artists the chance to win £25,000 but it also offers the opportunity to display their work at a national gallery, the Walker Art Gallery. Uniquely it is the only art prize with a sole focus on painting, and has remained the UK's most prestigious painting award for the last 55 years.” 

Entries have to be original, painted within the last two years and within a set size, designed to hang on walls, and by an artist who lives, or is based, in the United Kingdom. Full conditions are on the website. Judges will see all submitted artworks and at Stage 2 view all shortlisted paintings.

First held in 1957, the John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's best-known painting competition and is named after Sir John Moores (1896-1993), the founder of the prize. The competition culminates in an exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery every two years, which forms a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial.

The John Moores Painting Prize is a partnership between the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, which continues the philanthropic work of Sir John Moores and the Walker Art Gallery. The prize remains true to its founding principles: to support artists and to bring to Liverpool the best of contemporary painting practice from across the UK.

The prize attracts a broad spectrum of artists. Works are selected anonymously from an open submission by the jury, who also award the main prizes. No preference is given to levels of experience or particular practices of painting.

Last year Keith Coventry won the £25,000 prize with his painting Spectrum Jesus. The four runners up were Philip Diggle - For Your Pleasure, Nick Fox – Metatopia, Nicholas Middleton – Protest, 1st April 2009 and Daniel Sturgis - Still Squallings, who each won £2,500. As well as being a runner up, Nicolas Middleton also won the Visitors’ Choice award winning £2,010.

Notes for editors

  • The competition is £25 to enter. 
  • John Moores Painting Prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust.
  • It is supported by official hotel partner Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool and media partner a-n Magazine.
  • John Moores Painting Prize is part of the Liverpool Biennial, one of the UK’s largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts events. The 7th Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art, will take place from 15 September – 25 November 2012.

Juror’s biographies

Fiona Banner 

Fiona Banner was born in 1966 in Merseyside. She studied at Kingston University and completed her MA at Goldsmiths College in 1993. In 1995, she was included in General Release: Young British Artists held at the XLVI Venice Biennale and the artists selected for this exhibition were representative of a wave of Young British Artists at the time. Her work encompasses sculpture, drawing and publishing . Her public art works include Full Stops, large 3D sculptures of full stops, outside the GLA building on the South Bank in London. Her 'wordscapes' or 'still-films' take the form of blow-by blow accounts written in her own words of feature films or sequences of events. Following her shows at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Banner was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002 for her work Arsewoman in Wonderland. In 2010, she was selected to create the 10th Duveen Hall commission at Tate Britain, for this she created and displayed Harrier and Jaguar, two real fighter jets, both previously in active military service.

Iwona Blazwick (OBE)

Born in 1955 Iwona Blazwick was educated at Exeter University where she graduated with a degree in English and Fine Art. She was director of exhibitions at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art from 1987 until 1992. From 1993 until 1997 she worked as an independent curator in Europe and Japan. In 1997 she joined Tate Modern as art programme curator and subsequently became head of exhibitions and displays. Prior to the opening of Tate Modern in 2000, she worked on devising the display strategy for the Tate’s twentieth century collection and the future exhibitions programme. She has been director of the Whitechapel Gallery since 2001 and in 2008 she was appointed OBE.  

Angela de la Cruz 

Angela De la Cruz was born in La Coruña, Spain in 1965 where she studied philosophy at the University of Santiago de Compostela. In 1989 she moved to London where she studied art at Slade School of Art (University College, London). While studying at the Slade, she removed the stretcher of a painted canvas and was inspired by the resulting saggy painting, she has since become best known for paintings which are deliberately broken or distorted. In 2005 she suffered from a brain haemorrhage; while in a coma for several months, she gave birth to her daughter. Her recovery has been slow but she has continued to work and her first solo exhibition in the UK, entitled After, was held at Camden Arts Centre in April 2010. In May 2010 she was nominated for the Turner Prize.

George Shaw 

George Shaw was born in 1966 in Coventry and graduated with a MA in painting at the Royal College of Art in London. He is based in Ilfracombe, North Devon. He is noted for his highly detailed almost Photorealist works which celebrate the mundane suburban landscape, working from photographs taken of and around his childhood home on the Tile Hill Estate, Coventry. His favoured medium is Humbrol enamel paints, which lend his work a unique appearance as they are more commonly used to paint Airfix models. George Shaw has exhibited internationally and most recently exhibited at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and was nominated for the Turner Prize 2011 for this show. The winner of the Turner Prize 2011 will be announced at BALTIC on Monday 5 December 2011.

Alan Yentob  

Born in 1947 Alan Yentob was responsible for creating groundbreaking arts programmes Omnibus, Arena and Imagine.  His current role is creative director for the BBC and he is responsible for overseeing BBC creative output across television, radio and interactive services. He has been head of music and arts, controller of BBC Two, controller of BBC One, director of programmes and director of drama, entertainment and children's programmes.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic.

We attract 2.5 million visitors every year. Our venues are World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, UK Border Agency National Museum, Sudley House and Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Our newest venue, the Museum of Liverpool, opened on 19 July 2011. Located at the city's Pier Head, part of the city's World Heritage Site, it tells the definitive story of Liverpool and its people and contains more than 6,000 items.