Skip to content Skip to footer

Prize Overview

The Brisbane Portrait Prize is all about celebrating Brisbane portrait artists and their sitters, while encouraging public engagement with the arts.

Any artist with a connection to Brisbane is eligible to enter. The sitter must also have a connection to Brisbane.

We are currently working on details for the 2021 prize, however, if you are keen to get started on a prize now, we have provided some high level information below based on the 2020 prize.

Full details including, entry terms, details, FAQs and prizes will be announced in early March 2021.

Meanwhile, if you have any other questions, drop us a line on



In 2020, all Brisbane Portrait Prize entries were eligible for the $50,000 Lord Mayor’s Award which is supported by Brisbane City Council.

A further $37,000 of category prizes included:

  • The $10,000 Digital Portraiture Award supported by Accenture
  • The $7,500 Courier-Mail People’s Choice Award
  • The $7,500 Performing Arts and Music Industries Award, supported by the Lister Family Foundation
  • The $5,000 Sylvia Jones Prize for women artists,
  • The $5,000 Packers Prize supported by Howard Smith Wharves
  • 2 x $1000 vouchers from Oxlades presented to 2 emerging artists
Furthermore, 2020 also saw the introduction of an Under 18 category to increase participation and provide support for young and aspiring artists. A $2,000 prize was made available for this category thanks to the support of Gadens.
2021 Prizes will be announced at the artist’s launch to be held in early March.


In 2020 eligibility to enter was as follows. We expect requirements to be similar in 2021, however, there may be some changes so we suggest reading the terms closely when released in March.

  • The artist and subject must be Australian residents from the date entries open until the date finalists are notified
  • The artist must be 18 years old or older
  • The artist and subject must have a connection with Brisbane
  • This connection must be outlined as part of the entry process
  • All subjects with a connection to Brisbane are welcome and admissible, including self-portraits.
  • The Brisbane Portrait Prize does encourage artists to consider producing portraits of people who have contributed to Brisbane
  • Directors, Officers and Employees of the Board are not eligible to enter (however volunteers are still eligible to enter)
  • All subjects must be alive at the time the artwork is produce

The Artwork


In 2020 entry requirements were as follows. We expect requirements to be similar in 2021, however, there may be some changes so we suggest reading the terms closely when released in March.

  • An original artwork, entirely completed and owned outright by the submitting artist

  • All artwork must be 2 dimensional

  • All artists must have the Subject’s consent to enter the artwork in the Competition, including ensuring they understand the artwork may be displayed to the public.

  • Portraits must have been completed within the 3 year period leading up to the Prize entry date

  • Artworks must not have won first prize in any other major portraiture competition

  • Taking into consideration the Federal Government’s social distancing requirements due to COVID-19, all 2020 entries will not be required to have a live sitting to enter the prize. ** Note: In 2021 we expect the requirement of a live sitting to again be required **

  • The subject must be aware he or she is having a portrait done, however, and have given permission.

Artwork must be:
  • A maximum size of 2m high by 2m wide, inc the frame
  • A maximum weight of 15 kg

  • Wall-mountable, including use of D Rings and hanging wire.

  • May be multi-panelled, but must fit within the size restrictions.

  • Original and not infringe the copyright, moral rights or other rights of any third party. 

Additionally, for Digital artworks:
  • The submitted portrait may be produced using photographic elements, manipulation of the image is welcomed, and this may be in the pre or post production of the image
  • Selection weight will be given to those entries that display a clear artistic and creative approach to the subject
  • All digital mediums are eligible, but must be presented in a 2D printed form that can be hung in display.
  • Videos and other forms of display requiring power cables are not eligible