National Open Art for Students

The deadline for entries for the 21st National Open Art Competition is fast approaching! Submit your photography work by Sunday 23rd July to be in with a chance of winning one of our fabulous prizes plus exhibition and career progression opportunities.

The search continues for fresh new artistic blood - the best art, photography, print and moving image from British and Irish students, graduates and young people aged 15 - 23. NOA is looking for outstanding young artists and photographers to have their work represented in the 21st National Open Art Exhibition, a group exhibition of the best contemporary British and Irish art of 2017 at Southbank in London. Enter the competition here or read on to learn more.


National Open Art Student Prizes



Students are an important part of NOA for the new dimension and fresh perspective they bring to our exhibitions and events. We’re passionate about being part of students’ and young people's journeys into the art world. As a student or young artist, we can help your development by providing serious recognition and a platform into the art industry through our exhibitions, prizes, creative awards and other opportunities.


We know life for students is challenging, so it's part of our mission to support and encourage you throughout your journey to becoming a serious practicing artist.

How is National Open Art supporting students and young people?


Student Discount 15 – 23 years


In 2016, NOA made the unanimous decision to make National Open Art Competitions more accessible to students and young people by reducing their submission fee from £20 per submission to £12 for students and young people aged 15 - 23 years old.


The Competition


The Judging


The first round is judged digitally (so no shipping costs!) and approximately 500 works are shortlisted from 3-4,000 entries. The judges only have access to the image of your work, the title, medium, size, and statement. They do not know who you are, where you are from, your experience, whether you are male, female, 17 or 70, amateur or professional.


For the second round, the 500-shortlisted works are shipped to our venue in West Sussex and carefully unwrapped ready for the judges to see the works in the flesh. It’s. Like. Christmas! There they select the final exhibitors and award the £60,000 of prizes and awards! If you don’t get through, your submission fee supports the Not for Profit arts charity and is a direct contribution to the London Exhibition which is free to the public.


The Young Artists Prizes & Awards


Each year we source £10,000 of sponsorship to give away to students and young people through our four Young Artist Awards


21st National Open Art Young Artist Prize             £3,000

21st NOA Young Artist 2nd Prize                             £2,000

21st NOA Young Artist 3rd Prize                              £1,000


NOA Cass Art Awards

Materials Bursary for Students                               £500

As well as these prizes, all entrants are eligible to win any of the prizes on offer across the whole competition. Our judges can select young artists for the overall NOA Prize and/or any of the regional or medium awards, including the young artists’ prizes.


Case Study: Isla Jones won the 18th National Open Art Young Photographers Award in 2014 as well as the Big Sky Work Experience Award. The following year, she was awarded the 19th National Open Art Young Photographers Award by a fresh selection panel, judging anonymously.


The cash prizes can be put towards anything; new materials, tech equipment, a solo or group exhibition or simply, a celebratory pint!


The Exhibition


The finale is, of course, a major exhibition in London – for which historically a healthy proportion of students and young people are selected (see below) – and the annual NOA Winners’ Exhibition (if eligible) at the nationally critically acclaimed Pallant House Gallery in Chichester - home to one of the best collections of Modern British art in the UK.


You can enter the competition here.


Not just a Competition.


NOA Pop Up Exhibitions


Throughout the year, we engage new audiences around the UK by collaborating with like-minded organisations, institutions, businesses and individuals to host Pop Up Exhibitions. All artists who enter the competition are eligible to be invited to these wider activities.




Being selected for the NOA Exhibition or winning a prize or award develops your artistic practice, experience and establishes your career as a serious artist.


We offer a platform for exposure to new audiences to sell your work to collectors and build a foundation of followers. A dedicated NOA Artists’ Profile visible in the website galleries year-round supports this in addition to your own digital marketing efforts.

You’ll also have the chance to network with other shortlisted and selected artists at the private views and exhibitions and engage in our social media community where you can express, debate and seek new opportunities.


As a volunteer at the 2nd round of judging, you can learn how the organisation operates the logistics of these big events. We also welcome help manning the exhibitions where you’ll have the chance to talk to the visitors about work, practice and processes & techniques. All great experiences and additions to your artist’s CV. Everyone’s welcome whether you’re in the exhibition or not. Please contact [email protected] to find out more and offer to volunteer.

We want your stories! Guest Blog Opportunity


Bright. Vibrant. Innovative.


Have some exciting news? a revelation? or an opinion on something current or past? We’re inviting students to tell us your stories and ideas and we will share them with our audience as one of our guest bloggers. This is a great opportunity to practice your subjective contemporary writing practice and market yourself by exposing your ideas to a wider audience.


We’ll share your stories and ideas with 34,400 subscribers, 345,600 yearly visitors to and 16,000 social media followers!


Pitch your ideas and an example of your writing to [email protected]

All monies raised by our charity including sponsorship, entry costs, and art sales, are primarily to raise funds to support the Charity's aims and objectives.


The Foyle Foundation
The Arts Club
World First
Belmond Hotels
Welsh Award - Twr y Felin
Cass Art
Artists' Collecting Society


Galleries Magazine
Anthony Ward Thomas
Chessington World of Adventures Resort


Chichester College
Be Smart About Art
House of Fairy Tales
Pallant House Gallery