We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Prize entry FAQs

Please ensure javascript is enabled to watch video

Questions about delivering artwork

Where do I take my artwork and what should I know about delivery?

Deliver your artwork to the delivery dock at the back of the Art Gallery, off Art Gallery Road, during the specified time period.

Do NOT enter through the Gallery’s main entrance.

Due to changed conditions on Art Gallery Road, there may be heavy traffic and delays getting to the delivery dock as well as increased pressure on parking in the area.

We ask for your patience and encourage you to allow extra time for delivery.

You might also like to consider:

• using a courier to deliver your artwork

• arranging for one person to deliver works by multiple artists if you know other artists who are entering one of the prizes

• delivering all the works at once if you are entering more than one prize or representing more than one artist

• coming as early in the delivery period as possible

• parking further away from the Art Gallery, such as in the Domain car park or surrounding precinct, and walking your work to the dock.

For more information about the area around the Art Gallery, see Getting here

The Art Gallery is a COVID-safe venue guided by NSW Government health guidelines.

While a face mask is not mandatory, due to evolving circumstances, we strongly recommend wearing one when delivering your work, to keep everybody safe.

Where possible, please maintain physical distance from Art Gallery staff and others delivering artworks.

Don’t deliver your work personally if you are unwell, if you have been instructed by health authorities to isolate, or if you are a close contact of an identified COVID case.

Sanitiser and face masks will also be provided by staff at the delivery dock.

Can I send my artwork by Australia Post?

Yes. You can SEND your artwork by Australia Post if you choose, but it must arrive within the specified dates. We will NOT RETURN artworks by Australia Post. No matter how you send or pick-up your work, the Gallery and Trustees bear no responsibility for any loss or damage.

Has the Gallery received my artwork?

You’ll be sent an automatic email from the Gallery when your artwork is received (after the QR code on your printout is scanned by Gallery staff). Do NOT reply to that email. If you have questions, contact your delivery company to confirm delivery.

Questions about the online entry form

What cards can I use to pay?

The e-commerce system we use accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners credit cards or prepaid cards as well as Visa and Mastercard debit cards. There is also a PayPal option.

What kind of information do I put in the name and gender notes?

This is a completely optional field. 

It’s where you can tell us, for example, if your legal name is John Smith but you exhibit under the name Jack Smith or a pseudonym. Or, if you are a collaborative group, you can tell us the names and genders of the individual artists. It’s also where you can tell us your gender if it’s not male or female – for example, non-binary or gender-fluid. 

Historically, the information gathered about gender on entry forms has been very limited. This is currently under revision. An option to self-describe gender has been added to help shape our forms and processes into the future as we work to ensure a more accurate representation of all people involved. 

I made a mistake on my form. What should I do?

Do NOT submit another (corrected) entry and do NOT edit the PDF.

Just write your corrections on the printouts that accompany your artwork, and highlight them by circling or using highlighter pen, then we’ll adjust our records if necessary after the work has been delivered.

Some information has changed since I submitted the form. What should I do?

Do NOT submit another (changed) entry and do NOT edit the PDF.

Just write the changes on the printouts that accompany your artwork and highlight them by circling or using highlighter pen, then we’ll adjust our records if necessary after the work has been delivered.

Only contact us in advance if you need to change the prize into which you’ve entered the work – see the next question.

I entered my artwork in the wrong prize online or want to change it to another competition. What do I do?

You will need to submit another (corrected) entry so you can use the right paperwork. Then email entries@ag.nsw.gov.au with your name and the details of your INCORRECT competition entry so we can update our records and arrange reimbursement.

I’ve filled in the form and clicked submit but I’m not sure if it’s worked. What should I do?

If you DON’T see that message, DON’T keep clicking submit. First, check that you have entered credit card details in section 5. If so, take a look at all five sections of the form again to see if there are any messages in red telling you it hasn’t been filled out correctly. If so, fill in those parts again and make sure you have clicked on each of the boxes under declaration, then click submit.

In rare cases, if there is a problem with the external banking system processing your payment, you may see an error message.

If there seems to be an issue, we suggest you wait and try again later or on another day.

If you’re still in doubt about whether the process has worked, email entries@ag.nsw.gov.au with your details, including your phone number, and we’ll let you know.

General questions for Archibald, Wynne or Sulman

Can I start the artwork before the dates you’ve given?

Yes. We specify only a time period during which the work has to be finished.

Can I enter more than one artwork?

You can only enter one artwork in each prize eg one into the Archibald, another into the Wynne and another into the Sulman. You cannot enter the same artwork into more than one prize.

Can I enter an artwork that has already been in another competition held by another institution?

Yes, as long as the work is available for delivery, judging and exhibiting on the dates specified.

Can more than one person enter an artwork?

Yes. We accept entries done by collaborative artists.

Can I enter a collaborative work and my own artwork in the same prize?

No. You can only enter one work into each prize, either a solo work or a collaborative work.

Do I have to be over 18 to enter?

No. You can be any age to enter the Archibald, Wynne or Sulman Prizes.

How do I enter?

You must complete the entry form first online (including paying a fee) and press ‘submit’, then follow the instructions to send the completed printouts and your artwork to the Gallery.

Questions about collecting artwork

How do I know if I have to collect my work?

A list of artworks to be exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW is published on our website at the date given for the finalists announcement, around 12 noon.

An automatic email is sent to every entry around this time, advising of the announcement.

Artists whose works are to be exhibited, either at the Art Gallery of NSW or in the Salon de Refusés at the SH Ervin Gallery, will be contacted individually before this announcement.

If your work has NOT been selected, you will need to collect it during the collection dates specified as the Art Gallery does not have space to store the work.

Where do I collect my work?

If you’re collecting in person or sending a representative then go to the same location as where the work was delivered – the loading dock at the back of the Gallery – during the specified time period. Do NOT enter through the Gallery’s main entrance.

What happens if a courier is collecting my work?

Collection will be from an offsite location during a period specified by the Gallery.

We’ll contact your courier with this information – NOT you, the artist; you should contact them if you have a query. We suggest you ask them to notify you when we’ve been in touch.

Works cannot be collected until notification from the Gallery has been received by your courier.

Most courier companies require you to book and pay for collection first before we are able to arrange pickup with them.

If you have not provided the contact details for a specific courier on your form, we’ll contact you directly, but there will be a delay as returns via nominated couriers are processed first.

Can my work be returned by Australia Post?

No, we will not return any work by Australia Post.

What should I do if the collection details on my entry form have changed?

If you have changed the way you are collecting your work either FROM a courier pickup or TO a courier pickup, or if your courier details have changed, you must email entries@ag.nsw.gov.au with all your details, or call us on 02 9225 1700, 9am – 5pm, Monday–Friday.

However, if you’re just changing between ‘in-person pick-up’ and ‘sending a friend/relative/representative’, or the details of that friend/relative/representative changes, we don’t need to know in advance.

Archibald-specific questions

What does ‘painted from life’ mean?

It means that you must have AT LEAST ONE ‘live sitting’ with your subject (where you and your subject are together and you are working on their portrait). This MUST be in person; it cannot be via video link. At this live sitting, and at other times, you can take photographs and do sketches as references to help you to complete the portrait. ’Virtual sittings’ via video can also be part of the process. You do not have to finish the portrait at the live sittings, nor does the live sitting have to be at the start of the creative process.

Can I paint from a photograph?

Your subject has to have AT LEAST ONE live sitting with you but you can use photographs from that sitting or other times to complete the portrait.

Can I submit a drawing?

No. The Archibald Prize is a painting prize so there must be some form of paint included in your artwork.

Can I submit a mixed-media work?

Yes, as long as it has some form of paint physically included in the artwork. For example, a painting that includes a 3-D element is eligible but a digital reproduction of a painting (such as an animation or video) is not.

Can I submit a collage, pastel or ink work?

No, except if some form of paint is also physically included in the artwork as part of a mixed-media work.

Can there be more than one person in the portrait?

Yes. They all have to sign the form and the details for all should be entered into the form.

Does my sitter have to be an Australian citizen/resident?

No. There are no specifications about the sitter’s citizenship or residence (unless it is a self-portrait, of course).

My sitter is far away and can’t sign my completed form. What do I do?

Ask them to sign the sample statement, which can be downloaded from the right-hand column of our website’s Archibald entry page. (If the current one isn’t available, cross-out the competition year and write the appropriate year.) Or just ask the sitter to sign a statement using the same form of words; we don’t mind if it isn’t the official form. Your sitter then sends that to you, and you’ll need to send it to us with the rest of your entry documentation. They can send you a scan or a photo of their signed statement if they aren't able to get you the physical form in time.

My sitter has died since I started the portrait and can’t sign the declaration. Can I still enter?

Yes, if the work meets the other criteria. The sitter’s statement must be signed by the executor of the estate and their name and their position as executor needs to be written on the statement.

Wynne-specific questions

What mediums are eligible?

The current terms and conditions include a landscape/seascape/cityscape painting in oil, watercolour, acrylic or mixed media (some form of paint must be included) OR a figure sculpture in stone, metal, wood or mixed media.

What is the John & Elizabeth Newham Pring Memorial Prize, and how can I enter it?

The Pring Prize is awarded to a watercolour by a female artist, and all entries in the Wynne Prize that meet those criteria are automatically considered.

Sulman-specific questions

I have created a design for a mural project but I haven’t painted it in-situ. Can I submit it?

No. The mural must be completed before you enter, and your submission must include photographs of the completed mural site as well as a scale design in colour.