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Prize entry FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about entering the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes.


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.

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 of $50) and press ‘submit’, then follow the instructions to send the completed printouts and your artwork to the Gallery.


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.

When should ‘other’ be selected for gender on the form?

If the artwork is being submitted by a collaborative group and you are not all of the same gender, or if you don’t identify as male or female.

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

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 of the individual artists. Most people, however, would leave this blank.

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

Do NOT submit another (corrected) entry. Just write your corrections on the printouts that accompany your artwork, and 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. Just write the changes on the printouts that accompany your artwork, and 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 the form HAS been submitted successfully, you will see a message on a new screen saying ‘Thanks. Your entry has been submitted successfully.’ and giving you some more information.

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.


Questions about artwork delivery

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.

Where do I take my artwork?

Deliver your artwork to the loading dock at the back of the Gallery during the specified time period. Do NOT enter through the Gallery’s main entrance.

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.


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). At this sitting, and at other times, you can take photographs and do sketches as references to help you to complete the portrait. You do not have to finish the portrait at the live sittings.

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 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.

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.


Wynne-specific questions

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.

Got another problem or query?

Email entries@ag.nsw.gov.au with your details, including your phone number, and we’ll contact you during office hours (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).

Find out more

For entry information and to explore previous finalists: prizes database