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Enter the Young Archie competition

Entries for 2021 have now closed. Finalists announced 27 May 2021.

Young Archie

The Art Gallery of New South Wales invites budding artists between the ages of 5 and 18 to submit a portrait for the Young Archie 2021 competition.

The portrait must be of a person who is special to you – someone who is known to you and who knows you and plays a significant role in your life.

There are four age categories:

  • 5-8 year olds
  • 9-12 year olds
  • 13-15 year olds
  • 16-18 year olds

To be considered for selection, an entrant must comply with all entry instructions and conditions.

About your portrait subject

We prefer that the portrait is ‘painted from life’ and that your subject has a sitting for their portrait, like with the Archibald Prize. You may also create the portrait from memory or take your own photograph to use for reference. For more information, read our Young Archie FAQs.

For schools

We welcome entries from schools but, due to numbers, we strongly encourage you to first run your own internal competition then submit only your top works (up to 10) into the official Young Archie competition at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Key dates

5-8 year category: born 8 March 2012 to 7 March 2016
9-12 year category: 8 March 2008 to born 7 March 2012
13-15 year category: born 8 March 2005 to 7 March 2008
16-18 year category: born 8 March 2002 to 7 March 2005

Entry forms available: 27 January 2021
Entries must be received: before 7 March 2021, 5pm
Finalists and honourable mentions announced: 27 May 2021
Young Archie exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW: 5 June – 26 September 2021
Salon des Refusés at SH Ervin Gallery: to be advised
Winners announced: 31 July 2021

Instructions and conditions

The artwork

  • One artwork only per entrant.
  • Must be on paper (NOT board).
  • Must be unmounted and unframed.
  • Must be no smaller than A4 (210 × 297 mm) and no bigger than A3 (420 × 297 mm).
  • Can be vertical or horizontal.
  • Any art materials or combination of art materials may be used (eg paint, pencil, pastels, paper collage) but the artwork must be two-dimensional.

Preparing the artwork for entry

  • Fill in and submit the entry form online. You will then receive a link to the completed form, which must be printed, signed by a parent or legal guardian and enclosed with the artwork.
  • Clearly label the back of the artwork with which way it should be displayed, along with name, age, address and contact details. Make sure this doesn’t show through to the front.
  • Do NOT roll or fold the artwork. We suggest placing it between two pieces of cardboard to protect it and keep it flat.

Mail or deliver entries to:
Young Archie competition
c/o Learning and Participation
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, Sydney NSW 2000

Return of artwork

If an artwork is to be returned:

  • you must indicate this on the entry form
  • enclose a suitable stamped self-addressed envelope with the entry

The child’s name must appear on the envelope.

Families or schools submitting artwork for more than one child must enclose one envelope per artwork due to the way that entries are processed.

You CANNOT opt to pick up the artwork in person.


Finalists from each category will be exhibited at the Gallery and on the Gallery website.

One winner will be chosen in each category.

Artworks that received an honourable mention are displayed on the Gallery website and at the SH Ervin Gallery in the Rocks alongside the Salon des Refusés.


Each of the four winners will receive: a cash prize of $200 from ANZ, an art hamper (valued at at least $150), a family pass to a paid exhibition at the Gallery (valued at at least $40), and an Archibald 21 catalogue (valued at $16) – total prize value is $406.

Each of the remaining finalists will receive: a cash prize of $50 from ANZ, an art pack (valued at at least $25) and an Archibald 21 catalogue (valued at $16) – total prize value $91.


The theme is a portrait of a person who is special to the entrant, who is known to the entrant and who plays a significant role in their life.

Entries to the 2021 competition will be judged by a guest judge (artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran) and Victoria Collings, Art Gallery of NSW family programs manager, according to the following criteria: the relevance of the submitted artwork to the theme, as decided by the judges; artistic interpretation of the theme, as decided by the judges; originality of the submission.

Other terms and conditions

Entry is open to all permanent residents of Australia born during the eligibility period: see Key Dates above.

The artwork submitted must be the original work of the entrant themselves and not infringe the copyright, moral rights or other rights of any third party. Artworks that are deemed to not belong to or be created by the entrant will NOT be eligible.

Employees and their immediate families of the Art Gallery of NSW and agencies and companies associated with the competition are NOT eligible to enter. Immediate family means any of the following: child, stepchild, grandchild, niece, nephew, sibling, stepsibling or first cousin.

The Gallery can take no responsibility for any loss or damage to an artwork entry while in its custody or in transit.

Return of artwork: Other than artworks submitted with a suitable, stamped, self-addressed return envelope, after 31 December 2021 the Gallery may destroy or otherwise dispose of any entry (including those of finalists and winners) in any manner it deems fit and shall be under no liability whatsoever to the entrant in respect of the artwork so destroyed or disposed of.

Prizes: Prizes cannot be transferred. Gift cards will be given to a parent or guardian, who may be asked to sign the card. Non-cash prizes cannot be redeemed for cash. In the event that for any reason whatsoever a finalist/winner does not take an element of the prize at the time stipulated by the Gallery then that element of the prize will be forfeited by the finalist/winner and cash will not be awarded in lieu of that element of the prize. The Gallery shall endeavour to contact the finalists by phone or email. In the event that a finalist/winner cannot be contacted by 5pm, 26 September 2021, the prize will be forfeited by that entrant.

Judging: The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Licensing the artwork: Entrants (including winners, finalists and highly commended entrants) grant the Gallery non-exclusive rights to reproduce their artwork in material form, to photograph, publish and/or communicate it to the public for the following competition-related purposes, and anything incidental to such purposes, by the Gallery, competition partners and sponsors: marketing, publicity, educational and publication uses for the Gallery, the competition and its exhibition in all media, including but not limited to electronic/digital, broadcasting and print media, in perpetuity. Permission to so reproduce the work must be conveyed by the entrant to any purchaser of the work. Where reasonable, the Gallery will attribute the artists as the author of the work and reproduce the work in full. Details of the work may be used at the Gallery’s discretion. Entrants (including winners, finalists and highly commended entrants) will not be entitled to any fee for such use.

Presenting partner ANZ