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Holt Festival: Sir John Hurt Prize and Sworders Art Prize 2020 Competitions

Art Prizes

The Holt Festival – Sir John Hurt Art Prize

Holt Festival is delighted to announce a prize of £1,750 for the winner of this year's Holt Festival - Sir John Hurt Art Prize. In addition, the winning work will go on to be exhibited in the autumn at the prestigious Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich..

The Sworders Art Prize

Now in its second year, a prize of £750 is given to an artist aged between 16 and 23 (inclusive) on the application closing date of Sunday 14th June. The winner will also be offered a commission free exhibition at Holt’s contemporary art space The Gallery in Lees Yard.


Sir John Hurt Art Prize

Nichola Johnson - Art & Architectural Historian
Nichola trained as an archaeologist and then an art/architectural historian. Until 2010, she was Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. She has been a trustee of the National Trust and of Dulwich Picture Gallery and chaired the boards of Clore Leadership, the Ruskin Foundation and the University Museums Group. She is currently chair of the East Anglian Art Fund and on the boards of various other heritage and cultural organisations.
David Case - Curator & Publisher
After working in industry for several years, David was one of the founder directors of Christies Contemporary Art (now CCS Galleries). Moving to Marlborough Fine Art as a director in the early 90s as head of their graphics department, he published etchings and lithographs by artists such as Paula Rego, Frank Auerbach and Victor Pasmore. After stepping down he has worked as a private dealer and is the curator of the exhibition programme at the Corn Hall in Diss.

Susan Gunn - Award-Winning Artist
A Norwich University of the Arts alumni, Susan received international recognition when she won the Sovereign European Art Prize. Gunn has previously judged the Bishops Art Prize at Norwich Cathedral and the Sovereign European Art Prize. She is a founder member of Contemporary British Painting and has exhibited widly both nationally and internationally in a number of solo and group exhibitions. Her work is held in public and private collections around the world.

Sworders Art Prize

Susan Gunn - Award-Winning Artist
Adrian Hill - The Gallery Holt

Announcement of Winners

The winner will be announced at a private view of the Exhibition of Shortlisted Works on the evening of Sunday 26th July at the Auden Foyer, Auden Theatre, Gresham's School, Cromer Road, Holt.

Exhibition of Shortlisted Works

An exhibition of around 30 shortlisted works will be held in the foyer of The Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt  between 11.00am – 5.00pm  Sunday 26th  July – Saturday 1st August and evenings when there are festival events happening in The Auden Theatre.

The exhibition of shortlisted works forms part of the Holt Festival Art Trail & Open Studios which will feature exhibitions and open studios around Holt, including the celebrated Festival Loan Exhibitions - details to be announced soon.

Submission Details

The Art Prizes are now open for submissions.

Entrants for the Sworders Art Prize are automatically entered into the Sir John Hurt prize for the same fee. If you qualify please be sure to tick the Sworders Art Prize box on the entry form.

Entrants will be notified by email of the shortlisted entries by Sunday 21st June. The shortlisted works will be listed on the festival website.

All entrants will receive invitations to the Private View at the Auden Theatre on the evening of Sunday 26th July when the winners will be announced. Please read the full Terms & Conditions for entry below.

Closing date for entries for both prizes is midnight Sunday 14th June 2020

Click here for more information.


Thursday 19 March, 2020
Sunday 14 June, 2020
Various venues
Venue Address
Various venues

East England , Norfolk

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