Art competition a chance for London artists to win prizes, break boundaries

 A photo of the previous Art Comp winners holding their trophies CREDIT: EMILY BARNES
Last year’s winners (pictured) went up against artists from all over the world.

Art Comp is back and offering a major opportunity to aspiring artists. 100 Kellogg Lane Special Events Coordinator Emily Barnes said the purpose of this event is to inspire the community and generate conversations through global art.

“We just want to challenge creators to think and explore outside their comfort zone and inside their everyday life,” Barnes said.

Fanshawe College Fine Art and Fine Art Foundations program coordinator Marla Botterill said this is an excellent opportunity to raise excitement about art in the community. It is a fantastic chance for people to win some prizes and network.

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“It is a thrilling thing for London, Ont. to host. The location is a real hub in our city,” Botterill said. “I was fortunate enough to be part of the competition last year; it was a lot of fun. They also program other events around the competition to allow you to mix and mingle.”

Art Comp invites artists to surpass conventional artistic boundaries, prompting an expansive global discourse. It is open to all local, national and international artists, both professional and amateur.

Barnes said that 100 artists will be chosen to display their art throughout the property at 100 Kellogg Lane from May to Sept. 2024.

“Our goal is to get people to see real art in real life,” Barnes said. “We just really want to make art accessible for everybody. People who do not normally go to art galleries can see the art in our restaurant and clubhouse.”

Barnes said they expect more submissions this year than ever because people have more time to submit their art. The submission deadline is Feb. 12 at midnight.

All summer long, the public can vote through an online voting platform. They have their panel of judges as well. There will be one panel’s choice winner who wins $100,000 and three People’s Choice winners. First place is $50,000, second place is 30,000, and third place is $20,000.

“If you have won a prize, you cannot win again. That is one of the rules just to keep it fair and give everyone a chance to win those big prizes,” Barnes said.

Barnes said that since it is a global competition, they have noticed the places that people are submitting from are expanding.

“Last year, we had some submissions from South Africa, California and the United Kingdom. It is exciting to bring art from around the world to London,” Barnes said.

Barnes said there were around 1,000 submissions last year and the previous year, which was their first year, around 800.

“It will make that process of narrowing it down just that much trickier because every piece that comes in is amazing,” Barnes said. “It is tough to narrow down to those 100 pieces.”

Botterill said it is an inclusive competition. She added that people are not required to be professionals to apply, so it is an excellent opportunity for students.

“The jurors are not necessarily artists that would make up the juries in traditional art competitions, meaning anyone can have a shot at some life-changing prizes,” Botterill said.