Deadline looms if you want to pitch for inaugural Dacorum young artists prize


Young artists with their eyes on the prize can use the coming Christmas break to good effect – by making sure they don’t miss out on the chance to make their mark on a new competition.

What’s being billed as a Dacorum-wide alternative to the Turner Prize is seeking submissions.

The awards aim to recognise the talents of young artists, who will get the chance to exhibit their work as well as competing for a £1,000 first prize.

There will also be a £250 prize for a runner-up and a number of merit awards made by the judges.

The Dacorum Arts Partnership and local branches of The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies have teamed up to launch the initiative.

The Dacorum Young Talent Awards is open to all professional and amateur artists between the ages of 18 and 30 who live in the borough.

Artwork using oils, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media must be designed to hang on the wall.

Entries will be showcased at Apsley’s Frogmore Paper Mill from Wednesday,March 5 to Sunday, March 9.

You should register online at before January 15, and you will then have until January 22 to submit your entries. You’ll also be able to see the full entry conditions online.

Young artist Amelia Ilangaratne, 22, of Boxmoor, is an enthusiastic supporter of the scheme.

Amelia, who is looking to build her career as an illustrator and recently saw her workon display at Hemel Hempstead’s Asda store as part of a community initiative, said: “I think it is incredibly important for young artists to receive support.

“It can be a tough to carve out a career when you are starting out and it requires a lot of hard work.

“To receive encouragement in the form of schemes such as this is vital – it provides a valuable platform for young artists to establish themselves .

“ It is also a great way to inspire children to get involved in the arts – by seeing that there is help out there they may be more likely to pursue a career in the creative industry.

“It is fantastic that Dacorum is striving to provide support for young people in the community, and also championing local talent.”

And it’s not just young talent that is being invited to submit their work for a spell in the spotlight next year.

The Upstairs Gallery in Berkhamsted, which is hosting a showcase for local talent at the High Street venue until Christmas Eve, is putting together an exhibition of the work of local art teachers.

Titled The Real World, it will feature painting, printing, photography, ceramics and sculpture.

Curators Ginny Ostle and Joan Fisher plan to host the show from Tuesday, January 14 through until Saturday, February 8 and artists who wish to submit work for the exhbition should do so by Monday, December 30.

Finished work will need to be submitted by Saturday, January 11.

To find out more about the show, email or visit