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Sky Arts searching for Portrait Artist of the Year 2014

Sky entertainment channel searching for the next big artist

Aspiring artists are being encouraged to crack open a fresh tube of paint as Sky prepares to search for a talented artist to be crowned Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014.

The programme from the digital TV provider aims to find artists of all capabilities who want to showcase their skills, regardless of whether they are an amateur, professional or even a hobbyist.

Those aged 16 or over can apply, although entries must be submitted by the closing day on May 1, with a series due on Sky Arts 1 in October featuring eight episodes and a final.

Artists who are selected will be invited to a heat in Dublin at Royal Hospital, Kilmainham on Sunday June 15 where they will paint a portrait of one of three famous sitters.

Judges will join hosts Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell on the Sky Arts series, which will be filmed during the summer.

Finalists will have their work exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London for a month, while the overall winner will receive a £10,000 (c. €12,000) major commission from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The prize commission will become part of the permanent collection there, while the winner will also win a year’s supply of arts materials from leading supplier Cass Art.

Sky is developing a host of programming for the coming year and is hoping for just as many applicants for this year’s competition as the one in 2013.

A total of 1,800 artists entered the competition last year, of which 150 were from Ireland. Donegal-based Selena Mowatt went on to represent her country at the finals.

She made the final four and by the time of the final had paintings of Sophie Dahl, a commission of Shami Chakrabati, Director of Liberty and a portrait of Father Ted actress Pauline McLynn.

“We were delighted to discover how many people entered the first series of Portrait Artist of The Year, including a strong representation from Ireland,” said Philip Edgar-Jones, Sky Arts Channel Director.

“The second series aims to emulate its success and find some amazing new talent who can truly wow the judges and Sky Arts viewers with their artistic endeavours and perseverance.” Sky Arts comes as part of the basic Sky TV packages.

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