Views of our newest Team Member Cloe Barrett

September 5th, 2014

You have never seen so much wrapping! It is like walking around a recycling factory that only recycles stiffy bags and bubble wrap. Part of the criteria for the venue is not only to accommodate the 500 pieces of work, but provide enough space to house the A-Z packaging operation! The volume of organisation and planning it takes to orchestrate Round 2 of the judging is quite remarkable.
I am currently sitting in the main hall at 2014’s carefully selected venue; The University of Chichester’s Brinsbury Campus in Pulborough and I am surrounded by canvases and frame upon frame of beautiful, colourful artwork and photography.
When I first arrived I was helping Amanda, our competition director and Lucy and Elise her two lovely daughters erect the signage to point you all in the right direction. On entering the main hall, I then met Bob and Nick busily setting up rows and rows of tables for the artwork to lean up against and rest on. The tables are all allocated a category or region from across the country and each has it own sticker which we cross reference with the lists of 500+ successful artists. Each piece is then awarded a sticker and assigned to its section to wait patiently for the judging.
All sorts of tools and materials are needed and we have miles of sellotape and parcel tape, marker pens, blue tack, scissors and a box full of tools. Of course, we mustn’t forget tea, coffee and biscuits! Which then warrants a kettle, a cafetiere, teaspoons, mugs… the list is endless!
All the artwork is handled by our dedicated team using white cotton gloves and care, and laid between the tables are meters of corrugated cardboard to protect the work as it rests on the floor. It is very exciting and a great honor to unwrap each piece that has had many artists hours poured and brushed into it and the surprise of seeing the work for the first time; its like Christmas!

Frist Round of Judging

August 20th, 2014

So the entries closed this year with the last submission heading in just before midnight. That final weekend is always exciting for us with many entries coming in at the last moment and we are delighted to receive them all. That then left just over a week before the first round of judging at The Art’s Club in Mayfair, where the panel were enthralled by your paintings and etchings, wonderful photography and more. There is always much debate and sometimes disagreement but that’s what makes the process so enlightening. Norman Ackroyd RA cheered everyone up with his mismatched socks and witty banter whilst Chris Orr RA offered his experienced commentary. Caroline Irby and Vanessa Branson provided a wonderfully objective and feminine balance to proceedings.

But the end of that day brings equal joy and disappointment when we inform our entrants who is proceeding through to the 2nd round of judging. It’s lovely to hear how thrilled and excited you are to receive good news and this year Jess Taylor won the Twitter prize for the most delighted of all, but we also understand how disappointing it is to miss out, especially when you work so hard to create such beautiful work. Don’t forget we are not just about the show. We have a big Twitter, Facebook and online platform where we can help you share and show your work too. That isn’t a selective club! It’s for ALL of you and we are always happy to spread the word about your own news and exhibitions.

The 2nd round of judging takes place next week. That is when the final works to hang at the exhibition are chosen and the Judges will select the winners. But you’ll have to wait for that news until the prize giving  at Somerset House on 24th & 26th September. So for those, still in with a chance, GOOD LUCK! For those who missed out this year, there will be a new panel next year, so please don’t give up.


July 30th, 2014


July 21st, 2014

Thank you so much for your support we have had an amazing amount of entries this year – We would like to thank you all  and we wish you all the very best of luck!


July 20th, 2014


July 19th, 2014

But you still have time to enter – go on make our day we would love to see your entry.



July 16th, 2014


July 16th, 2014

If you are a photographic why not have a look at this wonderful prize from Big Sky Studio – Remember closing date is Midnight 20 July so you still have time to enter.




July 8th, 2014

 Sarah Shaw “Rorschach Head II” (sold)

It’s always at this time of year, just before our final deadline that we get really excited and a little bit nervous too! No matter when we close, the entries always flood in at the last minute  and right up until midnight! It is always such a pleasure and honour to see your efforts and we wish everyone could win something.

Still, that’s not in our hands. We leave this to our panel of judges and the first round is held at the Arts Club in Dover Street. It’s often the first time we have all seen the work and the judges have the difficult task of narrowing the work down, which takes hours and hours of careful deliberation and not always unanimous agreement! Each year the work chosen is very different which is what makes NOA so exciting and diverse.

So have you entered yet? Or are you still deciding? Here are a few reminders for you of what is happening this year. As long as you are UK based and over 15 you can enter. There are no criteria other than that – we accept paintings, photography, drawings, wall hung installations and computer generated art and more details re how to enter, size limitations etc are found on our website If you are selected, and who knows, there is a pot of £60,000 to be shared and then we open at the glorious Somerset House in September and run for five weeks generously sponsored by Towry. We are delighted to be able to bring your work to such a beautiful gallery in the heart of London where it can be appreciated by so many. Prizes will be awarded by the fabulous British sculptor Antony Gormley this year and there are many more surprises in store too!

Following Somerset House we move to our original home in Chichester, the Minerva Theatre and then we take the winners to the prestigious Pallant House Gallery which houses one of the best collections of 20th century British art in the world and is well worth a visit any time of the year.

So there are many reasons to enter! But the thing is, you only have until 20th July 2014 to do so. We close at midnight, so please don’t miss out.

There are always last minute questions, so do contact Amanda here: the Amanda is brilliant at sorting things out for you and calming nerves! Or ping us on Twitter @tnoac.

Each year we get bigger which in turn means more money put back into the promotion and showcasing of your work. We are excited to see who gets shortlisted this year, but of course, we are here for all artists – so even if you enter and are not shortlisted, we will do our best to promote you on our various online platforms.

All that remains now then, is to wish everyone who enters the very best of luck!

DEADLINE: 20th July 2014 – MIDNIGHT

Claire Ireland “Shift” (sold)


July 2nd, 2014

Our Chairman Neil Lawson Baker will be speaking at the Free Range Degree Show in The Old Truman Brewery on Sunday 2 July 2014 at 2pm – Don’t miss it!!!

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