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BP Portrait Award: Next Generation

The BP Portrait Award: Next Generation is a dynamic project inspiring 14- to 21-year-olds about portraiture through the BP Portrait Award

Now in its 10th year, Next Generation encourages young artists by opening up opportunities to meet and gain insights from past BP Portrait Award artists, to make and share their own artwork and to connect with other young people interested in portraiture. 


How can you get involved?

There are several ways to meet practising artists and explore the BP Portrait Award.


You can display and share your portraiture talent online and go behind the scenes to hear about what it’s like to be in the BP Portrait Award in video interviews with artists filmed by young people.


BP Portrait Award: Next Generation summer workshops and events

Everyone had a great time this summer. If you're 14 to 21 years old and want to take part, come to next summer's events. All are free, and all materials are provided. Find out more.


Here's what we've done in 2019:


Art workshops

Two all-day workshops at the National Portrait Gallery in London and a chance to be immersed in a packed day of creativity. Learning from professional artists, discovering new skills in life-drawing, creating paintings, meeting artists and taking a tour of the BP Portrait Award exhibition.


3-day summer school

This practical art workshop ran in August for three days in the art studio at the National Portrait Gallery. It involved learning from professional artists and working from a model to create a portrait as well as learning new skills in composition, lighting and pose. The BP Portrait Award exhibition provided the inspiration and BP award-winning artists joined the school to share their work and thinking with participants.


Young people's private view

In 2019, the National Portrait Gallery proudly presented the incredible Theresa Lola, a British Nigerian poet and the Young People's Laureate for London to perform her original pieces inspired by the BP Portrait Award at this exclusive, free event.

The evening was the perfect opportunity to meet and network with artists and young creatives. Artist in Residence for the night was Lorna Scobie who captured the evening and spoke to young people about her illustrations, creating books and how to go professional.

During the event, everyone also had the chance to see two exhibitions – the BP Portrait Award and Cindy Sherman – as well as enjoy refreshments, create art, enjoy DJs and take part in competitions to win Cass Art prizes.


BP Portrait Award: Next Generation is a vital and exciting programme for young, budding and richly talented artists who are 14 to 21 years old. It provides a unique opportunity for them to work alongside famous, practising artists, to be inspired and learn from their skills Our hope is that one year soon we will see a future BP Portrait Award winner emerge from this amazing experience."Des Violaris,director UK arts and culture, BP


Next Generation display

Shown outside the Ondaatje Wing Theatre, the display features selected paintings from this year's Summer School, enabling visitors to see how Next Generation is working with talented young people and the amazingly creative work they produce.  


For details on 2020 Next Generation participation visit the National Portrait Gallery website.