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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 ninth 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, 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, and vote in the online portraiture polls.


Young artists are able to join one of the two free Taster Sessions that will be held at the National Portrait Gallery, and can also apply for the three-day Summer School. Similar Taster Sessions will also be available at a regional venue. All events are free and all materials provided.


There's also an exciting private view exclusively for young people.



BP Portrait Award: Next Generation aims to motivate and provide opportunities for young people to work with practising artists to explore portraiture. Enthused by this programme we hope to see a future BP Portrait Award winner evolve from this experience.
Des Violaris, director UK arts and culture, BP



Taster sessions - Tuesday 31 July and Wednesday 01 August

One-day, hands-on sessions to explore portrait-making through life-drawing and painting workshops, artist-led tours of the BP Portrait Award exhibition, a special meeting with a BP guest artist and a portfolio critique to encourage artist-led and peer to peer feedback.


Book your place


Taster Sessions will also be held at a regional partner venue. More details to come!


Summer school - Wednesday 08 August to Friday 10 August

A three-day, in-depth experience to explore the rich diversity of approaches to portraiture while developing new artistic skills. It includes life-drawing, a full-day painting workshop to create a finished piece, artist-led tours of the BP Portrait Award exhibition, BP guest artists each day, a portfolio critique and celebration event.


Book your place


Young people's private view - Tuesday 14 August

This is the Gallery's annual, flagship event exclusively for young people. The after-hours private view of the exhibition features artists, young performers, musicians and DJs showcasing a range of young, creative talent. An on-site display will showcase the project, and youth-generated digital content including video interviews with artists and participants.


The Gallery is yours for the evening. Enjoy the BP Portrait Award 2018 with drawing, artists, talks, refreshments, competitions, music and more. Hosted by the Gallery’s Youth Forum, and open to 14 to 21 year olds only.


Book your place


Next Generation display

Shown this year in Room 33 alongside the BP Travel Award, this display features selected paintings from last year's Summer school and a behind-the-scenes film – enabling all visitors to see how Next Generation is working with talented young people and what amazingly creative work they're producing.