2020 Brisbane Portrait Prize

A high profile new Chief Judge, new prize money, and a Salon des Refuses were announced at the 2020 Brisbane Portrait Prize Artists Launch at Howard Smith Wharves on Sunday.

Hundreds of artists, sitters, and arts supporters mingled with sponsors and corporates to hear details of the 2020 Brisbane Portrait Prize.

2020 Brisbane Portrait Prize Artists Launch

In 2020, a Salon des Refuses will be held at the Royal Queensland Art Society Gallery, and run at the same time as the Finalists Exhibition. This will provide more opportunity for artists to be exhibited, and more chance for the public to see the portraits.

Howard Smith Wharves has sponsored the Packers Prize, so the winner, as chosen by the volunteer hangers, will receive $5,000.

The 2020 Judges will be:

Chief Judge: National Gallery of Australia Director, Nick Mitzevich

Finalists Judge: Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Gallery Director, HOTA, (Home of the Arts)

The Artists Launch heard from the 2019 winner of the $50,000 Lord Mayor’s Prize, Leonard Michael Brown, who talked about how important the win was to him.

Brisbane Portrait Prize Chair, Anna Reynolds, welcomed the great support form artists, supporters and art lovers of Brisbane.

“2020 will see more opportunity for artists and the art loving public. We are delighted to partner with the Royal Queensland Art Society Brisbane Branch, which will be presenting the Salon des Refuses in its Gallery at Petrie Tce. This will allow many more of the artists who enter to have their work shown.”

“We need artists to start thinking about who will make a good subject, and how to approach it. There are so many inspiring people in our community, some well known, others not, who would make compelling subjects.”

In its first year in 2019, the Brisbane Portrait Prize received 663 entries.

The Finalists Exhibition is held at the Brisbane Powerhouse in October. Key dates are:

  • 23 February >> Entries Open

  • 16 August >> Entries Close

  • 20 September >> Finalists Announced

  • 30 September >> Finalists Exhibition Opens

  • 6 October >> Winners Announced

  • 1 November >> Finalists Exhibition Closes

Prizes include:


Lord Mayor's Prize - $50,000

Proudly presented by Brisbane City Council, all entries into the Brisbane Portrait Prize are eligible for the Lord Mayor's Prize.

Accenture Prize for Digital Portraiture - $10,000

Supported by Accenture, any digitally created still work, including photography is eligible for the Digital Prize.

Courier-Mail People's Choice Award - $7,500

Supported by the Courier-Mail, this award is chosen by popular vote from all the finalists.

Performing Arts and Music Award - $7,500

Supported by the Lister Family Foundation, this award is open to portraits featuring sitters from the performing arts and music industries.

Sylvia Jones Prize for Women Artists - $5,000

Supported by the Clem Jones Foundation, this award is open to all individuals who identify as women.

Packer's Prize - $5,000

Supported by Howard Smith Wharves, this award is chosen by the team who hang the 2020 finalists exhibition.

Support for Emerging Artists - 2x $1000 Voucher

Supported by Oxlades, this will be given to two emerging artists and will be selected by the Board of the Brisbane Portrait Prize.

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Brisbane Portrait Prize, presented by Queensland Portrait Prize Ltd.

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