SFS Introducing 2020 Submission guidelines and rules

This free-to-enter competition offers artists the chance to have their work displayed in our autumn exhibition at the Oxo Gallery on London’s Southbank. Their work will join that of our professional artist and celebrity supporters.

There are two categories within the competition – Wildlife and Wild Places.

100 artworks will be selected from the entries by an expert panel led by Gary Hodges, the multi-award winning wildlife artist.

One artist will earn the title SFS Introducing Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 and another the SFS Introducing Wild Places Artist of the Year 2020.

All 100 if these artworks will be included in our online auction, concluding on Sunday 15th November.

The 100 selected pieces will be announced on Friday 31st July.

No artwork will be wasted – those submissions not selected for the tour/auction will go into the Sketch for Survival Gallery to be sold in aid of Explorers against Extinction projects. Every entry will be available at the Oxo Gallery and at other venues the collection visits. Every piece will be loaded and available on our online store from Friday 4th September.

Please note: The submission deadline for the competition is Saturday 30th May. To access the online submission form, please click here. Full submission guidelines can be found & downloaded below.

There are three awards.

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020.

One artist from all the entrants to SFS Introducing will be selected by our panel of professional artists to be the recipient. The winner will receive their award at our autumn event at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 12th November.

Wild Places Artist of the Year 2020

One artist from all the entrants to SFS Introducing will be selected by our panel of professional artists to be the recipient. The winner will receive their award at our autumn event at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 12th November.

The People’s Choice Award

This award is chosen by the public, both viewing online and on the tour. It goes to the artwork in the Gallery collection with the most votes.

Submission Deadline is Saturday 30th May. The 100 winning artists and artworks will be announced on Friday 30th August. The Award winners will be unveiled at the Royal Geographical Society on Wednesday 11th November.

You can download full submission guidelines by clicking the button at the bottom of these page.

Why should I contribute?

This is an opportunity to have your work exhibited in a high profile professional collection, alongside that of successful, international artists, at a renowned venue on London’s Southbank.

Five artists from each category will have their work shortlisted for the SFS Introducing 2020 Artist of the Year Awards. Shortlisted candidates will be invited as VIP guests to our finale event at the Royal Geographical Society in London in November. During the evening, the winners will be announced and invited on stage.

By contributing and supporting us you will showing your support for wildlife conservation. Donating artwork to the competition helps to raise awareness about species extinction through our exhibitions and online presence, as well as raising vital funds to safeguard wildlife & to help empower communities to fight wildlife crime.

In 2019 the collection featured 250 artworks from professional artists in 20+ countries as well as celebrities such as Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Rachel Riley and Levison Wood. The collection sold, via online auction, for over £42,000.

In 2020 your artwork could be with them. Results are tangible. In 2019 we funded The Ape Alliance in helping safeguard the Tapanuli Orangutan in Sumatra, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in the relocation of the Nubian Giraffe in Uganda and the Painted Dog Foundation in paying for anti-snare patrols in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. We also donated to the Mariamma Trust at Bandipur National Park in India, helping with their work in the protection of the Bengal Tiger.

Who can enter?

Any artist – professional, amateur, hobby or student – is invited to enter and support our campaign. You can live anywhere in the world – last year we had entries from artists in more than 30 countries. Please note: If you are under the age of 16 you must send a consent note from a parent/guardian/teacher giving permission to enter with your artwork.

Can my artwork be of anything?

Your entry must be an original signed piece

There are two categories within the competition.

Can my artwork be any size and medium?

All submissions to SFS must be standard A4 or A3 in size (A4: 21 cm by 29.7 cm; A3:42 cm x 29.7 cm). They should be sent unmounted and unframed. This is the visible area. They can be up to an additional 2cm in width/length but this additional area will not be visible.

We will frame the 100 selected artworks in our reusable frames. This will cut postage charges and paper/plastic waste from packaging.

For unusual mediums/materials, artwork will be accepted, so long as pieces are in the size range A4 to A3 and are ready to hang. (e.g. Box canvas)

All artworks must be original (not photocopies or photos of work). All mediums, techniques and styles are welcome. As well as paper and canvas, we accept artwork on any flat base – we have had metal, stone, wooden panels and elephant dung paper in the past. Sorry, no sculptures.

Digital art is accepted but must be printed to A4/A3 size and be signed on the front. Unsigned and digitally signed pieces will be disqualified.

Some artists send 26-minute sketches, while others submit more complex (studio style) artworks. All are accepted and will be judged side by side on their artistic merits.

How many pieces can I submit?

One work per category per artist.

What’s the closing date for submissions?

We are accepting submissions until Saturday 30th May 2019. Should entries arrive after this deadline they will only be accepted is the postmark is Friday 29th May or earlier.

Where do I send my artwork?

Before sending your artwork to us please complete and submit our online Submission Form, together with a digital image of your work. You can access this form by clicking here.

Once this is successfully submitted completed artwork should be posted to:

SFS Introducing, Lower Farm Barns, Happisburgh, Norwich, NR12 0QQ, UK.

Please write your name and the name of the piece on the back of the artwork so we can cross-reference it to your entry form.

Do you cover postage?

We do not cover the cost of postage.

How are the successful Introducing 100 pieces chosen?

After the submission deadline, all pieces will be judged by a panel of leading artists, including:

Gary Hodges is the UK's best selling and most collectable pencil artist. He is a judge for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards since 2008 and has won numerous awards in his own right.

Karen Laurence-Rowe is most well-known for painting African wildlife but she is just as interested in capturing the landscapes, seascapes and the peoples of the countries she is in. She is extremely versatile in medium and style and can switch from oils to charcoals and watercolours. She is exhibited worldwide and has won many awards.

Alison Nicholls lives in the US and is well-known for her field sketching – using pencil, ink and watercolour to quickly capture Africa’s iconic wildlife on paper. She leads Art Safaris for Africa Geographic, is a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation and the Society of Animal Artists and is a member of The Explorers Club and the Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Sara White and Robert Ferguson, trustees of Explorers against Extinction will complete the panel

The results will be announced on the Explorers against Extinction website on Friday 30th August.

How do people buy my artwork?

The 100 selected artworks will auctioned together with our Invitational Collection. This online auction concludes on Sunday 15th November, the day the Oxo Gallery Exhibition concludes.

What happens if my piece is not selected for the Introducing 100 exhibition?

Your piece will still contribute to the campaign and will go into the Sketch for Survival Gallery. They will all be available for sale at the Oxo Gallery and at other venues the collection visits. They will also be available to be purchased in our online store from Friday 5th September.