Art Prizes

The Holt Festival – Sir John Hurt Art Prize

Holt Festival is delighted to announce a prize of £1,750 for the winner of this year's Holt Festival - Sir John Hurt Art Prize. In addition, the winning work will go on to be exhibited in the autumn at the prestigious Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich..

The Sworders Art Prize

Now in its second year, a prize of £750 is given to an artist aged between 16 and 23 (inclusive) on the application closing date of Sunday 14th June. The winner will also be offered a commission free exhibition at Holt’s contemporary art space The Gallery in Lees Yard.


Sir John Hurt Art Prize

Nichola Johnson - Art & Architectural Historian
Nichola trained as an archaeologist and then an art/architectural historian. Until 2010, she was Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. She has been a trustee of the National Trust and of Dulwich Picture Gallery and chaired the boards of Clore Leadership, the Ruskin Foundation and the University Museums Group. She is currently chair of the East Anglian Art Fund and on the boards of various other heritage and cultural organisations.
David Case - Curator & Publisher
After working in industry for several years, David was one of the founder directors of Christies Contemporary Art (now CCS Galleries). Moving to Marlborough Fine Art as a director in the early 90s as head of their graphics department, he published etchings and lithographs by artists such as Paula Rego, Frank Auerbach and Victor Pasmore. After stepping down he has worked as a private dealer and is the curator of the exhibition programme at the Corn Hall in Diss.

Susan Gunn - Award-Winning Artist
A Norwich University of the Arts alumni, Susan received international recognition when she won the Sovereign European Art Prize. Gunn has previously judged the Bishops Art Prize at Norwich Cathedral and the Sovereign European Art Prize. She is a founder member of Contemporary British Painting and has exhibited widly both nationally and internationally in a number of solo and group exhibitions. Her work is held in public and private collections around the world.

Sworders Art Prize

Susan Gunn - Award-Winning Artist
Adrian Hill - The Gallery Holt

Announcement of Winners

The winner will be announced at a private view of the Exhibition of Shortlisted Works on the evening of Sunday 26th July at the Auden Foyer, Auden Theatre, Gresham's School, Cromer Road, Holt.

Exhibition of Shortlisted Works

An exhibition of around 30 shortlisted works will be held in the foyer of The Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt  between 11.00am – 5.00pm  Sunday 26th  July – Saturday 1st August and evenings when there are festival events happening in The Auden Theatre.

The exhibition of shortlisted works forms part of the Holt Festival Art Trail & Open Studios which will feature exhibitions and open studios around Holt, including the celebrated Festival Loan Exhibitions - details to be announced soon.

Submission Details

The Art Prizes are now open for submissions.

Entrants for the Sworders Art Prize are automatically entered into the Sir John Hurt prize for the same fee. If you qualify please be sure to tick the Sworders Art Prize box on the entry form.

Entrants will be notified by email of the shortlisted entries by Sunday 21st June. The shortlisted works will be listed on the festival website.

All entrants will receive invitations to the Private View at the Auden Theatre on the evening of Sunday 26th July when the winners will be announced. Please read the full Terms & Conditions for entry below.

Closing date for entries for both prizes is midnight Sunday 14th June 2020

Entry Form & Fee

To enter either or both Art Prizes download and complete an application form. Select the number of images you would like to enter and complete the entry fee payment using the PayPal link below. Once you have completed your payment process email your application form, a copy of the PayPal receipt and images (jpg 2mb max) to Please note all submissions must include a completed entry form.

Entry Fee for both prizes: £12 for one image, £21 for two, £30 for three

Click here to download the entry form

Art Prize

Terms & Conditions of Entry

Please read these carefully and keep a copy for your records.

Entrants acknowledge their acceptance by registering. Holt Festival Art Prize is open to anyone aged 16 or older.

All work submitted must be available for inclusion in the Holt Festival Art Prize Exhibition, Sunday 26th July – Saturday 1st August 2020. Work must not exceed 1.25 metres in any direction and must be wall-mounted and appropriately framed. Submitted images should be sent as jpgs no larger than 2mb. The judges will view them both on screen and printed.

When the shortlist is announced the successful artists will receive instructions about delivery to Holt over the weekend of 18/19th July. Artists are responsible for wrapping and arranging transport. 

Collection of unsold shortlisted works will be from the Auden Theatre on Sunday 2nd August between 4.30pm and 6pm, otherwise by appointment.

Artists may opt to sell their work. The festival will charge 22%+VAT commission on all sales.

The judge's decisions are final and binding; no correspondence can be entered into.

Once an entry form has been submitted, no refunds of entry fees, part or whole, will be given.


Holt Festival adhere to standard copyright practice.

Data Protection

Holt Festival will retain entrants' personal data for use solely in conjunction with Holt Festival and this information will not be made available to other organisations. Your email address will be added to our mailing database and you will be given the option to unsubscribe at any time.