First Plinth: Public Art Award (formally FIRST@108: Public Art Award) is designed to offer sculptors an opportunity to extend their practice into competing for public art commissions. The winning sculptor is awarded £10,000 towards the cost of producing a large-scale sculpture which will be exhibited in a high profile public space.

We are now accepting applications for First Plinth: Public Art Award 2019.

Applications are now open

About the prize

The award is open to any artist working in three dimensions, providing a unique and rare opportunity for the winner to build a track record in the competitive arena of public art.

The winner is awarded £10,000 towards the cost of producing a large-scale site-specific sculpture or installation for the Society’s sculpture terrace. Over the following months the fabrication of the winning work is supported by the award, with the winner receiving mentoring from a team of experienced professionals - engineers, consultants and artists - to ensure the concept is delivered to the exacting standards required of work to be installed in public spaces.

2019 brief

First Plinth: Public Art Award is designed to closely replicate the public art commissioning procedure. The award’s aim is to challenge, yet support the sculptor through this process. Like most public art commissions there is a theme and therefore value will be attributed to a well-considered approach to the theme of Progress. Open to interpretation and approach, we hope this theme encourages applicants to push the boundaries of their practice.

The winner of First Plinth: Public Art Award will create an innovative work for the sculpture terrace at Dora House to be shown March–May 2020, before moving to a second site at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

how to apply

For more information about the award and to apply, visit the Parker Harris website

Deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 1 February 2019


This award is generously supported by the Mirisch & Lebenheim Charitable Foundation