The Gilbert Bayes Award for early career sculptors is given annually by the Society to a small group of outstandingly talented sculptors.

Applications are now open for the 2021 Gilbert Bayes Award

The award is designed to provide vital support during the transition from study to professional practice, and offers winners serious recognition for their work, a group exhibition, a year of professional development plus membership of the Society. See details of How to Apply below.

We are delighted to announce that this year's guest judge will be Touria El Glaoui, the founding director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. Read more about Touria here.

Formerly known as the Bursary Award (until 2018), previous winners include Alex Chinneck, Tessa Farmer and William Mackrell. Take a look at our 2020 winning cohort here.

This award is generously supported by the Gilbert Bayes Charitable Trust

Applications for the 2021 Gilbert Bayes Award are now open

About the prize

The Gilbert Bayes Award for early career sculptors is a prestigious prize which supports the transition to professional practice and raises industry profile.

Award winners receive a year’s worth of professional development, including talks from guest speakers such as commercial galleries, art charities, private collections as well as industry experts.

The winners are showcased through a group exhibition at Dora House and benefit from promotion via this web site as well as on our social channels. They also receive free membership of the Society for a year with the opportunity to take half price membership the following year. Please note that this award does not include a cash prize.

In addition, sculpture manufacturer Benson Sedgwick Engineering offers an informal residency to selected member/s of the winning cohort who commit to learning new metalworking skills. The residency opportunity includes bench space in their workshop and access to materials as well as staff expertise. 


How to apply

Applications are now open via ArtsOpps: 

We welcome applications from early career artists of any age and nationality, with or without formal training, though not in formal education. All styles of media are considered, including installation, site specific, performance, conceptual and video work. A minimum of four years exhibiting experience is expected. Applicants, based in the UK and internationally, must be committed to embracing all aspects of the award and actively participate in all award events.

Please note that the Society is unable to contribute financially towards artist expenses, travel costs or any costs associated with the group show exhibition.

To receive updates about this award and other opportunities, please subscribe to our monthly Shape & Form e-news here.