Currently closed for entries

The Pastel Society seeks the best in contemporary pastel and dry media, combining technical skill with creative originality for the Society's 125th Exhibition.

The Society accepts all types of pastel, chalk or crayon including soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, ink pastels, water-based pastels, conté crayons or sticks, sanguine, and similar dry mediums including charcoal and pencil. Mixed media works are welcome where pastel or another dry media is the primary medium.

Two new prizes will be presented in celebration of the Society's 125th Anniversary Year: The Tom Coates Memorial Prize, worth £2,000, and The President's Prize for an artist under 35 (see 'Prizes & Awards' below).

Successful applicants can expect:

  • To have their selected work included in the Pastel Society's 125th Annual Exhibition and accompanying catalogue
  • Eligibility to win prizes and awards
  • Their selected artwork to appear on the Mall Galleries website before, during, and after the exhibition
  • To be part of a network of present and past exhibiting artists, dating back to 1898 when the Society was founded
  • An invitation to the Private View, at which fellow exhibitors will be present and the prizes and awards will be presented
  • The chance to sell their work to new buyers and collectors
  • The possibility of election to membership in future

Submissions are now closed

Installation images of the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2022 (top) and Annual Exhibition 2023 (bottom). Photos by Mark Sepple

How to Submit

A single-stage virtual judging of all submitted works will take place, after which selected works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for inclusion in the exhibition:

- Upload images of work at before 12 noon on Friday 24 November 2023 [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]. The judges will make their decision based on these images, therefore please submit good quality photographs. 

- Check from 12 noon on Wednesday 6 December to see if your work has been selected

- If selected, deliver your work on Friday 12 January or Saturday 13 January 2024, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD. Works should be delivered unwrapped with the relevant form and labels, which are downloadable upon notification of selection.

Important Dates

Submissions open: Friday 15 September 2023, 12 noon

Submissions close: Friday 24 November, 12 noon

Notification of selection: Wednesday 6 December, 12 noon

Receiving Days (if selected): Friday 12 January and Saturday 13 January 2024, 10am to 5pm

Private View (invite only): Tuesday 23 January, 2pm to 8pm, official opening at 5:30pm

Exhibition opens: Wednesday 24 January, 10am to 5pm daily

Exhibition closes: Saturday 10 February, 5pm

Collection of unsold work: Thursday 15 February, 10am to 5pm

Conditions of Entry


  • Any artist over 18 may submit, in the UK, EU, and outside the EU.
  • Acceptable media: All types of pastel including soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, ink pastels, water-based pastels, conté crayons or sticks and sanguine and other dry mediums that are similar in their application including charcoal and pencil.
  • Each work should be submitted with a full description of the media used and any process which has been employed in the finished work beyond drawing and painting, e.g. printing, photography.

  • The selection will be made entirely online and the image of the work must be representative of the original work to ensure that a fair selection has been made.

  • The Society and Mall Galleries reserves the right to refuse any selected work that does not arrive on time, varies radically from the original photographic image submitted or is poorly framed.

  • A maximum of six works may be submitted, from which a maximum of four works may be selected.
  • Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.

  • Work must have been completed during the last two years prior to the exhibition and not have been exhibited at Mall Galleries.

Entry Fee

  • There is a non-refundable submission fee of £20 per work for standard entries and £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under. The entry fee includes free admission to the exhibition, normally £5.

Presentation, Delivery & Collection

  • All selected works must be exhibition-ready. Works should be sufficient to withstand mirror plating for hanging purposes.
  • All work must be glazed unless a dispensation is applied for and accepted by the Society and Mall Galleries in special circumstances.

  • No hooks are required and there should be no projections whatsoever from the back of the works. This is to prevent damage to other works.
  • Metal frames and clip frames are inadmissible. Glazed works with unprotected glass edges are inadmissible. Diffused picture glass is unacceptable. Frames and mounts of an unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the chance of selection.
  • Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery. We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned.
  • Any uncollected works may be removed from the gallery after the collection day and stored by an independent courier company at the artist's expense.
  • If works are not collected within 12 months of the collection day, the gallery will be entitled to destroy, sell, or otherwise dispose of the works without consent, prior notification, or compensation to the artist.
  • Artists are responsible for the full costs of delivery and collection.
  • Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 07833 450788 / Email:


  • The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Society and is rotated annually.
  • Selectors' decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.


  • All work must be for sale. Minimum price: £400.
  • Unless otherwise advised, the gallery will charge a commission on the total price paid for works, including commissioned works, before, during, or as a result of the exhibition.
  • Once work has been submitted, any sale made by the gallery before or during the course of the exhibition shall take precedence and supersede one made privately. Any private sale will incur the normal commission.
  • The price of works must include the commission of 45% plus VAT. If an artist is registered for VAT, then the VAT due on the selling price of the works should be included in the price submitted.
  • The price provided is the selling price and is the price that the work must be sold at. This price can only be changed by prior written agreement between the gallery and the artist of the relevant work. The gallery reserves the right to query the price of works.
  • International Artists: Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere are welcome to submit work. If your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. Artists without a UK residence (known as 'NETPs' - non-established taxable persons) can find further details on 'NETP' status and how to register for VAT at (HM Revenue & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1, Mar 2014) under the heading 'Should I be registered for VAT?' Please note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks. Please address any questions you may have to the VAT Helpline on tel. no. 0300 200 3700 or Outside UK: +44 2920 501 261.

Intellectual Property Rights

  • All works must be an original creation by the artist.
  • The copyright and all other intellectual property rights will remain with the artist. If any rights are owned by a third party, that third party will remain the owner.
  • The gallery has the right to reproduce works in connection with the exhibition.

Personal Data

  • The gallery will hold personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However the gallery may provide third parties with an artist’s contact details in the course of administering exhibitions, commissions and prizes. 

Liability & Indemnity

  • The gallery is not responsible for any loss of, or any damage to, works entrusted to them. All goods are at artist owner’s risk absolutely and the gallery and/or their agents exclude all liability to the maximum extent permitted by law. The galleries are used for various purposes and so artists are advised to insure their works against all risks.
  • The gallery endeavours to take good care of works sent for exhibition, but in the event of a work sent being lost, destroyed or damaged the gallery’s liability (if any) shall not exceed the value of the work as stated at the time of submission (less 45% plus VAT) or any altered price subsequently.
  • In the event of any dispute regarding loss or damage, the dispute shall be referred for final arbitration to an independent expert valuer to be chosen by agreement between the parties, provided that the arbitrator’s award shall not exceed the gallery’s maximum liability as above.
  • Artists shall indemnify and keep indemnified the gallery against any actions between the artist and any third party.

Art Couriers

If you are unable to deliver or collect your work in person, the following art couriers may be able to do so on your behalf:

Art Moves of Chelsea (London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Bristol) - / 020 7352 7492  

Picture Post Art (Scotland, the North of England and Birmingham) - / 07833 450788

For a full list of Art Couriers, click here

Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)

There are a number of prizes and awards available to win, including:

Cash Prizes

  • The Tom Coates Memorial Prize: £2,000 for the best non-member work in the exhibition, selected and presented by Tom's wife, the artist Mary Jackson NEAC RWS
  • The Yoshimoto Prize: A prize of £1,000 for an outstanding work, in any dry medium, by a non-member
  • The President's Prize: £500 for the best work by an artist aged 35 or under
  • The Bob Last Prize: A prize for a work that celebrates the spirit of the late Bob Last (1932-2020), a long-standing member of the Pastel Society who was known for his imaginative use of dry media, excellent drawing skills, attention to detail, and passion to always present work that was different and innovative. With thanks to his daughters, Joanne Last and Jackie Jones, who will select the prize winner. Value £400.
  • The Pastel Society Young Artist Award: £200
  • The Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award: A certificate and cheque for £50

Product Prizes

  • Caran d'Ache Award
  • Frank Herring Award
  • Henri Roche Award
  • Mamut Award
  • Schmincke Award
  • UART Award
  • Unison Member Award: Set of 72 pastels
  • Unison Non-member Award: Set of 72 pastels
  • Unison Young Artist Award: Pastels up to £500 for the year, plus mentorship for 1 year by an Associate Artist of Unison Colour

  • West Design Award
  • The Pastel Society Visitors' Choice Award: The winning artist will receive a set of Caran d'Ache pastel pencils

Publication Prizes

  • The Artist Magazine Award: A feature article in The Artist magazine
  • The Pastel Society Catalogue Award, First Prize: The winning work featured in the exhibition catalogue

  • The Pastel Society Catalogue Award, Second Prize: The winning work featured in the exhibition catalogue