The Pastel Society

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Call for Entries | Annual Exhibition 2024

Artists are invited to submit work in pastel and dry media for the Pastel Society’s 125th Annual Exhibition.

Calling all artists working with pastel, pencil, charcoal, crayon, chalk, and more…

This is your chance to take part in a contemporary, adventurous and creative show, presenting a positive challenge to those with pre-conceived ideas about pastel and dry media.

Successful applicants can expect:

• To have their selected work included in the Pastel Society’s Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries, in the gallery, and online

• Eligibility to win prizes and awards

• An invitation to the Private View

• The chance to sell work to new buyers and collectors

• To be part of a network of exhibiting artists dating back to 1898, when the Pastel Society was founded

• The possibility of election to membership

Submissions are now closed

Prizes & Awards

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
£400 for a work that celebrates the spirit of the late Bob Last (1932-2020), a member of the Pastel Society who was known for his imaginative use of dry media, excellent drawing skills, attention to detail, and passion to present work that was different and innovative. With thanks to his daughters, Joanne Last and Jackie Jones, who will select the prize winner.

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

Visitors' Choice Award
The winner will receive a set of Caran d'Ache pastel pencils

West Design Award

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

Subject to final confirmation

Talented artists are vital to the growth and longevity of the Society. This talent can be from any background; what we want to see is enthusiasm, technical skill, originality and innovation in submissions.

Richard Rees - President

Key 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

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How to Submit

A single-stage online 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 your work to our Open Exhibition Submission System (OESS) by 12 noon on Friday 24 November 2023

Images must be in JPEG or PNG format and under 5MB. The judges will make their decision based on these images, so please submit good quality photographs. 

• Log in to the OESS 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 Information for Artists


Who may enter?

Any artist aged 18 or over may enter, from anywhere in the world. 

How many works may I enter?

Artists may enter a maximum of six works each, from which up to four works per artist may be selected. 

What type of work is eligible? 

Work must have been completed within two years prior to the exhibition and not have been exhibited previously at Mall Galleries.

Works should be no larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension. 

All works must be an original creation by the artist.

Acceptable media: 

All types of pastel including soft pastel, hard pastel, oil pastel, ink pastel, water-based pastel, conté crayons or sticks, sanguine, and other dry mediums that are similar in their application including charcoal, chalk, and pencil.

Mixed media works are welcome where pastel or another dry media is the primary medium. Such 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.

Submission Fee

How much does it cost to enter?

There is a non-refundable submission fee of £20 per work, or £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under. 

The submission fee includes free admission to the exhibition (normally £5). 


How should I present my work?

All work must be framed and glazed with picture glass unless a dispensation is applied for and accepted by the Society and Mall Galleries in special circumstances.

Frames should be sufficiently substantial to withstand mirror plating with 12mm (size 6) screws.

Artists are advised to use plain, simple framing.

Metal frames, unprotected glass edges and clip frames are inadmissible. 

Please remove all fittings and fixings from the back of frames, for example D-rings and picture wire. This is to prevent damage to other works, and because we will mirror-plate works for hanging. 

Delivery & Collection

Works should be delivered and collected on the specified receiving and collection days via the gallery's rear entrance at Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD. 

If you are unable to deliver or collect your work, you may send another person on your behalf – this may include an art courier (see below).

Artists are responsible for the costs of delivery and collection.


Works should be delivered unwrapped with the relevant form and labels, which are downloadable upon notification of selection.

All packaging must be taken away at the point of delivery. 


We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping for works being returned. 

Any uncollected works will 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. 

Art Couriers 

Below is a list of art couriers by region: 

• London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Bristol

Art Moves of Chelsea
020 7352 7492

• Scotland, the North of England and Birmingham 

Picture Post Art
07833 450788

Picture Post Art receive artwork for delivery to UK galleries: “handing in” unwrapped and storing packaging free of charge for reuse if required.

• Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset

3 Lanes Transport
01736 799298 / 07970 948324

• Leicester, Loughborough, Coventry, Birmingham and Nottingham

JD Art Transport
07825 339787

• Norfolk and Suffolk 

A S Elvin Transport Ltd
01502 677025

• Nationwide

Aardvark Art Services
01253 794673

• Wales

Mid Wales Freight
07866 731400 / 01974 282500

International Artists 

Many international artists use Picture Post Art to transport their work to and from Mall Galleries.

Picture Post Art arrange for the shipping of work from the artist's country to the UK, help artists to correctly fill out paperwork from customs, and store packaging for reuse if required. 

Picture Post Art
+ 44 7833 450788

Please note that we do not accept liability for the services of any art courier.


How are works selected for exhibition? 

The works for exhibition are selected by a committee formed of members of the Society. 

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

The Society reserves the right to refuse any selected work that does not arrive on time, varies substantially from the image submitted or is poorly framed. If withdrawn, work will need to be collected from Mall Galleries by the artist at their expense.

May I ask for feedback?

The decision of the Selection Committee is final and we are unable to offer feedback.

How are the prize winners selected?

The prize winning works are selected in time for the awards ceremony during the Private View, prior to the exhibition opening to the public. 


Does my work have to be for sale?

All work must be for sale.

Once work has been submitted, any sale made by the gallery before or during the course of the exhibition up to and including the collection day shall take precedence and supersede one made privately. Any private sale made in this period will incur the normal commission. 

How should I price my work?

There is a minimum price per work of £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. 

The price submitted should be the selling price, which should include commission, and is the price at which the work will be sold.

The price of works must include commission of 45% +VAT. If an artist is registered for VAT, then the VAT due on the selling price of works should be included in the price submitted. 

Mall Galleries reserves the right to query the price of works. 

May I change the price of my work once submitted?

The price of works may only be changed by written agreement between the artist and Mall Galleries. 

How will I know if my work has sold?

You will be notified by Mall Galleries if your work sells. 

I am an international artist, do I need to register for a UK VAT number to sell my work?

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 selected for 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 Revenues & 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.

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.

The gallery has the right to reproduce works in connection with the exhibition. 

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. 

By submitting your contact details, you agree to be contacted about similar activities, such as artist opportunities and open calls organised by Mall Galleries / Federation of British Artists. 


The gallery is not responsible for any loss of, or any damage to, works entrusted to them. All goods are at the 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. 


If you require support with your application, please contact:

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