Cass Art Launches The Cass Art Prize to Showcase UK Talent

Cass Art Launches The Cass Art Prize to Showcase UK Talent

A new art prize open to UK—and Republic of Ireland-based artists will launch in 2024. Leading independent art retailer Cass Art is launching The Cass Art Prize and inviting artists across the UK and Ireland—professional artists, teachers, students, and amateur enthusiasts—to submit their work.

The Cass Art Prize is a continuation of Cass Art’s long-standing mission to support artists and encourage them to realise their creative talents. An expert judging panel will decide the winning artworks, with a main cash prize of £10,000 and a stand at Saatchi Art’s The Other Art Fair, plus a prestigious London exhibition awarded to the winners and selected artists. The overall additional prize pot is worth £5,000, and The Contemporary Art Academy is offering £900 for online courses and £100 for art materials in the form of a development award.

Cass Art’s manifesto of ‘Let’s fill this town with artists’ formalised the vision of Mark Cass, Founder and CEO of Cass Art, to support artists and make art available to the widest possible audience.

The Cass Art Prize embodies this ambition: everyone is welcome, and there is a prize category for different abilities and career stages. To ensure a wide range of art is represented, additional categories are created specifically for oil, watercolour, acrylic, drawing and sketching, 3D artwork, mixed media, and printmaking.

Cass Art has lined up a respected panel of judges with extensive knowledge across the art industry: Curtis Holder, a figurative British artist and previous winner of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, acclaimed painter and previous winner of the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award Justin Mortimer, curator and judge on Sky Arts’ popular Artist of the Year series Kathleen Soriano, gallery owner Pippy Houldsworth, Partner at Carl Freedman Gallery and Counter Editions and TalkArt co-host Robert Diament, founder of Saatchi Art’s The Other Art Fair Ryan Stanier and artist Sinta Tantra.

There will be a special exhibition in London to showcase the exceptional work created by the Cass Art community from 7-16 November 2024 at Copeland Gallery, Peckham.

The Cass Art Prize continues a family legacy of supporting artists for more than 120 years. Mark’s great-great uncles Paul and Bruno Cass(irer) made their names in the late 1890s as Europe’s preeminent art dealers, largely responsible for championing French impressionists such as Monet, Cezanne and Van Gogh.* The Cassirers fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, shortening their name to Cass.

This family tradition of entrepreneurship and close relationships with the art world continued through the generations as Wilfred Cass, Mark’s father, later ran Reeves, the world’s oldest paint manufacturer. In addition, Wilfred launched the Cass Sculpture Foundation, a British charity that commissioned more than 450 sculptures from emerging artists over 25 years, enabling the first three commissions on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Wilfred’s Estate generously supports the Cass Art Prize, and its inaugural edition in 2024 marks what would have been Wilfred’s 100th birthday.

Cass was among the first to commission Thomas Heatherwick, designer and founder of Heatherwick Studio, who created a pavilion at the sculpture park in 1992. “When I was 22 years old, I was lucky to meet Wilfred Cass at my degree show in London.

As an extraordinary patron to so many young creative people, Wilfred didn’t simply buy my pieces but instead went on to become a friend and support me in creating new work that might otherwise never have had the chance to happen. At such a fragile moment in my life, this was exactly the kind of confidence-giving help that I needed to smooth the transition into the scary and very real professional world.

“I’m now so proud to know that, even when Wilfred himself isn’t around anymore to personally support and help, his legacy continues in the form of this award as precious encouragement to new generations of young people.”

The Cass Art Prize also welcomes SAA (Supporting All Artists), the UK’s largest Art Club with 30,000+ members, into the wider Cass Group after it was acquired in 2022. SAA’s longstanding ‘Artist of the Year’ competition runs as a category within the Cass Art Prize: SAA members are exclusively eligible for these categories: ‘Wildlife’, ‘Abstract or Experimental’, ‘Land, Sea & City’, ‘Still Life & Botanical’ and ‘People’. There will also be a dedicated prize for all Cass Group staff, who are artists and many of whom offer expert advice in Cass Art’s 14 stores across the UK.

Mark Cass, Founder and CEO of Cass Art, said, “My family has a long and proud history of supporting artists and, continuing this legacy, we are delighted to launch the Cass Art Prize. Our mission is to fill every town with artists, from professionals to beginners, and there truly is something for everyone with this prize. We look forward to seeing and showcasing the incredible talent across the Cass Art and SAA communities.”

Everyone is encouraged to enter the Cass Art Prize 2024. Submissions open from 12 March – 20 May 2024. Entry fees are £10 for one entry, £16 for two entries or £22 for three entries. Students and Art Educators get £2 off these fees: £8 for one entry, £14 for two entries or £20 for three entries. For more information on how to enter, visit

*In April 1905, Paul Cassirer hosted a show of Vincent van Gogh’s work. Until this point, there had been little interest in the artist, and within a few years, he had created a booming market. Cassirer bought nine Van Gogh artworks, which included the ‘Sunflowers’, which he bought for the sum of £110 (2,200 marks).

Cass Art Launches The Cass Art Prize to Showcase UK Talent 4

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