The BP Portrait Awards from the National Portrait Gallery opens 4 October

The BP Portrait Awards from the National Portrait Gallery opened to the public on Saturday 4 October at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

The BP Portrait Awards which this year attracted 2,377 entries is one of the world’s most celebrated global arts competitions and is in its 25th year of sponsorship by BP and 35th year at the National Portrait Gallery.

The prestigious first prize was won by German artist Thomas Ganter, for ‘Man with a Plaid Blanket’, a striking portrait of a homeless man who makes a living as a car-windscreen cleaner. The artist has said “By painting him in a way that only nobles or saints used to be portrayed, I tried to emphasise that everyone deserves respect, attention and care”.

The winning portrait along with second prize winner ‘Jean Woods’by Richard Twose, third prize winner ‘Letter to my Mom’ by David Jon Kassan, BP Young Artist Award winner ‘Mama (Juana Perez)’ by Ignacio Estudillo Perez and the other award winners, make up fifty five of the most outstanding and innovative portraits from around the world and can be seen at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens from Saturday 4 October until Sunday 16 November.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, has said: ‘We are very pleased that the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition is visiting Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens where visitors in the North East and beyond will be able to view 55 outstanding portraits by artists from all over the world.’

Des Violaris, BP’s Director UK Arts & Culture added: “BP is delighted that this wonderful exhibition has travelled to Sunderland. Visitors will be absorbed by the high quality of the work of the artists and the stories of their sitters. BP is a long standing supporter of UK arts and culture, helping to connect people with world class art, inspire creativity and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: "We are proud that Sunderland is the first venue in the BP Portrait Award 2014 national tour and is the only English venue other than the National Portrait Gallery in London. This fantastic exhibition is the latest in a line of major national exhibitions to land at the Museum & Winter Gardens including the Grayson Perry tapestries and the Victoria & Albert Museum War Games.”

"We would like as many people of all ages to come along and make the most of this opportunity to see great art here in our city. To help celebrate this fantastic exhibition there will be a range of fun events and activities for all the family based around the artwork on display and I encourage everyone to go along with family and friends and see the incredible art on display.”

Find out more about the BP Portrait Awards.

Find out more about the National Portrait Gallery.

Follow the awards on Twitter with #BPPortrait


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Did you know?

Sunderland is home of the National Glass Centre - the only UK centre celebrating the history of glass making and providing a world focus for glass. The centre reopened in 2013 after undergoing a major refurbishment.


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