refreshing the face of contemporary art 

A fresh new art competition giving representation to everyone who enters. 

A snapshot of the true face
of contemporary art now.

Proud to be borderless and open to international entries.


The Refresh Art Award was set up in 2017 as a biannual art award  to showcase contemporary artists who were making art about the world around them, and not just fruit bowls, flowers and hyperreal portraiture that sells. 


We had an amazing first show in 2019, and are back in 2021 with even more ways to connect with the art that's really going on in the world. 

We're a new kind of art award that really values every entry. 

  • We've got a £3000 prize for our main award. 

  • We'll  put on a final show in London in November 2021 for all the shortlisted artists. 

  • EVERY SINGLE artist who enters will be in our website gallery during 2021, plus feature in ad hoc social media advertising. 

But we've got some new things for 2021...

Baudelaire quote


"How convenient it is to declare that everything is totally ugly within the habit of the époque, rather than applying oneself to extract from it the dark and cryptic beauty, however faint and invisible it is."

Charles Baudelaire
Image Liz Monaghan, 2019 finalist. 
  1. Shortlisted artists in the final show get paid.
What's this craziness you say? You didn't misread. Our shortlisted artists in the show will all get a small token payment to help with exhibition expenses and open a dialogue with the bigger shows about artist pay.   

We firmly believe that while not everyone who enters an award can get the top prize, you are still the face of contemporary art. So we will do our best to showcase you throughout the prize, and let people who see the work judge for themselves. 

2. No sales for us but hopefully some for you.
We started this to be an award, competition and showcase, and it's what we do best. So apart from the shortlisted artists being able to sell work at the show, we'll be doing all we can to promote your work to get you sales on your own platforms throughout the duration of the comp. Refresh does not take commission on any show sales. 
3.We have an interesting line-up of judges. Watch this space for more.