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    The National Gallery of Ireland has announced that entries are now being accepted for the Zurich Portrait Prize and the Zurich Young Portrait Prize. Submissions are invited from across the island of Ireland, and from Irish artists living abroad. The Zurich Young Portrait Prize, now in its second year, is open to young people aged 18 and under and the closing date for entries is July 1.

    The winner will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and commissioned to create a work for the Collection, for which they will be awarded a further €5,000. Two additional awards of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works. Judges are artist Rita Duffy; Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD; Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

    There are four age categories in the Young Portrait Prize and an overall winner will be chosen from a shortlist of 20 works. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize. Judges are Head of Education at The Hunt Museum Maria Cagney; artist Colin Davidson; and illustrator, author and comedian Aoife Dooley.

    Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “In these extraordinary times, we hope to bring joy to those staying at home with art. Today we open the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize, offering artists of all ages an opportunity to connect with their own creativity and with the Gallery. It’s wonderful to have the support of Zurich for the coming years: we are confident that culture will remain central to people’s lives, even in challenging times.”

    The Gallery is closed until April 19, but is finding ways for people to engage with their national collection during this time. Follow the Gallery’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook pages as it moves online including with creative activities for children and families to try at home. A ‘Picture of the Day’ is being shared, as well as weekly sessions on Mindfulness and Art. The Gallery can be explored from home, with a series of Virtual Tours – including the iconic Grand Gallery and Shaw Room.

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