The Pastel Society | OPEN CALL 2023





Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Pastel Society at their Annual Exhibition 2023.

The Pastel Society seeks the best in contemporary pastel and dry media, combining traditional skills with creative originality for their 124th Annual Exhibition.

The Society promotes the use of all types of pastel, chalk or crayon whether in stick or pan form, made from pure pigment mixed with a binder including soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, ink pastels, water-based pastels, Conté crayons or sticks and sanguine and other dry mediums that are similar in their application including charcoal and pencil. All of these are regarded as having no boundaries, whether on their own or in combination with other media. However, pastel or the other dry media mentioned should be the primary medium in the finished mixed media work.

The exhibition, in May 2023, offers more than fifteen prizes & awards and the opportunity to have your work seen by thousands of visitors to Mall Galleries.

Submissions are online only and open until Friday 24 March 2023.


How to Submit

A single-stage virtual judging of all submitted works will take place, after which selected works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for inclusion in the exhibition so long as they are fit for hanging:

- Upload images of work at between Friday 20 January and Friday 24 March 2023, 12 noon [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]

- Check from 12 noon on Thursday 6 April to see if your work has been selected

- If selected, deliver your work on Saturday 13 May, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD

Important Dates

Submissions open: Friday 20 January 2023, 12 noon

Submissions close: Friday 24 March, 12 noon

Notification of selection: Thursday 6 April, 12 noon

Receiving Day (if selected): Saturday 13 May, 10am to 5pm

Exhibition opens: Wednesday 24 May, 10am to 5pm daily

Exhibition closes: Saturday 3 June, 5pm

Collection of unsold work: Thursday 8 June, 10am to 5pm


Conditions of Entry


  • Any artist over 18 may submit.
  • Acceptable media: All types of pastel including soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, ink pastels, water-based pastels, Conté crayons or sticks and sanguine and other dry mediums that are similar in their application including charcoal and pencil.
  • Maximum of six works submitted. Maximum of four works selected.
  • Work must have been completed during the twelve months prior to the exhibition and not have been exhibited elsewhere.
  • Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
  • All works must be exhibition-ready. Works should be sufficient to withstand mirror plating for hanging purposes.
  • All work must be glazed.
  • No hooks are required and there should be no projections whatsoever from the back of the works.
  • Metal frames and clip frames are inadmissible. Glazed works with unprotected glass edges are inadmissible. Diffused picture glass is unacceptable. Frames and mounts of an unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the chance of selection.
  • All work must be for sale. Minimum price: £300.
  • The price of works must include 45%+VAT commission.

Entry Fee

  • The submission fee is £20 per work for standard entries and £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under.

Delivery & Collection

  • Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery.

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

  • Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 07833 450788 /  Email:

  • Any work uncollected on the specified collection date/s will be stored at a separate location and the artist will be charged a storage fee.


  • There is a single stage selection process for the 2023 exhibition. All artworks will be judged virtually after submissions close. 
  • If selected artworks arrive damaged, with unacceptable framing, or size discrepancies from the original submission, these will be rejected.
  • All rejected artworks will need to be collected from Mall Galleries by the artist at their expense.
  • The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Society and is rotated annually.
  • Please note that selectors' decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.
Prizes Details: 

Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)

There are a number of prizes and awards available to win, including:

Cash prizes:

  • The Yoshimoto Prize: A prize of £1,000 for an outstanding work, in any dry medium, by a non-member
  • The Pastel Society Young Artist Award: £200
  • The Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award: A certificate and cheque for £50

Product prizes:

  • Caran d'Ache Award
  • Derwent Award
  • Frank Herring Award
  • Henri Roche Award
  • Mamut Award
  • Schmincke 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 Tricia Taylor

  • West Design Award

Publication prizes:

  • The Artist Magazine Award: A feature article in The Artist magazine
  • Artists & Illustrators Award: A feature article in the 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

Mall Galleries, SW1Y 5AS, London

Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
£20 per artwork or £14 per artwork for artists aged 35 or under
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