Main Awards

The Lester Prize is one of the country’s premier art prizes—an award that places artists and community proudly front-and-centre. Our prize is about the advancement of the artists, not the celebrity of the sitters.

The $115,000+ Prize pool consists of:

  • The Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture (selected by a panel of judges; non-acquisitive) | $50,000 cash
  • Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize (selected by artists’ peers; non-acquisitive) | $20,000 cash
  • Baldock Family People’s Choice Prize (selected by the general public) | $15,000 cash
  • Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize (selected by Minderoo Foundation; non-acquisitive) | $10,000 cash
  • Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize (selected by a panel of judges; non-acquisitive) | $5,000 cash
  • Highly Commended (selected by a panel of judges) | up to $5,000 value
  • Barton Family Foundation Installers’ Prize (selected by the Art Gallery of Western Australia installation team) | $10,000 cash


Entries have closed for The Lester Prize 2023.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Find out more about our Pre-Selection & Judging Process.

The Lester Prize Main Awards – Terms and Conditions.

Entry Fee: A$45.00 (inclusive of GST) per portrait.

Winner | 2022 Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture & Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize

Sophia Alone Respect Grandfather Kutri Makanykarra 2022. Acrylic on canvas 44.5 x 44.5 cm.

The Lester Prize Youth Awards encourages the creative talents of young and aspiring artists. It is open to all High School students across Australia.

The Prize allows entrants to showcase their works and present their unique artistic perspectives; helps build their confidence to further their art practice; and allows them to share their stories with the wider community. 

The Prize pool consists of:


  • Prizes for Students (Years 11-12, Years 9-10, Years 7-8) | Cash prizes, art supplies & framing valued at $4,125
  • Prizes for Schools (Years 10-12, Years 7-9) | Professional art workshops by Lester Prize Adult Finalists valued at $1,500

The Youth Awards are kindly supported by Oxlades Art Supplies, Montauk Lighting Co., The Valuing Children Initiative and the City of Perth.

Call for Entries have now closed for 2023.


The Lester Prize Youth Awards Terms & Conditions – 2023

The Lester Prize Youth Awards Guardian Consent Form – 2023

Annabelle Watling Remorse 2020. Oil and acrylic on board, 61 x 46 cm.

Our Pre-Selection and Judging process.

  • The Pre-Selection Panel members and Judges for both the Adult Awards and Youth Awards change every year. They are a group of independent experts in their respective fields with no commercial association with The Lester Prize.
  • During the Pre-Selection process, the panel is never provided the name or location of the artist (just the artwork image, title, dimensions and medium on screen).
  • Unfortunately, due to the large volume of submissions, we are unable to provide individual feedback to entrants.
  • This is the same process that many art prizes both in Australia and overseas undertake, and one that the Prize has followed since its inception.
  • Our Pre-Selection and Judging processes are fully transparent and something we are very proud of as we work hard to ensure there is no bias, personal, political or financial influence in the selection of our Finalists and Winners.
  • We are unable to enter into any correspondence about the selection of the Finalists and Winners.
  • We stand by and support all our Finalists, and respect the decisions made by our independent Pre-Selection Panellists and Judges.