What is The Lester Prize?

  • It is not one point-of-view, one tone nor one hue.
  • The Lester Prize exhibits all our traits—the heroic, the despicable, the humble, the deplorable, the principled and the fallen.  When you look upon these portraits of others, you can’t help but see yourself reflected.
  • The Lester Prize captures what it means to be ‘them’, to be ‘me’ and to be ‘us’.
  • With this ancient continent behind it, The Lester Prize looks out while welcoming the world in.
  • It is for portraiture that comes from an unexpected place, but can speak to all.
  • It is for the elevation of the artist but against vacuous celebrity.
  • It is for quality irrespective of style.
  • It is for insight over fashion.
  • It builds reputations, not just venerates those who already have one.
  • This is what makes The Lester Prize the fresh face of portraiture.

Adult Prize

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—it always has been and always will be.

The Prize pool consists of:

  • The Richard Lester Prize for Portraiture (selected by a panel of judges) | $50,000 cash plus two economy class return tickets to any Singapore Airlines destination (except USA) valued at $3,500
  • Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize (selected by artists’ peers) | $10,000 cash
  • Baldock Family People’s Choice Prize (selected by the general public) | $7,500 cash
  • Oxlades Highly Commended x 2 (selected by a panel of judges) | $1,000 cash plus $250 art supplies each

Entries open Sat 20 April and close 5pm AWST Fri 19 July 2019. For more information on our Key Dates—visit our WHAT’S ON page.

Youth Prize

The Lester Prize Youth Award encourages the creative talents of young, aspiring and emerging artists. It is open to all High School students across Australia and children in care at the Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH). 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) | Art supplies valued at $1,950
  • Prizes for Schools (Years 10-12, Years 7-9) | Professional art workshops by Lester Prize Adult Finalists valued at $1,500


  • Ages 16-19 | Cash & art supplies valued at $1,350
  • Ages 12-15 | Cash & art supplies valued at $850

Entries open Sat 20 April and close 5pm AWST Fri 26 July 2019. For more information on our Key Dates—visit our WHAT’S ON page.