The John Ruskin Prize 2019



PRIZES: 1st Prize: £3K | 2nd Prize: £1K | Student Prize: £1K

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: 12.05.2019 at 5pm

A shortlist of 25 artists, designers and makers will have their selected works exhibited at The Holden Gallery, Manchester in a high profile exhibition from 12 July – 24 August 2019.

The John Ruskin Prize is open to artists, makers and designers over 18 and currently resident in the UK.

Meet the 2019 selection panel | Accepted media | Get in touch | Enter


A challenge, an observation, a protest, a suggestion, a material innovation, a small shift in perception can affect seismic change.

Now in its 5th year, The John Ruskin Prize 2019 aims to uphold Ruskin’s beliefs whilst challenging the nation’s creatives to consider their role as catalysts of change, critics, social and political commentators and material innovators. Open to a broad range of interpretations, the prize organisers are inviting entries from a range of creative practitioners in response to the theme: ‘Agent of Change’.

John Ruskin, an impassioned and influential critic of art, society and life, believed that art has the power to expose universal truths. Ruskin was a writer, artist, social critic, polymath and aesthete who fiercely opposed the social, political and environmental injustices of his day. These injustices – the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots, social and economic uncertainty, rapid environmental change and a complex ever shifting political landscape remain issues that are as pertinent today as they were in Ruskin’s day.

The Prize also embraces Ruskin’s polymathic sensibilities, focusing on the strengths of multidisciplinary practice and inviting submissions from creatives whose work defies easy categorisation. In this bicentenary year, the Prize organisers are encouraging submissions that address change through observation, innovation, protest and that force us to see old problems in a new light .