The Lurner Prize



The Lurner Prize is a new art competition founded by Arizona Smith (@arizonathecat) and Samuel Mead (@beg4cred) independent, self-taught artists based in Peckham, South-East London.


Sam and Arizona created the Lurner Prize with the intention of providing a platform for self-taught artists. The Lurner Prize exists to demonstrate and promote a principle of independence from the established cultural institutions, by creating new models which allow artists to become self-sustaining, fully independent entities. 


We live in a moment of extraordinary change, with change comes the necessity for reinvention and as such, it is time for artists and truly creative people to come to the fore as empowered, uncompromised individuals, ready to lead the culture into a new era. 


We believe that the role of the artist in society is to translate ideas from the imaginal realm into form. This makes the artist an important change maker in communities. Art has the power to touch people’s emotions and in this way to change lives. To create emotional shifts, art needs to be truly authentic, daring and untethered - in the words of Keith Haring,


“Art is nothing if you don’t reach every segment of the people.”


We hope this prize will give confidence and validation to artists across practices, at different stages of practice and from different walks of life.


We are excited to announce a panel of amazing artists - check out their art here: 


@creamguillotine - Gordon Dawson

@delainelebas - Delaine Le Bas 

@Ripsymay - Ripsy May

@tomfoleyart - Tom Foley 

@beg4cred - Sam Mead 

@arizonathecat - Arizona Smith 


More info on the competition:


This is an art prize for SELF-TAUGHT artists who have never formally studied art. There is no age limit. Entrants can be from anywhere in the world.


This competition is entirely INDEPENDENT - entirely organised and funded by @beg4cred & @arizonathecat.


Entry to the competition is FREE.


The competition is open as of NOW and closes on November 1st. 


The first prize for the competition is £500 with £100 in art supplies vouchers going to the second and third placed entrants. 


There will be an exhibition to display work by the three winning artists as well as the postcard entries submitted by all entrants to the competition.


The competition will be judged by @beg4cred @arizonathecat and a panel of other independent artists. 


Criteria for Entry:


Entrants must submit: 


1. Three high quality photographs of visual artworks they have created themselves. These artworks may include, drawing, painting, etching, street art/graffiti, sculpture including street/temporary sculpture, photography or collage. To be sent to beg4cred@gmail.com


2. Either: 


A maximum 2 minute long video, voice recording or maximum 500 word text in which the entrant responds to the prompt ‘my experience as a self taught artist.’


These should also be sent to beg4cred@gmail.com 



3-A postcard or smaller sized artwork - this can be an original or a print - from a drawing on a bit of scrap paper to a miniature canvas to a print of a piece of your artwork. As long as it fits into a small envelope it’s allowed. This should be sent to: BEG 4 CRED, SET Space, 76-89, Alscot Road, Bermondsey, SE1 3AW.


All of these artworks will be exhibited in the final exhibition, to which all entrants will be invited. After the exhibition, entrants may take back their submitted piece of work. Entrants who do not attend the exhibition will not have their works returned. 


Any questions please let us know! Open to interviews and will be sending out content from @thelurnerprize on Instagram.