The John Ruskin Prize


Presented by our friends and partners at The Big Draw, The John Ruskin Prize is the fastest growing multi-disciplinary art prize in the UK. With the values of Ruskin at its core, the Ruskin Prize has a growing reputation for supporting and promoting artists, designers and makers whose work defies easy categorisation.

‘The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something… To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one’. - John Ruskin

Read more here.


After the hiatus caused by the Covid lockdowns, the John Ruskin Prize returned in 2024, with two innovations. For the first time, it was open to international entries, and the range of media was also expanded to include photography, film, digital art in all forms, making this edition of the Prize particularly wide-ranging. There were more than 4000 entries from around the world, and a distinguished panel of judges selected the short list for exhibition, and then the winning artists. The prize winners are shown below, and you can find out more HERE or download the catalogue of the London Exhibition HERE.

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A record number of artists, makers and designers responded to The John Ruskin Prize 2019 nationwide call for entries, inviting submissions in response to the theme: Agent of Change.

Over 1250 artists and designers, working in and across a broad range of disciplines submitted work. The 2019 selection panel considered over 3500 artworks, selecting 25 - 30 artists for the shortlist. From the shortlist 3 winners were announced and awarded their share of the £5K Prize Fund at the Private View and Prize Giving at The Holden Gallery, Manchester on 11 July 2019. Read full details of the winners and exhibition HERE and you can download the catalogue HERE.

With the values of the radical polymath John Ruskin at its core, and with his legacy in the spotlight in this bicentenary year, we are proud that the themes explored through The John Ruskin Prize resonate so strongly with creatives working across the nation.


Many thanks to all of you who joined the large crowd that gathered for the Private View and awards evening for The John Ruskin Prize 2017 on 20 June. The exhibition of shortlisted works, Master of All Trades, is open until 8 October at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery.

Congratulations to the winners of the Prize this year (works below, L-R, 1st-Student):
1st Prize: Rosa Nguyen (£3000);
2nd Prize: Bethan Lloyd Worthington (£1000):
Student & Graduate Award: Fi Smart (£1000).

Read more on the JRP website, run by The Big Draw.

If you have discovered a few new favourite artists and designers among the exhibited works, you might be interested in the new Ruskin Prize Editions collection, featuring new editions and original works by the artists, some of them exclusive to the collection. Take a look.


The John Ruskin Prize 2017 Shortlist Exhibition
21st June – 8th October 2017
Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Preview: 6 - 8pm, Tuesday 20th June 2017
We welcome you to join us at the Private View & Prize Giving as we announce our three winners and present prizes of £3000 (1st Prize), £1000 (2nd Prize) and £1000 (Student & Recent Graduate Prize).

The Big Draw today announced the shortlist of The John Ruskin Prize 2017, which this year celebrates the ‘Artist as Polymath’ and attracted a record number of submissions from fine artists, makers and craftspeople from across the UK.

1st Prize: Rosa Nguyen (£3000);

The shortlisted artists are: Louisa Boyd, Holly Brodie, Nuala Clooney, Andrew Ekins, Erin Dickson, Paul Hazelton, Marielle Hehir, Anne Howeson, Rebecca Ilett, Shelley James, Debbie Lawson, Emily Lazerwitz, Sue Lawty, Bethan Lloyd Worthington, Hugh Miller, Rosa Nguyen, Kyle Noble, Briony O Clarke, Sumi Perera, Shauna Richardson, Conor Rogers, Fi Smart, Serena Smith, Harland Viney, Simon Ward & Robert Mach, and Ray Winder.

About the shortlist
Selected from over 1000 entries, the final shortlist of 26 artists, makers and innovators responded to the call for contemporary Polymaths with work that defies categorisation, dissolves boundaries and has a joyous disregard for the conventions of their chosen materials and disciplines. The artist / scientist parallel is apparent in the shortlist but there is also evidence of traditional craft combined with social commentary, skilful material manipulation and a visual wit within the selected artworks.


2nd Prize: Bethan Lloyd Worthington (£1000):

The Prize
The John Ruskin Prize is now in its fourth year and invited entries from emerging and established artists and makers aged 18 or over living in the United Kingdom. The Award is £5000 with £3000 going to the winner, and £1000 going to both the Second Prize and Student and Recent Graduate Prize winners.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday 20th June at a private view and prize-giving ceremony at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield. The shortlist exhibition, Master of all Trades, will be on display 21st June – 8th October 2017, and will provide a contemporary counterpart to The Ruskin Collection, which is cared for by Museums Sheffield and on display at the Millennium Gallery.


Student & Graduate Award: Fi Smart (£1000).


The members of The John Ruskin Prize 2017 selection panel are: Kirstie Hamilton (Head of Exhibitions & Displays, Museums Sheffield), Zachary Eastwood-Bloom (Sculptor), Mandy Payne (Artist), Julia Bell (Former Head of Partnerships, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art), Dr Rachel Dickinson (Director for Education, Guild of St. George / Principal Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University), and Kate Mason (Director, The Big Draw).




Wednesday 21 June 2017 - Sunday 8 October 2017

This summer sees works shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize 2017 make their debut at the Millennium Gallery, SHeffield. Inspired by John Ruskin, the award, established by The Big Draw in collaboration with the Guild of St George, is now in its fourth year.

The 2017 Prize invited artists, makers and craftspeople from across the UK to investigate the theme of the artist as polymath, a multi-skilled master of many disciplines.


3rd John Ruskin Prize (2015-16)

Recording Britain Now: Society

The winners of the 3rd John Ruskin Prize were announced at the New Art Gallery, Walsall, on Thursday, 25th February 2016. Read the official announcement on The Big Draw website. The John Ruskin Prize was inaugurated by the Guild and is part-funded by us. It is also supported by The Pilgrim Trust, and is run by The Big Draw.

First prize

Laura Oldfield Ford

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Colliers Wood (acryllic and oil on canvas


Second prize

SECOND PRIZE Jessie Brennan

Jessie Brennan_A Fall of Ordinariness and Light_2014.jpg

A Fall of Ordinariness and Light (graphite on paper

Student prize

Robin Sukatorn

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Jeremy Corbyn speaks in Manchester (graphite stick on paper

The exhibition, Recording Britain Now: Society runs at the New Art Gallery, Walsall from Friday 26th February to Sunday, 17th April. It will transfer to the Electricians' Shop Gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, where it will run 6th-22nd May.

6th - 21sy May 2016
open daily, Noon till 6pm
John Ruskin Prize exhibition
Recording Britain Now: Society
Electricians' Shop, Trinity Buoy Wharf [venue website]

Private View and Launch:
Thursday, 5th May 6-9pm
FREE RSVP online

An exhibition of the artists' work shortlisted for the 2015 John Ruskin Prize.

Shortlist Announced (December 2015)

Companions will remember that the Big Draw/Campaign for Drawing originated in an initiative of the Guild of St George. It is now a thriving independent charity with a global reach. In 2012, the Guild and the Campaign joined forces to hold an art competition, the John Ruskin Prize. We are delighted to inform you that the winning shortlist of 30 artists competing in the third Prize (Recording Britain Now: Society) has now been announced. You can read all about it - and view examples of the artwork - online.