Portrait by Sandy Moffat


W. Gordon Smith was Scotland on Sunday’s art and theatre critic and columnist for many years and we are celebrating his life by launching this Competition in association with Scotland on Sunday with Prize money totalling £15.000.


As well as an art critic W. Gordon Smith was a distinguished author, dramatist and film-maker, and his understanding of how the different art forms such as poetry, painting, music, theatre, film, etc. are interconnected gave his critical writing a special insight and authority.  His work as a dramatist proved equally successful with plays such as Jock, Knox  and Vincent  becoming part of the canon of contemporary Scottish theatre.   A pioneer of televised arts programmes in Scotland, his series of films (Scope and Spectrum) for BBC Scotland throughout the late 1960’s and 1970’s are perhaps his greatest legacy.  They now constitute a unique archive of cultural production in 20th century Scotland to be used and enjoyed by future generations.


The progress made by the arts in Scotland over the past 50 years is unmistakeable as is W. Gordon Smith’s contribution.  Throughout his life he worked selflessly and tirelessly on behalf of art and artists.  This new Competition offers a wonderful opportunity, for all artists, to both celebrate and continue his lifetime’s work.


Entries are invited from artists working in Scotland and Scottish artists working throughout the UK and abroad.

An exhibition of successful entries will be presented at the Dovecot Gallery, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh in January 2016. Works sold throughout the Exhibition will not be liable to any commission. 

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The Prize Giving ceremony will be held at the Dovecot Gallery in Edinburgh on Monday 11 January 2016. A major prize of £10,000 and two special awards of £2,500 will be presented.


Pre-selection will take place in December. Successful artists will be invited to submit their entries on 8 January 2016 for final judging.

DEADLINE for on-line registration

Artists must register on-line by the Closing date of 7 December 2015 http://www.wgordonsmithaward.oess.uk/


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Artists must register on-line by the closing date of 7 December, 5pm.


Please scroll to bottom of page for Rules & Regulations 


Sandy Moffat - Artist & former Head of Painting and Printmaking, Glasgow School of Art

Tom Wilson - Artist, Former Director, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

Margaret Hunter - International Painter & Sculptor living & working in Berlin & Scotland

Susan Mansfield - Writer & Arts Journalist






Selected entries will be exhibited at the Dovecot Gallery in Edinburgh from Tuesday 12 January to Saturday 30 January 2016.

1. The competition is open to artists working in Scotland and Scottish artists working throughout the UK and abroad.


2. The competition will not accept entries which have been previously exhibited. Works entered should have been carried out in the last year and be the sole and original work of the entrant.


3. The competition is limited to one entry per person.


4. An entry fee of £20 will be charged, which is not recoverable.

Payment can be made online with a PayPal account or by debit/credit card. Submissions will not be accepted without payment.


5. No entry must exceed the maximum size of 150 x 150 cms framed or unframed. The W. Gordon Smith Award reserve the right to refuse any works we consider inadequately framed or presented.


6. Paintings can be in any medium.

Guidelines & Regulations

7. All artists will need to register and complete the online application process at http://www.wgordonsmithaward.oess.uk/​. Applications must be completed by Monday 7 December 2015 @ 5pm. After this date you will not be able to make changes to your online entry and new entries will not be allowed. Please ensure that you enter a good quality image that will do justice to your work and that adheres to the specifications on the website. We recommend JPG files of about 800 pixels wide and 2MB in size.


8. If an entrant has not been notified by 17 December 2015 that the work has been requested for the final round of judging it should be assumed that the entry has not been selected.


9. Entrants selected for the final judging will be contacted requesting delivery of their work by Friday 8 January 2016. A label will be sent which must accompany the painting and be securely attached with string which is gaffer taped or stapled to the back/frame. The label must be clearly completed in BLOCK CAPITALS. A permanent label or other identification must also be  



affixed to the back of the painting

giving the artist's name, address, contact number, title of work and price. Failure to comply with these requirements in full can lead to rejection of the work.


10. Entries selected for final judgng must be delivered for hanging to the Dovecot Gallery on Friday 8 January 2016 between the hours of 10am and 4pm.


11. Entrants are responsible for all costs relating to transport, insurance and delivery, to Dovecot Gallery. All packaging must be removed on delivery.


12. While resonable care will be taken at all times, paintings are submitted at the artists risk during selection and duration of the exhibition. Neither the W. Gordon Smith Award or the Dovecot Studios will be liable for any loss or damage. 


13. It is a condition of entry that Scotland on Sunday and the W. Gordon Smith Award reserve rights of reproduction of all exhibited works for either editorial or promotional purposes in connection with the competition and exhibition.

14. All works must be removed on Monday 1 February from the Dovecot Gallery between the hours of 10am and 4pm. The W. Gordon Smith Award retain the right to dispose of any work not collected on this date.


15. The decision of the judges is final.


16. Employees of Johnston Press, their agents, or members of their families are not eligible to enter the competition.


17. Works sold throughout the Exhibition will not be liable to any commission. The full price will go directly to the artist. The W. Gordon Smith Award staff will assist with any sales. Purchasers will be asked to make payment directly to the artist.