The Sovereign Art Foundation launches Global Student Art Prize

Talented young artists from Portugal among shortlist

The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) has announced the launch of a global edition of their annual art prize for secondary school students, with the equivalent of €4,700 in grants on offer for winning artists and their schools. Among the talented young artists vying for the title of ‘Global’ winner are the winners from Portugal – Cozmin Razvan Olalau of Escola Secundária Poeta António Aleixo and André Tavares Varandas of Escola Básica e Secundária de Albufeira.

Launched in Hong Kong in 2003, SAF is a non-profit organisation that promotes contemporary art talent through its international art prizes, while raising funds for various charitable programmes.

The Sovereign Art Foundation Students Prizes run in nine countries and are designed to celebrate the importance of art in the education system by identifying talented young artists and rewarding successful secondary-school art programmes to the benefit of a greater number of students.

The Sovereign Art Foundation Global Students Prize will see 14 artworks by students from Guernsey, Hong Kong, London, Malta and Gozo, Mauritius, Portugal and Singapore, united in an online exhibition. These finalists were previously named winners in their respective regions during 2020, being selected either by a local judging panel or cinching the popular vote from members of the public.

From this global presentation, one Global Judges’ Prize will be awarded to the student selected by a jury comprised of noted professionals, including: Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman of SAF; Sara Mao, Director of Christie’s Education Asia; Tim Etchells, Managing Director of Single Market Events and founder of international art fairs including Sydney Contemporary; Michèle Sandoz, Head of VIP relations for Art Basel; Marc-Olivier Wahler, a swiss curator, contemporary art critic, art historian and the newly-appointed director of the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva, and Irene Bradbury, director of artist liaison at White Cube.

The public will also be invited to vote for their favourite work, with the most popular piece to receive the title of Global Public Vote Prize Winner.

Votes can be cast online until 18:00hrs GMT, February 22, 2021.

This inaugural competition will enable cultural exchange between nations, showcasing artworks by the most talented and promising students from across the globe. The online exhibition runs until February 26, when the winners will be announced, also online.

For the full list of 2020 finalists, go to and click under Art Prizes/Global

The Sovereign Art Foundation

The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) is a charitable organisation that was founded in 2003 with a well-defined twin focus: to recognise the growing wealth of contemporary art talent in Asia and bring the proven benefits of expressive arts to disadvantaged children.

In the same year, SAF launched The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, now recognised as the most established and prestigious annual art award in Asia-Pacific. The Prize increases the international exposure of artists in the region, whilst raising funds by auctioning shortlisted artworks and sharing proceeds equally between the participating artists and SAF. SAF uses these proceeds to fund programmes that support disadvantaged children using expressive arts. This model has so far raised over US$9 million for artists and charities worldwide.

In 2013, SAF launched Make It Better (MIB), an initiative that supports children from low-income backgrounds and with special educational needs in Hong Kong. MIB works in local schools and community centres to offer children a programme of expressive arts workshops designed to build self- esteem, confidence, self-awareness and interpersonal skills. SAF also supports teachers, social workers and caregivers of these children by introducing them to the therapeutic benefits of art.