Curious Duke Gallery is proud to announce that the Secret Art Prize will be returning for 2016! With over 100,000 votes last year and a demand for extended entry, the 2016 prize is set to be bigger than ever.


The Secret Art Prize is the worlds first urban and fine art art prize, open to street artists and fine artists alike. The Secret Art Prize searches for all the secret and undiscovered artists out there. We want to reveal the secret and spread the word about you and your artwork. Will you be this years secret we reveal?


Heading into its third year, the search for contemporary art continues to bring the latest in talent to London. Curious Duke Gallery, famed for their nurturing of contemporary fine art, surreal, urban and street art by artists in the early stages of their career and beyond, seek to support new talents and present them to a wider audience, often bringing street artists into a gallery environment for their first time. With over 300 applicants and following a highly popular Secret Art Prize 2015 exhibition, the most exciting new art prize promises to reach new levels.


Launching in February 2016, the Secret Art Prize is calling out for fine art, urban, street and contemporary artists! We are welcoming entrants working from all disciplines except film, video and performance (sorry, we don’t have the space for you just yet!). However, we do not ask you to enter your work into a category because we understand that sometimes artwork cannot be labeled. The CDG family of artists delight in finding new artistic processes, pushing their practice into new mediums, subjects and continually seeking new grounds; we encourage the truly original. We do have some restrictions, so please do see our terms and conditions and FAQ’s below.


Deadline Friday 29th July.


We want…

You, future Curious Duke artist, we don’t have to see a fully fledged portfolio or your life times masterpiece, we just want to see your potential. That is why we ask for only 1 image on your application, an artist statement, with supporting website links, blog or social media so that the judges can delve into your practice and get to know you as an artist, because we support you, not just your work. For 2016 we will have one winner and a winner from the People’s Choice Award will be championed for their talent and creativity, and their future. Enter now, and we may use your images for social media. Apply now and get seen!



The winner…

How do we choose who wins? Curious Duke Gallery compiles the completed applications to pass onto our panel of judges (meet them here), once applications have closed. From here, our inspirational panel of judges who specialise in a field of the Fine Art industry choose their top 10 artists from our shortlist The coveted People’s Choice Award is awarded on the basis of the applications being made public on this website, and then gathering votes as people click their favourite’s to vote them up the score board. Please do share your page to get more votes!


How to apply

Please note that you may only submit one application per person.


When applying for the Secret Art Prize 2016 you will be asked for:

  • We ask that your username be your artist name, this will be not be published and is for office use only.
  • One image file to be named ‘last name_firstname_artworktitle’
  • The artwork that you submit for the Secret Art Prize must be available for the winners exhibition in October 2016
  • A short statement about your work and yourself that should be no longer than 300 words. Please remove your name from the statement. We will not be editing any statements. It is essential for all names to be removed before being published for the Public Choice Award or to the judging panel.
  • Details of the artwork that you are submitting for consideration, such as Title, medium, dimensions and price.
  • Link to a website for the judges to take a look at your portfolio
  • Links social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.
  • Contact details


This is CDG

Having founded award winning Curious Duke Gallery in 2011, Eleni Duke has cemented her position on the UK art scene with collaborations with London based businesses, showcasing at the UK art fairs and joining the judging panel of all female street festival Femme Fierce. 2015 saw them come second to the highly respected Richmix in the TimeOut #LoveLondon culture awards.


Duke’s nurturing approach to young talent has seen her winning 2nd place for Micro Business of the Year 2013, with her artists taking to the airwaves on BBC radio and featured in London’s press. The winner of Secret Art Prize 2016 will join this cohort of creatives with representation from CDG. Find our more about the gallery here.


Secret Art Prize 2016 – The Prizes

The Secret Art Prize will be awarded to one overall winner.

Runners up will be the top 4 artists and will be awarded a place in the Curious Duke Gallery group show in October 2016.

On top of this there will also be a People’s Choice Award who will be voted for by the public and also be awarded a place in the Curious Duke Gallery group show in October.


The overall winner will receive mentoring from Curious Duke Gallery joining the likes of Hannah Adamaszek and Roy’s People, but they’ll also receive gifts from our sponsors, a cash prize, and exhibition opportunities.


The Overall winner will receive

-£1000 cash prize made payable to the winner

– Profile in State Magazine, with a distribution of 60,000.

– One-month group show with Curious Duke gallery

– Mentoring from Eleni Duke

– Gifts from our sponsor.


The overall winner, and winner People’s Choice Award, alongside runners up will receive a place in the group exhibition this October 2016 at Curious Duke Gallery.


See below for further information.


Have a question? Check our FAQs page here or email

Want to know what our winners have to say? Read on…


Stephen Whatcott:

“One of the hardest things as an artist is trying to get your work seen by the right audience, an audience with an interest in your type of work. There are so many artists out there with arms raised, shouting, trying to be heard. The Secret Art Prize provides a platform for artists to present their work to the right audience and the Curious Duke Gallery provides a great (and much needed) level of support for an artist to grow. It’s that combination that makes the Secret Art Prize really unique and valuable to an artist.”


Michael Vincent Manalo:

“The Secret Art Prize is quite ironic since it did quite the opposite of what a secret is supposed to be. Since winning the Prize in Photography in Secret Art Prize, I noticed that I had more interest in my work: more galleries, online galleries and even a contemporary museum has contacted me and expressed wanting to exhibit my work!


Gary Scott:

‘I can highly recommend entering the Secret Art Prize – taking part in it in 2015 was very rewarding and generated an incredible amount of activity on social media which was a lot of fun and great for the profile.  Making it through to the Winners Show was an honour especially given the high calibre of the competition and being invited to join the Curious Duke family of artists was the icing on the cake.  If you’re an artist creating distinctive contemporary work then why not give it a go?’


Blandine Bardeau:

The Secret Art Prize has been an amazing opportunity for me. I had never won a Fine Art Prize before, and I knew of Curious Duke through a friend of mine. She only had good things to say about the team.

I found out I was a runner-up and I was so delighted to be part of Curious Duke! It is such a great mix of abstract and representational contemporary art.

The team is excellent and thoughtful, always here to help, give you advice and support. I can only recommend applying. It is also great to have a one-month exhibition in the heart of Old Street!

It helped me to put myself on the art map for sure. I look forward to seeing what the future brings, to do more exhibitions and art fairs with them.”


Martha Zmpounou:

My involvement in the secret art prize competition and event was a very stimulating and fun experience. It was a pleasure to meet and work with Eleni and the rest of the team. Winning the prize was an extra reason to be happy besides being part of this great show.”



You can vote for your winner in our People’s Choice Award! We know that your opinion matters, after all it is your taste that encourages these artists to apply for prizes such as ours. We will shortlist the entrants to 100 names, and you can cast your vote from Wednesday 3rd August. Lines close on Wednesday 17th August. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 31st August.


Dates to remember

Secret Art Prize 2016 entry lines now open.

Lines close on Friday 29th July

Voting for People’s Choice Award open Wednesday 3rd August.

Voting for People’s Choice Award closes Wednesday 17th August.

Winners to be announced Wednesday 31st August.

Work selected for exhibition to be delivered to Curious Duke Gallery by Wednesday 4th October

Secret Art Prize 2016 exhibition will run throughout October 2016.

Work to be collected by 31st October


Anna McNay
Freelance art writer and editor.
TWITTER - annamcnay

Anna McNay is a freelance art writer and editor. She is Deputy Editor at State Media and Arts Editor at DIVA magazine. She contributes regularly to Studio International, Photomonitor and The Mail on Sunday and has been widely published in a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and newspapers. McNay’s work spans a variety of formats, including reviews, profiles, interviews (written and to camera), portfolios and essays. She has written catalogue essays for galleries including Abbey Walk, Art Bermondsey Project Space and the Royal Academy of Arts. She is an elected member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

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Trevor Nelson
DJ and art collector
TWITTER - djtrevornelson

Trevor Nelson, MBE, is best known for his broadcasting history, however he is also an art enthusiast, and has a keen interest in art collecting. Starting at the then pirate station Kiss FM in 1985. Having been granted its license in 1990, as a director of the station Trevor hosted a weekly daytime show, before moving to the BBC in 1996.

As a pioneer in the UK urban scene with a stint behind the scenes in A&R at Cooltempo, EMI, he continues to DJ around the globe. He has released 7 compilation albums, winning him 4 Mobos for Best DJ. He was awarded an MBE in 2002 for work with the Millennium Volunteers.

In 2010 Nelson was awarded a GOLD lifetime achievement award by the Sony Radio Academy, and was nominated as a Hackney Ambassador to coincide with the 2012 Olympics.

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Ana Bambic Kostov
Art Historian
TWITTER - Coming soon

Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art. As the author of numerous exhibition reviews, articles and catalogue introductions published via national and international media channels, she developed a particular sensitivity for feeling the pulse of the global art scene. She was elected a council member of the Art Center Gallery at the University Library of Belgrade and acts as a freelance art consultant.

Currently at the position of Editor in Chief at, Ana is dedicated to developing this urban and contemporary art magazine into a tool for art researchers and art lovers alike. In the course of two years, she helped transform the Magazine from a simple art blog into a versatile online publication.

Ana’s interests and activities go beyond the sphere of contemporary art. She is interested in various cultural projects, especially cultural policies, as well as the support for individual creatives. Her additional interests include close examination of global art market trends and keeping up with the activities of emerging artists worldwide. She focuses on research of traditional creative media within the novel concepts of art, and considers herself an observer, but also a critic.

Ana is based in Belgrade, Serbia.

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Anna Smithson
Director and curator of Smithson Gallery
TWITTER - smithsongallery

Anna Smithson is director and curator of Smithson Gallery. The gallery represents a selection of hand-picked, talented artists with a variety of styles. Smithson embraces and understands the effectiveness of medium diversity, from multi-layered screen prints to works with resin and collage; it is this openness and responsive attitude that embodies the ethos of Anna’s approach.Anna studied printed textiles at Middlesex University and went on to work as an art editor, editing and commissioning artist’s work for 10 years, developing a strong foundation in artwork selection before establishing her gallery in 2009.Anna’s ability to support and mentor artists with passion and professionalism is refreshing. As a committed arts industry professional, a curator and director, Anna’s personal approach and expert eye further qualify the comprehensiveness of her gallery.

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Mark Powell
Mark Powell
TWITTER - markpowellart

markpowellMark grew up in West Yorkshire and went on to study Fine Art, drawing and painting at Huddersfield University. He enrolled one day by accident; he decided to look around the studios of the university having lost his job that morning. He then began a conversation with who turned out to be the department head and one thing followed another and within a couple of hours he was enrolled to study. After graduation he was invited to America, where he successfully exhibited his artwork on the West Coast. A few years of painting in Leeds led to few more shows but nothing too great. After moving to London, and working multiple jobs, Powell switched from mainly painting to drawing and was then ‘discovered’ by an American website that turned out to be quite popular. In a matter of hours he had sold all the work he had and had offers of shows around the world. Powell exhibits with Curious Duke Gallery, and you can see his work at the Affordable Art Fairs and Moniker. He now spends his time drawing as much as possible and travelling.

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    Secret Art Prize 2016 – The Prizes

    The Secret Art Prize will be awarded to one overall winner.

    Runners up will be the top 9 artists and will be awarded a place in the Curious Duke Gallery group show and receive representation from the Curious Duke.

    On top of this there will also be a People’s Choice Award who will be voted for by the public and also be awarded a place in the Curious Duke Gallery group show and receive representation from the Curious Duke.

    The overall winner receive representation from Curious Duke Gallery joining the likes of Hannah Adamaszek and Roy’s People, but they’ll also receive gifts from our sponsors, a cash prize, and exhibition opportunities.

    The overall winner will receive

    -£1000 cash prize made payable to the winner
    -Representation and one month group show with Curious Duke gallery

    -Profile in State Magazine, with a distribution of 60,000.

    -Mentoring from Eleni Duke

    – Gifts from our sponsors.

    Runners up and People’s Choice Award winner will receive a place in the group exhibition this Autumn 2016.

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    Got a question about The Secret Art Prize? We’ve answered the frequently asked questions below, but should we have missed your question or you’re having problems applying, please email us on with Secret Art Prize in the subject line.

    What dates do I need to remember?

    Secret Art Prize 2016 entry lines now open

    Lines close on Friday 29th July.

    Voting for People’s Choice Award open Wednesday 3rd August.

    Voting for People’s Choice Award closes Wednesday 17th August

    Winners to be announced Wednesday 31st August

    Work selected for exhibition to be delivered to Curious Duke Gallery by Wednesday 4th October

    Secret Art Prize 2016 exhibition will run throughout October 2016

    Work to be collected by 31st October


    How do I apply?
    Please see our Apply page here. You will be asked to submit one image of an artwork, an artist statement no longer than 300 words, and a link to a website for the judges to take a look at your portfolio. If you have any issues registering to apply, please email

    Submission of artwork
    Please submit work through the application page, we ask for one image of your artwork with an admin fee of £10.00. Curious Duke Gallery reserve the right to reject applications of work that are deemed unsuitable for exhibition, be it explicit or antagonising, at our discretion. All work submitted must measure 1x1m or less. Please contact Curious Duke Gallery on should your the artwork dimensions measure larger than this.

    How do I pay?
    All payments must be made through Paypal upon completion of your application, only after this will we consider your application.

    How are the winners decided?
    There will be one overall winner with runners up and the winner of the People’s Choice Award. It is possible to win as the overall winner and the Peoples’ Choice Award. Due to the number of applications, we will choose 100 applicants to be put forward into the People’s Choice Award page for public voting. The overall winner of the Secret Art Prize will be deliberated by the panel of judges.

    How do the judges vote?
    Once applications close, the applications will be shortlisted by the judges to their top 10, and ordered 1-10 by themselves with the artist with the highest score winning. The gallery will then collate these votes from all judges to choose the overall winner, using the lowest common number per shortlisted artist.

    Delivery and collection of art work.
    We ask that applicants selected for exhibition arrange the delivery of their artwork, and collection within 7 days of the exhibition closing. Once submitted, artworks must be available for the exhibition. We can not reimburse costs.

    What does representation from Curious Duke Gallery entail?
    We nurture our artists, and work closely with them to push their portfolios and career. In daily gallery life we will have group exhibitions throughout the year, with annual Christmas and Summer shows, solo shows, mentoring, opportunities to meet all of the CDG artists, featuring of our artists and artworks on our social media channels. As an award winning gallery we also collaborate with companies outside of our Whitecross Street home, such as Timberyard, Look Mum No Hands and Hoxton Hotel. Eleni Duke and CDG have been featured in Red Magazine, The Telegraph, Le Cool, Inspiring City, Time Out, and T.V’s London Live.

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