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The University of Oxford is looking for 25 artists to contribute a portrait to its collections.

As part of the Diversifying Portraiture Project, supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Fund, we are commissioning a new set of artworks which will highlight and celebrate the achievements of a diverse range of living subjects associated with the University. These portraits will be exhibited together in a highly-publicised show in Oxford in 2017, and then put on permanent display in central University locations, colleges, and departments.

Each artist will receive an honorarium of £900 (inclusive of all expenses except framing), paid on receipt of one portrait of display quality and size. Portraits can be in any medium, including photography, but they must be suitable for exhibition indoors and on a wall. Artists do not have to have an association with the University, and can be based anywhere in the world, although due to the nature of the project proximity to Oxford (or a willingness to travel) may be an advantage. Travel costs will not be refundable.

Sitters will be nominated and selected separately. Artists will be expected to make independent arrangements to meet their sitters (in Oxford or elsewhere) as necessary.


To propose yourself as an artist, please email with the following:

  • Your contact details and a short CV or summary of your career/qualifications.
  • A portfolio of 3–6 examples of your work, which you believe best represent your likely approach to a portrait commission of this kind. Please send these either as attached JPG, PNG or PDF files, or via WeTransfer ( Please do not send files larger than 2GB.
  • If you wish, a statement of no more than 200 words explaining your reasons for the proposal, how you expect to interpret the commission, and the type of person you would be most interested in portraying (your proposal will not be disadvantaged by the absence of this statement, but it may help us to match you with the right sitter).


The deadline for artist proposals is 8 July 2016.

Proposals will be considered by the selection committee, who will contact you by the end of August 2016. If you are successful, around this time we will also put you in touch with your selected subject. The deadline for submission of the finished portrait will be 8 November 2016.


For more information, contact Ruth Scobie at

Find out more about our work online, at Oxford Today, or on Twitter (@DivOxPortraits).