Photography Award / Open Call

»PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award 2020«

Theme: »DIGNITY«

The PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award celebrates its fifth birthday in 2020. This year’s motto is »DIGNITY«, with prizes of € 10,000.

Dresden, famous pioneer city of photography. And nearby: Hellerau, Germany’s first garden city. The Festspielhaus Hellerau has been perched on Dresden’s “Green Hill” for over 100 years. Since 2015, it has been hosting the PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award.

Here, photographers from all over the world apply, translating the themes of our time into portraits. Their works are shown in the Festspielhaus and, since 2017, at other extraordinary locations across the Saxon capital: in small galleries, abandoned industrial buildings, in studios and museums. Over the past four years, we have presented more than two hundred photographers from more than 35 countries in 25 different exhibitions.

The new competition has started on 25 September 2019. Until 25 November 2019, photographers will be able to submit their series of works via the Picter platform. The jury, which will include Dutch photographer Carla van de Puttelaar this year, will meet in early December and select the finalists whose works will be exhibited in February 2020 in the Grand Annual Exhibition. Numerous solo exhibitions by other participants, a large show by the current residence artist Mary Gelman (RUS) and numerous other events complete the competition program. A generous sponsorship allows us to offer finalists the production of their works for free – the prints are produced in a Dresden specialist laboratory. Of course, you can also exhibit works you have produced and finalised yourself.

Two jurors of the first PORTRAITS competition, photographer Matthias Creutziger and art historian Dr Katja Schumann in 2015 summed up what the Hellerau jury is looking for:

– At best, photos should emphasize the character of the model, being true ‘psychograms’…
– We expect a new visual language that tries to disrupt any former paradigm.
– We want to feel what kind of photographer is behind the camera, too.
– We don’t understand fashion photography, neither old nor new.
– Sheer professionalism is too little.
– Mere beauty is not enough.
– We expect true passion – through the medium of photography.

The prize winners will be announced at the vernissage on February 20, 2020. For the annual exhibition, a catalogue with the works of all finalists will be published.

Partners & Sponsors:
PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award 2020 | Sponsors
PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award

Application period: Sep 25 — Nov 25, 2019
Application deadline: Nov 25, 2019, 9:59 pm
Fee: 50 EUR (50% student discount)


c/o HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 56, 01109 Dresden, Germany

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