We are delighted to launch our second biennial Contemporary Art Award – The Merrion Plinth. As dedicated supporters of early 20th century and modern art, we aim to support living artists by sponsoring this prize honouring outstanding talent. Our inaugural winner was Orla Whelan who outlines the benefits of the prize to her work as an artist:
“Winning the Merrion Plinth Award has been a very positive experience for me as an artist. It has been a privilege to have my work displayed amongst the wonderful collection of Irish art at the Merrion Hotel. The award generated much publicity for my work, which was introduced to new audiences over the three years it has been on display. The financial award enabled me to purchase new materials to prepare for a subsequent solo exhibition in 2020. I’m extremely grateful to be the inaugural recipient of the award and hope that it continues to benefit artists like myself for years to come.”
We are inviting professional artists to enter this open submission competition which will take place every two years. Our aim is to provide a platform for artists to bring their work to new audiences and be seen alongside some of the great Irish artists of the last century. Our collection holds some significant artworks relevant to the history of Irish visual culture and our ambition is to promote the importance of visual art being made today.
€5,000 Award to the successful artist
OPEN TO all professional artists resident in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK
OPEN TO artists in all visual art forms that adhere to guidelines (except performance)
The selected artist will be exhibited in a dedicated area in the The Merrion Hotel for 2 years
The closing date for entries: 18th April, 2022
Selection panelists include:
Lochlann Quinn, Chairman, The Merrion Hotel
Patrick Murphy, Director, RHA, Dublin
Oonagh Young, Director, Oonagh Young Gallery
Application Form, CV, Images and Proposal material must be sent by email to
For queries please contact Oonagh Young by email to the above address.
To view full details including entry specifications click here
To view and download application for click here