Joan Bakewell hosts a series of virtual sittings for artists all over the world via the Artist of the Year page on Facebook live. She is joined online for four hours every Sunday by a celebrity sitter and a former contestant from Sky Portrait Artist of the Year, who paints along with everyone viewing. The judgementals: Tai Shan Shierenberg, Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan join in the fun, talking to the artist and sitter as well as offering their expert advice on everything from composition, to how to read a portrait.
Every week they choose their favourite artworks, and often feature work from younger artists too. Their top three are chosen every week from those that submit photos of their artwork on Instagram with the tag #mypaotw
For many, this first series especially has been a lifeline, both in terms of creativity and community. And while globally most of us were in some form of severe lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this offered some respite and something to look forward to every week outside of the new normals that 2020 has brought us all.
The sitters for this season were; Dancer and Choreographer Akram Khan, Writer Bernardine Evaristo, Photographer Rankin, Judge Robert Rinder, Pop Star Will Young, Comedian and Artist Noel Fielding, Presenter Clare Balding, Rapper Professor Green and Historian Mary Beard.