The pre-eminent annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, was founded in 1994 by Anita Taylor and Paul Thomas as the Rexel Derwent Open Drawing Exhibition. It was known from 1996 until 2000 as the Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition and was supported by a private benefactor, Westland Nurseries, The Summerfield Trust, CHK Charities and Rootstein Hopkins Foundation. Most recently, the exhibition has been known as Jerwood Drawing Prize with 17 years of significant support from Jerwood Charitable Foundation from 2001 until 2017. Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust became the principal benefactor in 2018.
Selected from original art works, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize and exhibition has an established reputation for its commitment to championing excellence and promoting and celebrating the breadth of contemporary drawing practice within the UK. This open exhibition is a platform for drawing practitioners to showcase their work alongside other leading contemporary artists in the field, with the exhibition touring widely in the UK. In offering emerging, mid-career and established artists a national platform to exhibit their work, the project has developed new insights into the role and value of drawing in creative practice today.