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Best Art Vinyl Award 2020

Best of Record Cover Art & Design Shortlist Reflects a Year of Lockdowns and Self-Isolation with Self Portrait Album Covers



On November 9th, Art Vinyl launches 'Best Art Vinyl 2020', the annual search for the most creative and well-designed record cover of the year, joining an archive of outstanding designs from the past fifteen years.

The 50 nominations shortlist reflects a year of lockdowns and self-isolation across the globe, and includes an LP of home studio sessions by producer and musician Tenderlonious entitled 'Quarantena' alongside a diverse range of artists submitting covers with self-portraits including Marilyn Manson and American singer, songwriter and painter Frances Quinlan, best known for leading the indie band Hop Along.

Marilyn Manson painted his self-portrait 'Infinite Darkness' in March of this year as the pandemic took hold. While Manson is a renowned painter who sells in galleries around the world, this is the first time one of his pieces has been used as an album cover.

A visual artist before becoming a songwriter, Frances Quinlan created her expressionistic self-portrait using photographs collaged into the periphery for the cover of her solo debut album.

The public are invited to vote for their three favourite covers, online at and their votes ultimately decide the overall winner, who will be announced and presented with the coveted Best Art Vinyl Award in January 2021.

Despite obvious Covid restrictions, uniquely this year to celebrate the amazing sleeve designs, a virtual exhibition of all 50 nominations and previous winning sleeves from the last 15 years has been curated, and from December visitors can browse this year's collection online and vote for their favourites from 2020.

As a regular touring exhibition, the Best Art Vinyl Award winners will be on show throughout 2021 in various galleries and public spaces across the UK and Europe.

Last year, Best Art Vinyl 2019 saw over 9,000 public votes for the best in art, photography and graphic design in modern music culture. The public vote awarded French band Klones' sleeve art, depicting the broken symmetry of sun and clouds for the album Le Grand Voyage, as the overall winner.

Previous winners include early work by Dan Hillier, for Royal Blood's eponymous album, plus work from the sixteenth century for The Fleet Foxes' LP by Dutch artist, Pieter Bruegel and a design for rock legend David Gilmour, who always had a strong association with album art through Pink Floyd and the Hipgnosis design team.

Best Art Vinyl Award founder Andrew Heeps said of this year's unique Art Prize; "Lock Down really is a time for reflection and this year's vinyl releases have provided the musical and visual icons we will personally associate with 2020. In this new Zoom culture, it became more important than ever to celebrate and find solace in art and music, albeit through a screen. However it's the tactile mix of sound and vision that will always bring people closer, so it's a big thank you to the artists and labels that kept us culturally connected with this year's vinyl records. "

Public voting will begin on 9 November 2020 at

The winners will be announced in January 2021.

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