The Oskar Čepán Award is a competition designed for young visual artists, which was initiated by Wendy Luers, the founder and director of The Foundation for a Civil Society, and established in 1996 as a parallel to the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in the Czech Republic.
Since 2001 the competition has been bearing the name of the leading Slovak art theorist Oskár Čepan (1925 – 1992), who by his numerous studies on the visual arts considerably contributed to Slovak theoretical writings and artistic events. The competition is open to candidates under 35 years of age holding Slovak citizenship. They may present their work in painting, sculpture, graphics, drawing, installation, photography, multimedia and video art. The applied arts, theatre and film are not included.
Visual artists may apply for the competition individually. In addition, art theorists may nominate an artist for the competition on the basis of written consent of the artist. An expert commission of visual arts professionals and artists whose members are nominated by the Foundation – Center for Contemporary Arts for two-year terms selects the award winner. In the first round, the expert commission selects four finalists from all the applicants, of whom it chooses the winner in the second round. The second round tis decided at the joint exhibition of the four finalists. The winner is awarded a six-week residency in New York and a solo exhibition, conceived on the basis of the experience acquired during his/her stay in the U.S.