This year's Northern Art Prize sees Liadin Cooke, Leo Fitzmaurice, James Hugonin and Richard Rigg in the running for the much coveted £16,500 prize.
The four shortlisted artists are all currently working in the north of England and the prize, tagged north England's answer to the Turner, aims to give northern artists a boost.
Painters in the north have the odds stacked against them, with good quality paintings fetching little money just outside of London and the south east. The prize is designed to challenge the pull of London on regional artists.
Installations specialist Haroon Mirza won the 2011 award, triumphing over rivals who used jelly moulds, black-and-white photography and iced cakes in their works.
All four of this year's artists were selected for the quality and creativity of their work at this point in their careers.
See their work and profiles of each artist in our gallery below.
The winner will be announced on 19 January 2012 at Leeds Art Gallery.