Title: Black Swan Arts Open 2017

Date: 2 – 29 November

Black Swan Open 2017

 Currently Closed – Entry Closed 13th September 2017

Exhibition dates: Exhibition: Thursday 2 – 29 November

Artists Preview: Wednesday 1 November

Location: Black Swan Arts, 2 Bridge Street, Frome BA11 1BB

Contact: Morag Stuart – exhibitions@blackswan.org.uk: tel: 01373 473980

Art Open 2017 Terms & Conditions
Art Open 2017 Competition Guidlines

The prestigious Black Swan Art Open is an annual competition that welcomes original works from both established practitioners and emerging artists of all professions and disciplines. Work can be submitted in any medium and in almost any size – from painting, drawing and printmaking to photography, sculpture and ceramics.

Art Open 2017 Judges

Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup
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Seamus Nicolson

Seamus Nicolson
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Gary Sangster

Gary Sangster
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Stephen Snoddy

Stephen Snoddy
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Dea Vanagan

Dea Vanagan
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Over the past fifteen years, the Black Swan Arts Open has built an impressive reputation for attracting some of the best-established practitioners and emerging artists from the South West, with the judges selecting diverse and innovative pieces and championing artistic excellence. In 2016, the Open attracted over 700 entries from 350 artists.

The event offers artists the chance to have their work viewed by a panel of highly respected judges and potentially to be exhibited at a regionally important gallery seen by thousands of visitors. The successful entries will be on show at Black Swan Arts from 2–29 November.

The panel of judges for 2017 includes Mariella Frostrup, journalist and broadcaster; Gary Sangster, trustee from the Arnolfini, Bristol; Stephen Snoddy, director of the New Art Gallery, Walsall; Dea Vanagan, director of Hauser & Wirth Somerset; and Seamus Nicolson, artist and 2015 winner of the Black Swan Arts Solo show prize.

Shortlisted artists have the chance of winning a series of impressive prizes, including the Hauser & Wirth Somerset first prize; the Black Swan Arts prize of a solo show; the Frome Town Council/People’s Choice Award (voted for by the public over the course of the show); the Mount Art prize for artists in full-time education; the Postscript 3D prize of art materials; the Sam’s Kitchen prize for local art; the Babington House prize and the Friends of Black Swan Arts prize.

The competition is open to every artist and any medium will be considered – painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics.

Benefits of Entering the Arts Open 2017

  • Have your work seen by hundreds of visitors
  • Be assessed by a group of highly qualified judges
  • An excellent place to sell your work
  • Possibility of winning prestigious prizes
  • Raise your profile through a wide variety of media coverage
  • Have provenance added to your artwork

Important Dates

  • Launch: 5 July 2017
  • Deadline for entries: 8 September
  • Selection day: 19 September
  • Email to artists selected: by 25 September
  • Photos and biogs of selected artists: required by 26 September
  • Delivery to Black Swan: 22-24 October
  • Artists Preview: 1 November
  • Exhibition dates: Exhibition: 2 – 29 November


  • Hauser and Wirth Somerset First Prize – £750
  • Frome Town Council – People’s Choice Award of £250
  • Mount Art – £150 framing of a piece for artists in full time education or three years out of full time education
  • Postscript – 3D prize for art materials to the value of £100
  • Sam’s Kitchen – Prize for local art of a meal and selected work exhibited at Sam’s Kitchen
  • Black Swan Arts Solo Show in 2018/2019
  • Babington House Prize of a mentoring lunch/dinner with Kate Bryan, Head of Soho House Group Collections
  • Friends of Black Swan Arts prize
Art Open 2017 Sponsors
Art Open 2017 Sponsors

2016 Art Open Prize Winners

Hauser & Wirth Somerset first prize of £750

  • John Robinson’s ‘Dear Diego’

Highly commended

  • Neil Fuller for ‘Apples and Pears’,
  • Eleanor Bartlett for ‘Juxtaposition’,
  • Dick Hewitson for ‘Sentinel – Water Tower 4’,
  • Elizabeth Byrne for ‘Holographic Island’
  • Michael Falzoni for ‘Palm Trees of Joujouka’

The Black Swan Arts Solo Show Prize, chosen by the Black Swan Programming Group

  • Steve Burden for ‘Abattoir’. His remarkable show took place in May 2017

Highly Commended

  • Jane Colquhoun for ‘Beach Somewhere’
  • Dan des Enyon for ‘In the Company of Silence’
  • Eleanor Bartlett’s second award for her piece ‘Juxtaposition’

The Mount Art Prize

  • Kate Walters for ‘My Dogs Keep Watch as I Pray’ –

Postscript Prize

  • Lyn Kirkland for ‘Battling Demons (Hear No Evil)’

Vametrice Prize

  • Malcolm Ashman for ‘Øya’.

The Frome Town Council People’s Choice Award

  • Zara McQueen ‘At the Chapel (1)’

John Robinson’s ‘Dear Diego’

Steve Burden Abattoir

Steve Burden ‘Abattoi’

 My dog keeps watch as I Pray

Kate Walters
‘My Dog Keeps Watch as I Pray’

Malcolm Ashman for ‘Øya

Malcolm Ashman for ‘Øya’


Michael Falzoni
‘Palm Trees of Joujouka’

Eleanor Bartlett

Eleanor Bartlett ‘Juxtaposition’

Helen Acklam Battling Demons

Helen Acklam ‘Battling Demons’

Zara McQueen ‘At the Chapel

Zara McQueen ‘At the Chapel’

The 2016 panel of judges included Gavin Turk, professor of art and design at Bath School of Art and Design; Lucy MacDonald, associate director of Hauser & Wirth Somerset; Suzanne Bisset, director of Bruton Art Factory; and artists Lawrence Nash, artists, RWA and Mark Francis, artist.