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.