The prestigious Black Swan Arts Open is an annual competition which welcomes entries of original works from 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.
This year’s judging panel includes; Robert Devereux (former chair of Frieze), Katharine Fry (winner of the Black Swan Arts First Prize 2017), Luke Jerram (artist), Elly Hawley (Director of Hauser & Wirth Somerset) and Sandra Porter RWA (artist).
It was a great honour to be a judge for the Black Swan Arts Open and a privilege to see so many excellent works by local artists – it was quite overwhelming.
Judging alongside colleagues from the region was great fun, and it was both gratifying and challenging to hear different opinions about the work we saw, but ultimately we took great pride in working as a team to choose the very best work for the audience of Black Swan Arts to enjoy.
Alice Workman, Director, Hauser & Wirth Somerset and 2015 Art Open judge.
The many prizes include the first prize of £1000 supported by Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the Sue Conrad Prize of £1000 for work on paper, Lyndy Pelley £500 prize for an artist under the age of 30 years and the Black Swan Arts prize of a solo show.
In 2018, the Black Swan Arts Open attracted over 900 entries from almost 500 artists. We have built an impressive reputation for attracting some of the best artists from the South West, with our expert judges selecting diverse and innovative pieces and championing artistic excellence.
I would say that the experience is threefold; celebrating the widest creative talent, working with colleagues to make selections creates rich and meaningful discussions about the artists work and finally the opportunity to share the very best with the audience who visit the exhibition.
The Black Swan’s commitment and dedication to the project really shows and it is a pleasure to be a small part of it.
Debbie Hillyerd, Director of Education, Hauser & Wirth Somerset and 2018 Art Open judge.