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
- 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 Prize – £1000
- Sue Conrad Prize for works on paper – £1000
- Black Swan Arts, Programming Group – Solo Show in 2019/20
- Babington House Prize – Mentoring lunch with Kate Bryan, Head of collections, Soho house
- Kobi & Teal – Solo exhibition
- Emerging Artist – £200 framing at Mount Art
- Local artist Prize – artists materials From Postscript
- Sam’s Kitchen Prize – Selected work exhibited and a meal
- BSA Friends – lifetime membership
- BSA Guild – 12 months membership
- People’s Choice Award – £250
2017 Art Open Judges
Each Art Open has a different panel of judges who are independent of the Board of Trustees or the Programming Group.
The 2017 panel of judges included
- Mariella Frostrup, writer and broadcaster for Radio 4’s Open Book and former presenter of Sky Arts Mariella’s Book Show
- Seamus Nicolson, photographic artist and winner of BSA 2016 Open
- Gary Sangster, UNSW Art & Design faculty, Consulting Director of Drawing Projects, Bridge House, Trustee of Arnolfini, Bristol
- Stephen Snoddy, a painter with a background for running museums and galleries. Founding Director of Milton Keynes Gallery
- Dea Vanagan, Director at Hauser & Wirth Somerset since 2016 and Trustee of the Bomb Factory Art Foundation
2017 Art Open Prize Winners
For full details of 2017 prizes and winning entries, visit ‘2017 Art Open Prize Winners‘
‘Tablemouth’ Katharine Fry
‘Bound to the Mill’
Cauldron Series # 2
‘Erosion of the Flesh’
‘Green and Pleasant Land’