Live in Greater Manchester? You could submit work, with £10,000 of prizes up for grabs

HOME arts centre will host the first regional event of its kind next year - an exhibition featuring work from over 500 artists across Greater Manchester, with submission open to all. 

That it feels radical to exhibit the work of hundreds of local artists in a city centre location like HOME is a wake up call

Designed to celebrate the county’s creative talent, The Manchester Open Exhibition 2020 is open to anyone who lives within its ten boroughs, regardless of background and level of experience.

Spanning emerging talent to established, amateurs to professional artists, it’ll bring together art across a vast range of genres: including paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, digital and mixed media, video and audio, spoken word, performance and more. Applicants can submit as an individual or a group via a specially designed online application form.

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HOME’s Open Exhibition will display over 500 artists

Alongside exhibition sponsor Cass Art, HOME will tour Greater Manchester in August and September; encouraging as many people as possible to get creative and take part, with free workshops and practical support.

All submitted artwork will be judged and curated by a selection committee chosen for their unique perspectives and their belief in the power of art to inspire and unite communities: Jamil Abdulkader, Monique Jarret, Anne Louise Kershaw, Bren O’Callaghan, Mario Popham, Kate Vokes and Helen Wewiora.

Director and Chief Executive of HOME, Dave Moutrey described the Manchester Open as “a call to the 2.8 million people living in Greater Manchester to show us what they’ve got. We want to develop important conversations about what really makes creative expression and who can call themselves an artist. I’m excited by what we’ll discover, from new work to unknown makers. It’s a great opportunity to bring groups together, to share each other’s work and inspiration and encourage collaboration.”

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‘Everyone’s an artist’ - the Open Exhibition marketing depicts Greater Mancunians as well-known artists

HOME Curator Bren O’Callaghan, who proposed and will produce the exhibition added: “That it feels radical to exhibit the work of hundreds of local artists in a city centre location like HOME is a wake up call - we need to change our way of thinking about art and artists and how we support and develop talent. Why should ’local’ become shorthand for ‘not as good’? HOME’s purpose is to celebrate the artistic potential in everyone and we hope the Manchester Open, which will happen every two years, will become a high point in the region’s cultural calendar.”

The Manchester Open will also take a unique approach to prize giving. Five £2,000 packages of talent development funds and support will be awarded, including the bOlder Greater Manchester Prize for entrants aged 50+, sponsored by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as part of their Culture and Ageing programme.

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Submission donations will be used to support HOME’s work with local schools and communities

There will also be a People’s Vote, judged by exhibition visitors. The awards will be designed in partnership with each winner to create a development package that meet their specific needs; such as research and travel opportunities, materials, studio rent, skills training, website support, artist residencies and support for production of new work.

In keeping with the democratic spirit of the Manchester Open, there is no charge to submit your artwork, but a ‘pay what you can’ voluntary donation is encouraged. All donations will be used to support the work of HOME’s Visual Art programme and work with communities and groups across Greater Manchester. Fancy having a go? Submission is open until Monday 7 October at the link below.

Manchester Open Exhibition 2020 will take place from 18 January to 15 March 2020