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Leicester's popular open exhibition puts out call to artists

Published on Friday, September 4, 2020

Open 30

LOCAL artists are being given a chance to present their work at Leicester’s flagship museum, as preparations for this year’s Open 31 exhibition get under way.

Now in its 31st year, the popular annual open exhibition is a showcase for artistic talent from across the East Midlands – open to anyone, from complete beginners to seasoned professionals. 

Entries for the 2020 exhibition open on Monday (7 September), and artists have until Sunday 25 October to submit their online applications.

Submissions are invited from artists aged 19 and over who are living or studying in Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire or Northamptonshire.

There is also a category for young artists aged five to 18.

After the closing date, a panel of judges will select the paintings, sculptures, textiles, prints and photographs that will go on display in December at the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery on New Walk.

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The annual open exhibition always attracts a huge amount of interest from all kinds of artists.

“It provides a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their work in the fabulous surroundings of the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, and it’s a great way to celebrate the rich artistic diversity of the region.”

Entry fees for Open 31 are £10 for a single piece of work, £16 for two and £20 for three pieces. Concession rates are available, and entries for young artists are free of charge.

The Open 31 exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 5 December 2020 and runs until Sunday 10 January 2021.

Artworks will be on sale and outstanding pieces will be awarded prizes donated by local businesses and groups.

This year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship experienced by artists, the city council is incorporating the Artist Support Pledge into Open 31. Artists who opt in to the scheme can help others by pledging to buy another artist’s work for £200, once they have earned £1,000 from the sales of their own work.

Participating in the pledge is optional and will not affect the judges’ decision during the selection stage. 

Further information, the online application form and full terms and conditions will be available at leicestermuseums.org/TheOpen from Monday (7 September).