The West Midlands Open exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate the quality and diversity of the visual arts in the region and will take place at The New Art Gallery Walsall, in our spacious Floor 3 galleries from 20 May – 25 September 2022.
The ambition of the Open is to exhibit artists from across the West Midlands, to showcase the talent from the region and to provide selling opportunities for artists. We are keen to present a diverse range of artworks that are representative of and relevant to our broad communities and audiences.
Submission is FREE and artists can enter up to two works each. Applications should be made online through our website and will be accepted from Thursday 20 January, 10am – Sunday 20 February, 8pm.
To be eligible to apply you should live in the West Midlands (Greater Birmingham, The Black Country, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire). We are also accepting submissions from anyone currently attending an art school in the West Midlands and those that studied at an art school in the region in the past 10 years.
Artworks must have been created since January 2020 and not already exhibited in the West Midlands. The maximum dimensions for works are; 2D 1 x 1 m, and, sculpture 1 x 1 x 1 m
Please read the West Midlands Open Guidance Notes for full details and before applying.
The selection panel for WMO includes invited members; Skinder Hundal MBE, Director of Arts, British Council, and West Midlands based artists Maryam Wahid and Nilupa Yasmin. A panel of Gallery staff will be led by Director Stephen Snoddy, including curatorial team members and one of the Gallery’s Critical Friends.
We aim to notify all successful artists in the week commencing 28 March 2022. Due to the number of applications we are anticipating, unfortunately it will not be possible to inform artists that they have not been selected or provide individual feedback.
Delivery of works
Works should be hand delivered to The New Art Gallery Walsall from Tuesday 5 April, 10am – Tuesday 26 April, 4pm. Please check the Gallery opening times and details of public transport links and local parking facilities, all of this information can be found on the Visit page on our website. There are Blue Badge Holder spaces to the side of the Gallery in Gallery Square, leading from Marsh Street.
Please arrive no later than 1 hour before closing time on the day you are delivering work, to allow time for our Front of House Team to accept in your work and administer the Entry Form paperwork. The usual public opening hours of the Gallery are; Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, and Sundays 12noon – 4pm.
A preview of the exhibition will be held on the evening of Thursday 19 May 2022, 6-8pm*. Our preview events are open to everyone. All exhibiting artists and their family and friends as well as members of the public are welcome to join us. *This will be confirmed nearer the time and be reviewed according to any national guidelines regarding Covid 19.
One artist will be selected for a residency in the Artists’ Studio at The New Art Gallery Walsall, to take place at an appropriate time. As an artist in residence, the artist will have access to the onsite studio, support from Gallery staff including mentoring from the curatorial team and technical assistance. The artist, their practice and the residency can be shared on the Gallery’s digital platforms. The timing, duration, associated fee and additional contributions will be discussed with the selected artist. The announcement date for the artist receiving the residency is TBC.
Visitors will be asked to vote for their favourite artwork in the WMO, through a ballot box in the exhibition space. The accolade will be announced at the close of the exhibition and the artist and their work will be promoted through our website and social media channels.