Black Swan Arts Open lr

Black Swan Arts Open

Over 100 art­works under £1,000 from estab­lished art prac­ti­tion­ers through to avant-garde young grad­u­ates in a vari­ety of mediums.

15/07/22 – 11/09/22
The Open exhibition is the highlight of Black Swan Arts’ annual programme and attracts thousands of visitors to Frome. This year’s show features cutting-edge work from established art practitioners through to avant-garde young graduates. Over 100 artworks are on display covering a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, photography, sculpture, ceramics and video. Every piece is for sale, with a top price of £1,000 to encourage collectors and first-time buyers to snap up investments for the future.
Curator Amanda Sheridan says: ‘We want visitors to feel they can take the art off our walls and put it up in their own home. Yes, some of the work is challenging, but there are pieces to suit every taste, and it is all original and created by incredibly talented artists. And from just £100 to £1,000, hopefully it will make people want to own a work of art.’
Over 400 artists have entered this year, and those selected have the chance of winning a series of impressive prizes. Hauser & Wirth Somerset, long-time supporters of Black Swan Arts, sponsor the first prize; the Bruce Munro Studio Prize is for 3D work; and the Lynda Pelly Prize is for artists under 30. Other prizes have been sponsored by Geraint Davies Picture Framing, Harris & Harris Solicitors, Brothers and Solstice Legal Services, Bistro Lotte and Makers’ Yard Somerset.
The judging panel includes some of the most notable arts professionals in the South West. Bruce Munro is known for his immersive site-specific installations, including the highly prestigious Field of Light Uluru, Australia. Abbi Bayliss, who has exhibited with Tate Britain, is a prize-winning artist, digital illustrator and the youngest member of the Visual Arts South West team. Will Cooper is a curator at the Holburne Museum, Bath and Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. Lucy Glendinning is an award-winning and internationally renowned sculptor. Debbie Hillyerd is global director of education at Hauser & Wirth Somerset and a great friend of Black Swan Arts. Gary Topp is executive director of the Arnolfini, Bristol and chair of trustees at the Leach Pottery, St Ives.
Visitors can also vote for their favourite artwork in the People’s Choice Award which is sponsored by Forward Space. The winner will be announced at the end of the exhibition.
The Black Swan Arts Open not only represents a unique opportunity to buy affordable art, but it is also a chance to support a local community arts centre. Black Swan Arts is a registered charity, and the exhibition is critical to the financial survival of the non-publicly funded organisation. Emma Warren, the centre manager says: ‘The Open is a crucial fundraiser for Black Swan Arts, which supports the art and craft community and arts education regionally. By entering work, visiting the show and buying art, visitors are helping to ensure that we can keep this vital arts resource open.’