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Artists invited to apply for Exeter Contemporary Open 2019

By April 1, 2019January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

Established in 2006, Exeter Contemporary Open has come to be recognised as one of the UK’s most prominent regional contemporary arts competitions, culminating in an annual exhibition at Exeter Phoenix. Exeter Contemporary Open provides an important national platform for contemporary visual art, with an emphasis on supporting emerging talent alongside more established artists many of whom have gone on to receive significant national and international acclaim.

Applications are now open for 2019’s exhibition, which will run from 20th September – 10th November. This opportunity is open to all contemporary artists working in any medium who live in the UK. The deadline for applications is Monday 17th June 2019 and the shortlisted artists will be announced in July. The finalists will be selected by a panel of industry specialists, which in the past has included artists and curators such as David Shrigley, Ceri Hand, Alex Hartley and Hannah Firth.

This year’s panel will include critic and curator Sacha Craddock and artist and 2006 Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner as well as Phoenix Gallery Curator Matt Burrows.

A special awards ceremony will be held at the exhibition preview on Thursday 19th September, where two prizes will be announced: the Overall Award winner (£1000) and an Additional Award winner (£500). Over the course of the exhibition, visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite work, and the Audience Choice Award winner will receive £200, announced in its final week.

Past winner Paul Merrick has said ‘For me, the best part of these things is when I arrive at a preview and am really able to connect with the other exhibitors, and the people behind making the show happen. It’s all about having conversations and making connections which go on to influence my work and might lead to future collaborations.

2019 will see the exhibition return to Exeter Phoenix having taken break in 2018 while the gallery spaces were significantly refurbished with the support of Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation.

Exeter Contemporary Open is kindly sponsored by Haines Watts Chartered Accountants.

To apply or find out more about the exhibition, visit