It's not often you find 1000's of people queuing to get into a local art exhibition - but that's exactly what happened on the premier night of the Manchester Open 2020. The exhibition opened its doors to artists living in Manchester last year, with the final gallery curated by Bren O’Callaghan (read his interview with us here). With no theme and nearly any art medium permitted, it aimed to be the first exhibition of its type to welcome entries from people of any background and level of experience, from new and emerging talent, enthusiastic amateurs to first-time artists.
The result is an amazing exhibition, which showcases the work of 500+ selected artists in Manchester and an incredible variety of art. It's opening night had a fantastic reception: over 2,000 people queued outside HOME to see the gallery which includes clay sculptures, video art, performance art, paper masks, wooden carvings, metalwork and traditional painting.
The Manchester Open 2020 is both a celebration and reminder of the creative talent within Greater Manchester, only a fraction of which is regularly visible.
Curator Bren O’Callaghan said: “The Manchester Open 2020 is both a celebration and reminder of the creative talent within Greater Manchester, only a fraction of which is regularly visible. Although not a new concept, the open-submission format is still perceived as the reserve of hobbyists or members-only groups, when in fact there are multiple, thriving open exhibitions across the region, many of which have provided a rich source of inspiration and entrants for this, the most ambitious and democratic open submission exhibition in recent memory for any Greater Manchester city-centre arts organisation.”
Out of the entries, five winners were selected and announced in February. They will each receive artist bursaries with a value of £2,000 each delivered in collaboration with Castlefield Gallery, which will be tailored to each winning artist, and may cover travel, materials, studio rent, website development or any aspect of their practice following peer review and advice.
Manchester Open Award: bOlder Greater Manchester Prize – Jai Chuhan, Shadows and the Sea
Manchester Open Award: Illustration & drawing – Catherine Lansdale, Cannulas
Manchester Open Award: Sculpture, materiality & form – John Carney, We scorn what we eat, we eat what we despise
Manchester Open Award: Granda Foundation Gallery exhibition – Karol Kochanowski, Class
Manchester Open Award: The People’s Choice – George Fell, Octopus
The Manchester Open will be back in two years for entries - in the meantime, you can stop by the the exhibition until Sunday 29th March 2020. Don't miss it!