THE judges for the inaugural Manchester Open Exhibition at HOME have a huge, exciting task ahead of them as over 2,000 entries have been received from across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Works submitted include paintings, prints, sculptures, spoken word, illustrations, audio visual installations, performance works and photography.

As well as online submissions, 34 Manchester Open Roadshows were held at libraries and community centres across Greater Manchester, as well as many community group, charity and studio visits from our team, with hundreds of people meeting the team from HOME to chat about the idea that “everyone is an artist”, and to encourage creativity and engagement with the arts.

Over 500 works will be selected to be displayed in the free-to-visit exhibition, which opens on 18 January and runs until 15 March.

This is the first region-wide exhibition of its type open to everyone, welcoming entries from people of any background and level of experience, including established professionals, new and emerging talent, enthusiastic amateurs and first-time artists, without need of membership or to be a part of any specific group.

HOME Curator Bren O’Callaghan said: “We’ve been glued to our submissions portal as entries have flooded in from all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, across all backgrounds, ages and experience. I want to thank everyone who has helped spread the word or submit, and would encourage all to join us for this all-you-can-graze, art buffet when we unveil our giant talent showcase in the New Year!”

Community and Outreach Programme Producer at HOME, Anne Louise Kershaw, said: “There are amazing artists all around Greater Manchester creating wonderful work, many of whom do not even consider themselves artists, because they don’t come from the typical arts school background or are not involved in any ‘scene’. Our roadshow and the numerous visits we have made to different groups has aimed to tap into this talent, to unearth new and inspiring artists we can now champion. The Manchester Open will be a beautiful snapshot of what the artists of Greater Manchester are creating right now. All artists.”

The campaign to encourage people to submit their work was especially supported by TfGM, who gave HOME free advertising spots at tram spots across Manchester.

The selection committee will now start the painstaking process of looking at each individual work. The committee is made up of Jamil Abdulkader, member of the Age Friendly Manchester Board; Manique Jarrett, director and co-founder of Triple C – Creative Confidence Collective; Ann Louise Kershaw, Community and Outreach Programme Producer at HOME; Bren O’Callaghan, Curator at HOME; photographer and curator Mario Popham; Kate Vokes, Trustee of the Oglesby Charitable Trust; and Helen Wewiora, Director of Castlefield Gallery.

The sheer volume of artists who have submitted means that the date when the selection will be announced has now been pushed back to the end of November as the judges have so many submissions to consider.

The exhibition is supported by Greater Manchester Combines Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester, The Oglesby Charitable Trust, The Granada Foundation and Cass Art.


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