Established in 2012 by artists for artists, Wells Art Contemporary (WAC) is an open competition for innovative visual art. Based in the beautiful cathedral city of Wells, Somerset, this yearly exhibition aims to support creatives, stimulate debate, and push the boundaries of the visual arts scene both nationally and internationally. WAC has already established a strong presence in the British art world and keeps growing, attracting entries from 50 different countries last year – including Australia, Azerbaijan, India, Italy, Korea, Japan and the United States.
After a successful 2020 online edition, WAC is coming back to Wells Cathedral this summer, giving contemporary artists the opportunity to display cutting-edge work within this 850-year-old architectural masterpiece, which welcomes 300,000 visitors a year.
All artists, all styles, all techniques and all nationalities are encouraged to take part in the open exhibition. Creatives over the age of 18, based in the UK or internationally can enter up to 4 works in any medium – painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, installation or video. They can submit their work online before Tuesday 25 May 2021. The entry fee is £15 per work or £12 per work for students – with free entries for the first 100 students to submit their work.
The 2021 shortlist and prize winners will be selected by a panel of distinguished artists including sculptor Will Nash and painter / sculptor / installation artist Simon Periton.
The following prizes will be awarded:
- Howden Art Award: £2,000 awarded to one artist selected by Howden Group.
- People’s Choice Prize: £500 awarded to one artist selected by visitors of the exhibition.
- Grace Student Awards: £100 each to three students and free entry to first 100 students, awarded by Tracey Grace.
- Somerset Art Works Festival Award: an entry in the Somerset Art Works Festival 2022 with curatorial support, and 1-year SAW Membership.
- JGM Gallery Prize: works by selected artists will be showcased online by JGM Gallery.
- NG Creative Art Residency: a free two-week placement at the NG Art Creative Residency in Eygalières, Provence, including board and lodging, studio space, mentorship and residency-related outings.
- Parker Harris Mentoring Prize: a one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
In conjunction with WAC and Project Factory CIC, Wells Cathedral is also collaborating with Sir Antony Gormley RA, the world-famous sculptor best known for his Angel of the North , to produce a new work on the West Front of the Cathedral. This sculpture will be revealed to the public on the opening night of the WAC exhibition and will be displayed on the West Front for 18 months, attracting more art lovers to the smallest cathedral city in England.
For more information: wellsartcontemporary.co.uk/home
To enter: wac.artopps.co.uk