This document contains answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive about the Manchester Open, including information on:
- The Manchester Open Exhibition
- The selection process
- Questions about submitting to the Open
- Sales and pricing
What is the Manchester Open?
The Manchester Open is an open-submission exhibition for the Greater Manchester region. Anyone who lives in Greater Manchester, of any background or level of artistic experience, can submit an artwork to be considered for the exhibition. Established in 2020 it became the most successful exhibition in the history of HOME, with over 33,000 visitors enjoying 543 artworks by 451 artists, generating over £20,000 of sales.
It is the first region-wide exhibition of its type to welcome entries from people of any background and level of experience, including established professionals, new and emerging talent, enthusiastic amateurs and first-time artists.
Where will the Manchester Open take place?
It will take place in the main gallery at HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film. HOME can be found in the heart of Manchester city centre in Tony Wilson Place, just off Whitworth Street West and a stone’s throw from Deansgate Castlefield Metrolink station. Since opening in 2015, HOME has welcomed over 2.9 million visitors to see thrilling theatre and dance shows, experience great independent films from across the world, dive into the new art in our galleries, relax in our café and browse our bookshop.
Who is eligible to submit work to the Manchester Open?
Anyone who lives in Greater Manchester (i.e. you have a Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford or Wigan postcode).
If you do not have a permanent address or are experiencing unstable housing circumstances, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise you on the most appropriate postcode to use.
If you have access requirements, please contact email@example.com or 0161 212 3449 to discuss.
Are there any age restrictions on who can submit?
To submit an entry yourself you must be aged 13 or over.
Children under 13 may enter, but their work must be submitted by a parent, guardian or teacher on their behalf.
Do you need a proof of address?
We require only a valid postcode within the Greater Manchester region for you to proceed through the online application process. We trust that you are providing the correct information. If your submitted artwork is chosen to appear in the exhibition, you may be called upon to discuss your location in a broader context, such as a conversation about your practice, or in a local news item.
When is the deadline for submission?
The deadline for uploading entry submissions is 18:00 on Fri 17 Sept 2021.
What are the dates of the exhibition?
The exhibition will run from Saturday 15 January to Sun 27 March, 2022.
Will the exhibition be free for the public to attend?
Yes, the Manchester Open exhibition will be free to attend but we do have an optional donation for all visitors entering the gallery so we can keep working with vulnerable groups who might otherwise struggle to access our programme or submit work of their own.
What type of works are being shown in the exhibition?
The categories are as follows:
- Painting and Prints
- Illustration and Drawing
- Sculpture and Object
- Digital and Mixed Media
- Spoken Word and Performance
The exhibition is a ‘salon hang’ which means that work is shown in close proximity to each other. No separate rooms or blank walls are available for a single work.
Selected audio/visual work, such as short film, will for the most part be presented on a loop, in a dedicated screening booth. It is not possible to schedule specific start times per work. We reserve the right to make exceptions but must manage sound-bleed into the wider gallery and ensure a comfortable viewing experience for visitors, for example, by minimising headphone use and providing seating.
Smaller sculptures will similarly be presented on group plinths or tables, to limit multiple plinths and obstructions, and ensure wheelchair access is not impaired.
HOME is committed to full captioning of audio/visual work and will work with selected entrants to ensure this is available.
Will everything that’s submitted be shown in the exhibition?
No. Submissions will be reviewed by the Manchester Open selection committee who make the final selection of work for the exhibition. They consider many factors in their choices, including the overall balance, the type of work submitted, repetition of style of subject matter, scale/duration, impact on surrounding work (e.g. amplified audio) and creative vision.
How many works do you expect to show?
We will be presenting 400+ works of art in the main gallery.
Who is on the selection panel?
The selection panel for 2022 will include Bren O’Callaghan, Curator, HOME; Helen Wewiora, Director, Castlefield Gallery; and Kate Vokes, Non Executive Director, Bruntwood. Further panellists representing the GM artist community will be announced shortly.
Are there any restrictions on the type of work I can submit?
Work must have been made within the past two years (2020-2021) and not have been exhibited in Manchester city centre. If work has been exhibited elsewhere in the region or UK it is still admissible. The work must be complete (not a proposal) and original.
Please see Terms & Conditions for further details regarding restrictions upon size, type, duration and materials.
How much does it cost to submit?
There is no charge to submit your artwork, but a ‘pay what you can’ voluntary donation of £5 per work is strongly encouraged. All donations will be used to support the work of HOME’s Visual Art programme and work with communities and groups across Greater Manchester.
Why does HOME need to encourage donations?
As a registered charity, we rely on the generosity of our members, supporters, trusts and foundations to help us to bring our work to life, share it with the widest possible audience and keep our ticket prices affordable. In addition to ticket income and other funding we need to raise over £650,000 every year.
Your support makes it possible for us to create a HOME for people of all ages and backgrounds, including the communities on our doorstep and Manchester’s next generation of creative talent.
Is it possible for groups to submit work, as well as individuals?
Yes! We do not have a separate groups entry form, but you can follow the standard process for submissions and upload the information for each work you’re submitting on behalf of your group, one at a time. Alternately, you may wish to attend one of our Manchester Open drop-in sessions across the region, where our team will help you photograph and complete your submission, or answer any questions you may have.
I’m a teacher at a school. Can I submit a group entry?
Yes! We do not have a separate schools entry form, but you can follow the standard process for submissions and upload the information for each work you’re submitting on behalf of your class, one at a time. Alternately, you may wish to attend one of our Manchester Open drop-in sessions across the region, where our team will help you photograph and complete your submission, or answer any questions you may have.
How much does it cost to submit a group or school entry?
There is no charge to submit your artwork, but a ‘pay what you can’ voluntary donation of £5 per work is encouraged. All donations will be used to support the work of HOME’s Visual Art programme and work with communities and groups across Greater Manchester.
How many works can I submit?
Each individual artist or creative can submit up to two works apiece.
If you are submitting work on behalf of a group or multiple persons, you can submit up to two works per person.
A teacher submitting works for a school or group can submit multiple entries, but a maximum of two per named artist.
Will the selection panel know if I have made a donation?
No, the selection panel will not know if or how much you have donated. This information is kept private and is not recorded against your entry.
Are there prizes or an overall winner?
The Manchester Open Awards will continue to be confirmed during the submission process, but we anticipate there will be no fewer than three awards to the value of £2,000 each.
All awards are granted as part of an artist development package in association with Castlefield Gallery – we intend to discuss with recipients how best to allocate the money to help them develop, such as research, materials, studio rent, skills training, website build, travel, artist residencies, or to support the production of new work.
The Manchester Open People’s Choice Award will be chosen by attendees to the exhibition, who will be encouraged to vote for three works by in-person ballot, each receiving one vote of equal value apiece.
Will the artwork be for sale?
Artists and creatives taking part in the exhibition can decide if they would like to make their artwork available for sale. Artwork for sale can be purchased from HOME during the run of the exhibition but can only be removed upon close of exhibition. The artist receives 70% of any sales. HOME will retain 30% of any sales top cover administrative costs and support future work in its visual art, talent development and engagement programmes.
How much should I charge for my work?
Please see the document Guide to Pricing Your Work for Sale.
The previous Manchester Open in 2022 generated over £20,000 in sales, the vast majority being on the affordable scale (below £200).
Do I have to sell my work? I don’t want to.
No, you do not have to sell your work if you don’t want to. This is entirely optional.
Is this the first or only open exhibition in the region?
No, many established open submission exhibitions with catchment areas of a specific but usually smaller radius run successfully at multiple venues across the region. However, we believe we are the first to broaden the interpretation of ‘open’ to mean everyone living or working within Greater Manchester, regardless of age, background, membership or experience.
Will the exhibition be free for the public to attend?
Yes, the Manchester Open exhibition will be free to attend.
I have a question that is not answered above, or I am having trouble with the application process.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org We aim to answer all enquiries but there may be times when it takes us a little longer than we would like. Thank you for your patience.