Wells Art Contemporary - Installation Show

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Wells Art Contemporary (WAC) is an international art competition giving artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in Wells Cathedral.

Now in its 13th year, WAC’s next exhibition will take place in August 2023. This annual showcase is a highlight of Wells cultural life and attracts thousands of visitors. Selected artists’ wo

The Installation Show runs concurrently with the Gallery Show and offers a unique opportunity for artists to create a site-specific artwork for Wells Cathedral itself. WAC welcomes work from artists of all faiths and of none. However, many of the most resonant pieces in recent years have acknowledged in one way or another the sacred spaces of the Cathedral, its soaring Gothic architecture and its epic public grandeur set against intimate places for quiet reflection. We are not asking for religious art, but those ideas which convey a sense of spiritual intensity in response to this unique medieval building will be particularly welcome.

Artists can suggest a specific installation site anywhere within the Cathedral boundary, including the Chapter House, and its two wonderful outside spaces: the Camery Garden and the Palm Courtyard. Not all the spaces are grand, but they are all important. Some are vast and expansive; there are also quiet, almost secret, corners. Striking installations can make an enormous impact in both. You are encouraged to be bold and imaginative. As with the Gallery show, installations are chosen by a team of experienced artist selectors.

Work will be seen and admired by a huge and attentive audience. Submissions can be in any medium or style.

WAC provides two ways for artists to exhibit and sell work: the Gallery Show, where artworks are shown in a traditional gallery within the Cathedral cloisters; and the Installation Show which showcases site-specific installations in the main body of the Cathedral itself and its grounds.  Both shows run concurrently.  

The Judges

The judging panel for the Installation show this year consists of Adelaide Damoah; Artist, Jacquiline Creswell; Visual Arts Advisor and Rebecca Newnham; Sculptor & Designer.  

About Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral, finished in the 14th century, is renowned as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Britain. Its awe-inspiring interior has wide, high, uncluttered spaces, monumental scissor arches, a fan-vaulted octagonal Chapter House and some of the finest medieval stained glass in the country. On the Cathedral’s South side is a quadrangle of stone-vaulted, medieval cloisters adjacent to the Camery Garden. This is a quiet, contemplative open space showing traces of earlier places of worship and a view of the famous springs of flowing water from which Wells takes its name.

Prize Summary: 
Win cash prizes, residencies, mentoring and more
Prizes Details: 
  • Howden Art Award:  £2,000 awarded to one artist
  • NG Art Creative Residency*:  The NG Art Creative Residency Prize aims to discover and celebrate emerging and established creative talents from a variety of disciplines. The Prize Winner will receive a free two-week placement at the NG Art Creative Residency in Provence. This includes board and lodging, studio space, mentorship and residency-related outings.
  • JGM Gallery Prize*: The winner of the JGM Gallery Prize will be featured on the JGM Gallery's own website and social media channels. A selection of the winner’s works will be on display and for sale on the gallery website and promoted across their social media – including an artist interview to be posted on their Youtube channel.
  • Student Prize:  £1,000 awarded to a current fine art student aged under 26 enrolled on a recognised Bachelor or Masters Fine Arts course. Generously donated by Tracey Grace.
  • Parker Harris Mentoring Prize*:  Parker Harris will give a one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
  • Somerset Art Works Mentoring Prize: one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
  • People’s Choice Prize: £500 will be awarded to the artwork who received the most public votes.
Location: 
Wells Cathedral
Deadline: 
22/March/2023

Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
The entry fee is £17.50 per proposed installation or £10 per work for students.
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