While our venues remain temporarily closed, we’re looking back this week at our Opens – our Open Art exhibitions for Knowsley! In the last 10 years, nine have been held at Huyton Gallery (for the last time in 2017 – it is now the Culture Hub, a creative space for community activities) and Kirkby Gallery, alternating between venues to be as accessible as possible to people throughout the borough.
The Knowsley Open Art Exhibition is now is a biennial show, with the next one due in 2021: we hope this will give local artists something positive to work towards in spite of the challenges that everyone has faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Something new and exciting for Knowsley Open Art 2021 is that we are introducing creative writing as a new eligible medium as part of the show, as long as your words are in a frame! Full details will be announced in Spring.
Our Opens are by far are most popular exhibitions, enjoyed by staff, visitors and exhibitors alike. There are no barriers to inclusion in the Knowsley Open – a true representation of how creative we are as a borough. On average we see in excess of 230 two-dimensional works of art, which makes for a visually stunning show, where the gallery walls are literally floor-to-ceiling, covered in art! An aspect of the exhibition which we are always keen to emphasise are its ‘open’ principles: it is free to enter (unless it adopts a fundraising aim); there is no selection panel for entries, so all works are exhibited; there is no age limit to enter, and the work of our younger artists are presented side-by-side with those by adult exhibitors. We also have a range of prizes which are given out for the most popular artwork as selected by visitors and some guest-selected prizes also. So if you are thinking of possibly entering a work for the 2021 exhibition, the entry criteria remains as requiring you to live, work, study or volunteer in Knowsley – fingers crossed, this is you!
As well as being a consistently fabulous exhibition, the Open always has the best-attended Private Views. Our most recent and most successful Open Art Exhibition we have staged to date took great nights out at the Gallery to new heights: the Open Art – Affordable Art Auction that was staged in 2019 raised over £3000 for the ‘Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum’, with the support of Adam Partridge, the exhibitors and our amazing family of volunteers. You can view the Open Art entries that were sold in the Affordable Art Auction by clicking on the images below!