WARRINGTON Contemporary Arts Open Competition is returning in 2020 to celebrate 10 years of exceptional art in the north west.

Each year, visual artists from across the region compete to win a career-changing prize and this year the competition will be taken to the next level with three fantastic prizes and a new set of rules.

The revamped competition will now welcome all art forms.

Prizes include a £1,000 cash prize, £1,000 for fees towards a solo show as part of the 2021 Arts Festival, with support from Culture Warrington staff, or a residency at the Pyramid Arts Centre next year.

Leah Biddle, cultural manager of Culture Warrington, said: “This year, we want to encourage as many entries as possible so we’ve ripped up the rule book and are inviting applications from across the whole spectrum of contemporary arts, including dance, spoken word, installation art, film, visual arts, photography and more.

“We’ve also extended the boundary to within a 60-mile radius of Warrington, reaching as far as Sheffield, Lancaster, Llandudno, and Wolverhampton, and we’ve also taken the decision to waive application fees to help support the creative community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“All of our judges are highly-respected in their fields and have made a real impact on the cultural scene in the north west.

“It’s an absolute privilege to be working with them for this year’s competition and we can’t wait to welcome them on board!”

Previous winner, Marie Jones, will be helping to curate and organise this year’s competition.

Her outstanding entry in the 2018 competition took her career on a remarkable journey, leading her to exhibit her very own solo show and go on to gain national recognition.

Marie explained: “Winning in 2018 was a great opportunity for my practice.

“It was my first solo show and I was able to produce a whole body of work to exhibit, which was a huge success.

“I’ve built great relationships with the staff and team here at the gallery and it’s led me to meet other local artists and I now work in the studios next door.”

The 2020 Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open Competition opened on Monday and welcomes entries from individual artists or collectives.

Entrants have until midday on Monday, August 10 to submit their entries via the website.

The winners will be announced at the launch of the exciting exhibition on Thursday, September 10.

Head to wcaf.culturewarrington.org/whats-on/wcaf-2020-open-submissions/ for more information and to enter this year’s competition.