Black Swan Arts Young Open 2018

Closed Friday 23rd February 2018


Exhibition Open Sat 17 March – Sat 7 April (over Easter holidays)
Prize giving 12 midday Sat 17 

Enter Young Art Open 2018

Black Swan Arts Centre in Frome, Somerset is proud to announce the launch of the Black Swan Arts Young Open competition for 2018.

Now in its fifth year, the Black Swan Arts Young Open has become the most successful and prestigious art competition for young people between the ages of 8 and 19 years old in the South West, attracting hundreds of entries from individuals, schools and youth groups. 

Entries to the 2018 competition will be judged, curated and displayed in one of the region’s leading contemporary art galleries and, as in previous years, prizes will be awarded in three age-group categories.  These unique prizes will be in the form of one-to-one, individualised, creative workshops with practising and successful artists.

Enter Young Art Open 2018


Young Art Open 2018 Terms and Conditions


Young Art Open 2018 Competition Guidlines


Young Art Open 2018 Resume Your Entry

So, if you are between 8 and 19 years old, would like the opportunity to have your work exhibited at the Black Swan Arts Centre, as well as judged to win a prize, get creating NOW because the deadline for entering your artwork into the competition is: 16 February 2018.

We want to see original artwork in as many mediums or processes as possible; the more unique the better: painting, ceramics, modelling, drawing, inks, photography, video, animation, textiles, collage, linocuts, screen-prints, lithographs, collographs, mono-prints, sculpture, waxwork, graphic design, illustration, glass blowing, mosaics, stained glass, metalwork, woodwork, 3D printing and much more!

The selection committee has been closely involved with the competition since it started and they know the extraordinary level of work the young talent in the area can produce.

There are 3 age categories:

  • 8yrs – 11yrs
  • 12yrs – 15yrs
  • 16yrs – 19yrs

There is plenty of time to take part because the closing date is not until 16 February. 

If you need some creative inspiration, look no further than our Pinterest page, where you will find hundreds of ideas and inspiring images to help you. All we ask is that you do not copy these images. We want to see your original work; the more unique the better.

Visitors to the exhibition will also have an opportunity to take an active part in the competition and win for themselves an exciting prize, by voting for 'The People's Choice' award.

2018 will see Black Swan Arts Young Open in its fifth year. The EXHIBITION will be open from Saturday 17th March - Saturday 7th April in the Black Swan Gallery, the Café & the Round Tower.

The Judges

Photograph of Black Swan Arts Young Open judge Michelle Robinson Michelle Robinson is a children’s author whose books include There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes which won the first ever Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award in 2014, The Beginners guide to Bear Spotting and Goodnight Spaceman which she wrote in collaboration with astronaut Tim Peake who famously read the book in space for Cbeebies! Michelle is either busy writing, busy thinking about writing, or busy running around after her kids.
Jo Walton Jo Walton is a 29 year old painter local to Frome. She recently studied Fine Art at Bath Spa University and currently works locally in a studio at Black Swan Arts. Her work can be found at Photograph of Black Swan Arts Young Open judge Jo Walton
Photograph of Black Swan Arts Young Open judge Gavin Strange By day Gavin Strange Gavin is a Senior Designer for the Interactive arm of Aardman Animations, by night he's a Designer & Director going under the alias of JamFactory, indulging in all manner of passion projects, from filmmaking to illustration, toy design to photography. He also appears as ‘best mate’ on CBBC’s Art Ninja. In 2015 he wrote his first book 'Do Fly', published by The Do Book Company, and he co-founded the contemporary design store 'STRANGE' with his wife Jane. He lives in Bristol, UK with Jane, his son Sullivan and their greyhound Peggy.
Amanda Sheridan is Chair of the Board of Trustees and curator of Black Swan Arts Gallery. She recently became a Governor of a primary school in Frome and is the link for English and Art. Amanda moved with her family from London in 2010 and took an MA in Curatorial Practice from Bath Spa University. Her background is in marketing for the non-profit sector where she has worked in the UK and overseas. Amanda's vision is to make arts and craft accessible, fascinating and relevant for all visitors. Photograph of Black Swan Arts Young Open judge Amanda Sheridan



The Young Open Workshop Prize has become an integral part of the success of the competition, with successful professional artists offering 13 brilliant prizes of individual creative workshops.  These inspirational working artists and craftspeople carefully tailor each of the sessions which are designed to develop the skills and broaden the artistic experience of the winners in each of the 3 age categories.  Every artist comes from a different discipline. 

Jenny Barton - Ceramics

Amanda Bee – Painting

Hans Borgonjon - Pottery

Fiona Campbell – Sculpture

David Daniels – Animation

Suzie Gutteridge – Felting

Rosie Hart – Digital Media and Painting

Mayumi Kaneko  – Natural dyes

Nicky Knowles – Painting/collage

Ben O’Brien - Illustration

Gladys Paulus – Felt making

Chris Pig - Printmaking

Alex Relph – Metalwork/Sculpture

If selected, your artwork will be curated, judged and exhibited for hundreds of people to see and, if you are a prize winner, your prize will be a unique, one-to-one workshop given by an inspirational working artist, designed to help you become more creative.

If you have any questions about the competition please contact Black Swan Arts, by telephone on 01373 473980 or e-mail at

This Young Open Competition demonstrates the on-going and major commitment of Black Swan Arts to the development of talent and to the building of strong links with the community, locally, regionally and nationally.


  • All forms of art and craft work are eligible – painting, drawing, collage, pottery, ceramics, photography, animation, video, jewellery, textiles, metal work, carpentry and sculpture.   
  • The size for two-dimensional pictures must not exceed A2 (594 x 420 mm, 23.4in x 16.5in) including borders. The size of three-dimensional pieces must fit on a base not exceeding 50cm².
  • There are 3 age categories:
    • 8yrs – 11yrs
    • 12yrs – 15yrs
    • 16yrs – 19yrs
  • The cost is:     
    • £5 for one artwork
    • £8 for two artworks
    • £10 for three artworks
    • £12 for four artworks
  • Maximum number of entries – FOUR.
  • To enter the competition you will need (or get help from someone) to upload a photograph of your work using the online entry form.
  • Payment is online.


We welcome group entries from schools and clubs. 


  • There are 3 age groups
    • 8yrs – 11yrs
    • 12yrs – 15yrs
    • 16yrs – 19yrs
  • The cost of entry is:
    10 artworks and under £40
    11-20 artworks £75
    21-30 artworks  £105
    31-40 artworks £130
    41+ artworks £150              

TEACHERS/GROUP LEADERS – You can register as many students/artworks as you like by buying credits.  One credit is equal to one artwork.  In order to enter students you will need their name and email address. Students can enter up to four artworks each. Once a student has been registered by you they will be sent a confirmation email with login details in order to complete their entry details. You will also have their login details on your application page. Please contact or telephone 01373 473980 for further information.


Online entry open:

Individual- Friday 8 December - Friday 23 February
Group- Wednesday 17 January - Friday 23 February

Notification of successful entry: Friday 2 March
Delivery of artwork to Main Gallery:

1-5pm on 7, 8 and 9 March
10-4pm on Saturday 10 and 10 - 1pm on Sunday 11 March

Judging of artwork:  Thursday 15 March
Exhibition Opening:    Midday, Saturday 17 March
People’s Choice Award announced: Friday 6 April
Exhibition closes: 

3.00pm Saturday 7 April

Collection of artwork: 

10-4, Sunday 8 April, 3.30-5pm, Monday 9,
Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 April

Terms and Conditions Apply