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Rugby Open 18 celebrates the cream of contemporary art

RUGBY Art Gallery and Museum has started the search for the top contemporary art talent in the West Midlands with the launch of Rugby Open 18.

Artists have been invited to submit pieces for consideration for the Rugby Open 18 exhibition, with the overall winner receiving £1,000 and the chance to stage an exhibition in Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's Floor One Gallery.

Rugby Open 18This year's judging panel includes Claudette Johnson, a leading light in Britain's Black Arts Movement, and Ryan Hughes, founder and artistic director of the Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Artists can submit paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings, film and craftwork, and have the opportunity to sell pieces selected for the exhibition, which opens on Saturday 17 November.

Katie Boyce, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's senior visual arts officer, said: "For this year's Open we have decided to cast our net further afield in the hope of bringing fresh talent to Rugby and increase the opportunities for contemporary artists across the West Midlands to exhibit work.

"Whether it's painting, print, textiles, sculpture or new media, we're looking forward to showcasing the best of the region's contemporary art talent."

This year's exhibition incorporates the Rugby Youth Open 18, offering 14 to 19-year-old artists the opportunity to submit works.

The Youth Open also has a number of prize categories, with all the Open winners announced at an award ceremony on Friday 7 December.

Works can be submitted at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum from 10.30am to 4pm on Friday 9 November and Saturday 10 November. Entry fees must be paid on submission of application.

Application forms and more information can be found at 

Cllr Sebastian Lowe, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "The Rugby Open offers both established and emerging artists the opportunity to showcase and sell works in a professional gallery setting.

"The Open always attracts a diverse range of high calibre contemporary art and by broadening the catchment area for this year's competition, we're looking forward to exhibiting the very best the West Midlands has to offer."

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