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Open 20 celebrates Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's 20th anniversary

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 20.

Artists have been invited to submit pieces for consideration for the Rugby Open 20 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.

This year's judging panel includes Paul Coldwell, an artist whose work features in the collections of the Tate Gallery and New York's Museum of Modern Art, and Louise Latter, curator at BOM (Birmingham Open Media).

Open 20Artists can submit paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings, film and craftwork, and have the opportunity to sell pieces selected for the exhibition, which opens on Saturday 28 November.

Sarah Holdaway, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's senior visual arts officer, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to postpone or cancel many of our plans to celebrate Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's 20th anniversary, but we were determined to go ahead with the Rugby Open to showcase the creativity of local artists and display works which have been created during lockdown.

"The increased isolation and anxiety we have experienced during the pandemic has highlighted the importance of the visual arts in supporting our mental wellbeing, and we're looking forward to receiving entries for this year's exhibition."

The exhibition incorporates the Rugby Youth Open 20, offering 14 to 19-year-old artists the opportunity to submit works.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, entries for this year's Open must be submitted online.

Full details on how to enter can be found on the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum website at

Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has supported the borough's artistic community for 20 years and the Open exhibition offers both established and emerging artists the opportunity to showcase and sell works in a professional gallery setting.

"The Youth Open also gives the next generation of artists the chance to exhibit work.

"This year has presented many challenges for all of us, but the Art Gallery and Museum has worked hard to find innovative ways to engage audiences, including the new online submission process for the Open 20 exhibition."

Submissions for Open 20 must be received by Sunday 25 October.

The Open 20 exhibition runs at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum from Saturday 28 November to Saturday 23 January.

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