An image of ripples on the surface of the sea

Call out for Submissions to the Turner Contemporary Open 2021

Submissions are now closed and all artists have been notified. The exhibition will be open from 23 October 2021 to 20 February 2022.

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Turner Contemporary turned ten years old in 2021. During the pandemic the arts and creativity have played a vital, and perhaps more visible, role in many of our lives. Back in 2010, we hosted an Open exhibition in a temporary space on Margate High Street that celebrated the creativity of the artistic community across Kent. To mark our 10th anniversary year, we want to hear from practicing artists living and working in Kent & Medway or those working nationally and internationally who studied in Kent & Medway.  

You are invited to submit work for an open exhibition which will span all four of Turner Contemporary’s galleries. Entries are now closed. The selection process is underway and all artists will be notified about their submission during the week commencing July 19th.

Our aim is to celebrate and showcase the wealth of artistic talent living, working or trained in Kent; to include artists at all stages of their careers; to develop relationships with artists in or from Kent and to increase awareness of artists working in Kent amongst audiences outside the county. We want this exhibition to champion the ideas and creativity of artists living and working in Kent. 

This call is open to artists of all ages living and making work in Kent and those working and exhibiting nationally and internationally who studied in Kent.  

The Selection Process 

Building on the gallery’s longstanding experience of working with the community to create exhibitions and inform its programme, the process will see community groups curate and select the exhibition. These selectors areAge UK Thanet; Canvas 4 Equality; Margate Pride; Turner Contemporary’s Access Group. Each of the groups will take over one of the four main gallery spaces and work closely with Turner Contemporary’s programming team to bring the exhibition to life. You can find out more here.

Artist and Curatorial Mentors

Our appointed mentors will work with the community groups to support them in the curation of the exhibition.

Portrait of Tai Shani

Tai Shani is an artist living and working in London. She is the joint 2019 Turner Prize winner together with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock and Oscar Murillo.

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Portrait of Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith has worked as a curator for over 2 decades. Through exploring different strategies for collaboration and the presentation of interdisciplinary practices she has delivered exhibitions alongside large-scale commissions, residencies, conferences and publications, interwoven with programmes of learning, engagement and interpretation.

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Dr Trish Scott is an artist, curator and researcher living in Margate. She works collaboratively, using dialogue and exchange to generate processes and structures which rethink traditional hierarchies around knowledge production and create space for multiple voices.

View full biography

Our work with artists

These exhibitions and artworks feature artists living and making work in Kent and those working and exhibiting nationally and internationally who studied in Kent

Terms and Conditions

  • Selected artists must live and/or work in Kent or have studied in Kent. 
  • Applications are accepted from artists working in any medium including, for example, painting, sculpture, moving image, photography, drawing, performances or installation. 
  • Work submitted must have been made in the last 2 years. 
  • Selected artists are asked to supply works ready framed (in the case of 2D works that are to be displayed in frames).   
  • The size of the work must not exceed 240 x 280cm.   
  • Artists working with a pseudonym or collaboratively as part of collectives are eligible to apply, as long as they fulfil the above criteria. 
  • The exhibition is open to all artists or collectives aged 3+. 
  • Applications for the Turner Contemporary Open 2021 opened on Monday 7 December.  The closing date for submissions has been extended and they will now close at midnight on 14 February 2021. Any applications made after this date cannot be considered.  
  • We want to ensure that as many artists as possible can submit their work and so there will be no submission fee. Turner Contemporary is a charity. If you would like to make a donation to support our work, you can do so here