Free Admission To All Exhibitions

In Search of a New World – Open Exhibition 2020


All residents of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Dorset are invited to create their artwork for our biennial ‘open exhibition’. The exhibition is part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations and to mark Southampton’s role in this momentous event, we are inviting artists to respond to the themes of journeymigration and the sea – all subjects that have helped to build Southampton and put the City at the forefront of many national and world changing moments. Responses can touch on any one of the themes and entrants are encouraged to consider them as creatively and widely as possible.

The judges will consider both 2-D and 3-D work in any medium. The judges encourage you to consider the themes as creatively as possible. The successful artists will have their work exhibited at Southampton City Art Gallery from 18 July – 3 October 2020.

Next year marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing from Southampton bound for the New World. The journey was a key event in the shaping of world history – with both negative and positive impacts. A group of Puritan Separatists, who have become known as the Pilgrim Fathers, were amongst the 102 passengers on board. A compact that they drew-up upon that ship is often cited as the foundation of American democracy.

Download your Application Form and our supporting further information and FAQ document.

Key information:

Who can enter?
Anyone living or working in Dorset, Wiltshire or Hampshire (including Isle of Wight) can enter this open exhibition. Individuals must be 18 and over, at the date of submission, to enter (We will be running a separate event aimed at a younger audience. Details to follow soon).

Unfortunately employees of Southampton’s Cultural Services team may not submit work.

When are the submission dates?
Thursday 2 July / 12noon – 3pm
Friday 3 July / 10am – 1pm
Saturday 4 July / 11am – 4pm

How much does it cost to enter?

Artists can submit up to 3 works, at the following costs:
£8 for 1 work
£15 for 2 works
£20 for 3 works maximum

Students are able to submit up to 3 works at a flat cost of £5 each (a valid student ID must be presented at time of payment).

Prizes on offer:
As well as featuring in the exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery (18 July – 3 October 2020) there will be prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and specific prizes for individual disciplines.

1st Prize 
Supported by Kuti’s Brasserie
The overall 1st prize winner will receive the opportunity to show their work in a future solo exhibition in Southampton City Art Gallery’s Foyer, to coincide with the 2022 open exhibition. The artist will be given £300 towards the cost of materials and production of work.

The Eric Meadus Prize for Drawing
Supported and awarded by “The First Gallery”

Photography Prize
Supported by London Camera Exchange
A voucher for £100 to be spent in store at the Southampton branch of London Camera Exchange.
All winners will be announced at the Private View on Saturday 18th July.

Further prizes to be announced soon!



Top Image: Sydney Mortimer Laurence, Waves Breaking on a Shore, Sunset, oil on canvas

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