The Open

Open exhibition

View the Open 2017 exhibition short film

The Open
Exhibition now open until 26 August 2017
Old Library Gallery, Leicester Adult Education College, Belvoir Street

Leicester’s ever popular open exhibition, now in its 28th year, showcases contemporary artwork and craft by local and regional artists. The annual Open exhibition is the city’s premier showcase for visual art within the city, celebrating the rich and diverse skills of our local artists.

Our Open exhibition, including the outstanding Youth Category, provides an excellent opportunity for artists from both amateur and professional backgrounds to demonstrate their artistic skills and creative vision. 

This year, across the Main Open and Youth open we’re thrilled to be presenting a fantastic display of over 250 exhibits by 223 artists.

The Youth category is shown on the café level of The Old Library Gallery. Is selected in three age groups, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 5 years and 16 to 19 years. This year’s judges were:

·         Lewis Buttery, artist and previous participant
Elizabeth Dyer, Senior Tutor at the ALP School, Leicester
Trevor Bent, artist and 2016 chair of Leicester Society of Artists.

The Main Open is on show in in the lower level of The Old Library Gallery. It was selected this year by: 

·         Jane Sunbeam, participating Open Artist for more than fifteen years and director of The Eye Gallery
Khush Kali, artist
Elizabeth Hawley, Director Contemporary Visual Arts Network, East Midlands.

Work featured in the exhibition is available for sale, providing an ideal opportunity to start or develop your own original art collection, all supporting the city and regions creative talent.

Opening times:
Monday – Thursday:  9am - 5pm, Friday & Saturday: 9am - 4pm, Closed Sundays.

Free admission.

Open exhibition prize winners

Open exhibition Prize Winners

Attenborough Prize:
Bradley Phelps, for The Winds of Change.

Trevor Thomas Prize:
Gemma Bee, for Hare on a Chair

Sponsors Prizes

Leicester Arts and Museums Service would like to thank the following organisations who have kindly supported a range of prizes and opportunities for their chosen artists featured in the Open exhibition.

Arch Creative:
Harman Dickson, Watch

Art House:
Alison Folland, We can Look but We Seldom See
Maxine Greer, Field Margin Studies
Pippa Rice, Self Portrait

De Montfort Hall:
Megan Aylett, Holidays

John E Wright:
Christina Bell, Colour Your World

LCB Depot:
Jane French, The Stripy Skirt
Catherine Headley, Sea Glimpse
Tiffany Tangen, I am an Individual – Part One & Two

Leicester Print Workshop:
Jonathan Costall, Claudio Ranieri

Seed Creativity:
Gemma Bee, Hare on a Chair

Soft Touch Arts:
Craig Richardson, Self Portrait

Spark Arts:
Ezra Mbogo, Self Portrait

Wilson Browne:
Jane French, The Stripy Skirt
Shafia Motaleb, Portrait of Michael

City of Leicester Museums Trust:
Kiah Freer, Taija
Matthieu Leger, The New Model

To become a sponsor or supporter of the Open exhibition next year, please contact us.

Young People Category

Young People Category

The Young People Category of the exhibition is a perfect opportunity for children and young people to experience the realities of showcasing their work; from creating, submitting, selection, exhibiting and ultimately the potential of selling their work.

Open 27 saw the introduction of a new age category, 5 - 10 years, to embrace the wonderful art work produced by this age group and to create a more varied exhibition for our visitors to experience. A group of three invited independent judges select the very best of the hundreds of works submitted.

Applications for the Young People Category are now closed. In total we received 305 entries spanning across the age groups as below:

5 – 10 years: 79 entries
11 – 15 years: 65 entries
16 – 19 years: 161 entries 

In total 107 works have been selected by the independent panel. Thanks to all the applicants for the high level of interest and quality of the submissions again this year.

Open exhibition landscape

Applications for the Open exhibition are now closed.

For any queries in regards the Adult exhibition art applications, please email:

For any queries in regards the Young People's exhibition and your application, please email: youthopenexhibition@leicester.gov.uk