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Wells Art Contemporary 2024

Established in 2012 by artists for artists, Wells Art Contemporary (WAC) is an international opportunity for innovative visual artists working in all genres.

WAC allows UK and international artists to put their work before a prestigious panel of judges. Selected entries are exhibited in the remarkable Gothic spaces of Wells Cathedral and seen by up to 50,000 people annually. They are automatically entered for a wide range of awards, including cash prizes, a residency, mentoring and more. Work may be offered for sale.

Now in its 14th year, WAC’s next exhibition will take place in August 2024.

The WAC Gallery is a unique exhibition space installed along three sides of Wells Cathedral’s Cloisters, where a white-wall gallery is built to display work. It forms part of the main visitor route round the Cathedral and can be very busy, especially in summer.

Artwork in any medium will be considered for exhibition in the Gallery Show, including painting, drawing, sculpture, print, photo, video, digital, textile, mixed media, and more.

The following prizes will be awarded in 2024:

  • Howden Art Award: £2,000 awarded to one artist
  • NG Art Creative Residency: The NG Art Creative Residency Prize aims to discover and celebrate emerging and established creative talents from a variety of disciplines. The Prize Winner will receive a free two-week placement at the NG Art Creative Residency in Provence. This includes board and lodging, studio space, mentorship and residency-related outings.
  • JGM Gallery Prize: The winner of the JGM Gallery Prize will be featured on the gallery’s own website and social media channels. A selection of the winner’s works will be on display and for sale on the gallery website and promoted across their social media – including an artist interview to be posted on their Youtube channel.
  • Student Prize: £1,000 awarded to a current fine art student aged under 26 enrolled on a recognised Bachelor or Masters Fine Arts course. Generously donated by Tracey Grace.
  • Parker Harris Mentoring Prize: Parker Harris will give a one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
  • Somerset Art Works Mentoring Prize: one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
  • St Cuthberts Mill Award: 20 sheets of Saunders Waterford 300gsm worth over £120 will be awarded to an artist who works on paper.
  • People’s Choice Prize: £500 will be awarded to the artwork which received the most public votes.

All artists, all styles, all techniques and all nationalities are encouraged to take part.

Up to 4 works or proposals for installations may be entered in any medium for either the Gallery Show, the Installation Show, or both. Media include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, installation, video, textile, ceramic, mixed media and more. Installation artists are encouraged to visit or view Wells Cathedral beforehand to inform their proposal

Wells Art Contemporary 2024 – Entry Fees

The entry fee is £20 per work, or £12 per work for current fine art students aged under 26, who are enrolled on a recognised Bachelor or Masters Fine Arts course.