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Manchester Open 2024

Greater Manchester’s largest open art exhibition has opened its doors to visitors, with nearly 4,500 visiting Manchester Open 2024 (until 28 Apr) during its first weekend. Filling the walls and spaces of HOME gallery are 473 artworks creating an incredible visual spectacle and wonderful celebration of art.

Manchester Open 2024 features the work of artists from across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester; work that takes on many different forms. Visitors will see oil paintings, embroidery, mixed media, photography, ceramics, collage, textiles, video and more. In doing so they will also be able to pick out the pieces they think should be awarded the People’s Prize.

Works in this year’s exhibition include:

One of the larger pieces is a triptych, oil on canvas, by Titus Agbara, an artist who has taken part in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year. In the Spirit of Rushcart observes a community festival taking place in Saddleworth. It’s an inviting scene, filled with energy and painstaking in its detail, all of which Titus achieves using a palette knife.

Amongst the sculptures is a piece by first time entrant to the Open, Naomi Harwin, who is a Studio Member at Paradise Works in Salford. The electric blue of A daily attempt to stay grounded #1 draws the eye, with its structure based on memories of architectural forms with imagined spaces.

Tinuke Fagbourn demonstrates alluring storytelling in her richly vivid illustration titled, Connection. Inspired by Dance by Henri Matisse, the piece draws on themes of community and looks to the symbiotic relationships found in nature. Her work is as colourful as it is optimistic.

In Packs a Punch Fleur Yearsley’s still life painting – oil on canvas – of a delicately woven basket full of packaged fruit explores the intricate relationship between nature, consumerism and globalisation. Born in Manchester where she now works and is a member of Paradise Works, Fleur graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art as a recipient of the Gwen John Scholarship. This is her first appearance at Manchester Open.

Over two thirds of the pieces appearing in this year’s Open are available to purchase. They range in price from £25 (Rishi R, The Real Deal) to £25,000 (Titus Agbara, In the Spirit of Rushcart). The Open is a really accessible way to purchase an original work of art for the first time, or to add to a growing collection.

This year the Manchester Open received 1,800 individual entries, its highest ever, from emerging and established artists. Those appearing were all selected anonymously by the judging panel, which was made up of practicing artists, contemporary art professionals and community members all represented.

The People’s Prize will be announced on Monday 4 March along with a series of prizes awarded by the judging panel. There are three Professional Development Awards that are delivered in partnership with Castlefield Gallery, a HOME award that leads to a solo exhibition in the Granada Foundation Galleries at HOME and the Manchester Open People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by exhibition visitors. Each of the winners will also receive a trophy which ceramicist and designer Joe Hartley from Stockport has been commissioned to create especially for the exhibition.

The shortlisted artists for these prizes are:

Granada Foundation Gallery Solo Exhibition
Jamie Kirk, Lizzie McLoughlin, Mikesian Studios, Deshna Shaar, Fleur Yearsley

Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 1
James Bullimore, Nerissa Cargill Thompson, Naomi Harwin, Maria Jackson, Adele Jordan

Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 2
Matthew Bamber, Maisie Pritchard, Kay Shah, Ngozi Ugochukwu, Freya Wysocki

Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 3
Elaine Fisher, Amy Gough, Rowland Hill, Amrit Randhawa, Jude Wainwright

The exhibition is Family Friendly and includes an Activity Corner where visitors can do their own sketching, drawing and colouring inspired by Manchester Open 2024. All the materials are provided and there is an area where you can put your creation on display, or you can take it home to add to your own wall.

Selection panel for Manchester Open 2024: Rebekka Anstem, Lizzie Chapman, Oubowen Chen, Clarissa Corfe, Gherdai Hassell, Hamid Shabir, Kate Vokes, Helen Wewiora, Alice Wilde.

The Manchester Open 2024 is supported by the Oglesby Charitable Trust, the Brian Mercer Trust and The Granada Foundation.

Further information about Manchester Open 2024 can be found here:

Manchester Open 2024