National art competition is coming back to Wrexham, bigger and better


Rory Sheehan

A LEADING art competition is returning to Wrexham at a new venue with a £1,000 prize up for grabs.

Entries are expected to flood in from all over the country to The Wrexham Open when it returns next month.

The event sees the eagerly anticipated return of the regions leading art competition and applications from artists across the UK are now being welcomed.

It is a competition open to both amateur and professional artists, and the new organisers of the Open – THIS Project – are encouraging entries from artists of all kinds.

Paintings, sculpture, film and video, installations, ceramics, textiles, crafts and more will be featured in the exhibition at new venue – Wrexham’s pop up independent art centre Undegun.

The event is being moved from it’s traditional home at Oriel Wrecsam, to allow the organisation to prepare for the opening of the new arts facility at the town’s former People’s Market.

Undegun, which is located in Wrexham’s former JJB Sports shop, has been growing in reputation and has hosted exhibitions from Wales’ hottest emerging talents alongside some of the best new work from around the globe, including art from Finland, the USA, Taiwan and Berlin.

In the three and a half years it’s been open more than 70,000 visitors have been welcomed to the pop up arts centre, and it is hoped the Wrexham Open will continue the trend of busy exhibitions.

With a top prize of £1,000 on offer, with a runners up prize of £250, a people’s prize also of £250, as well as prizes sponsored Coleg Cambria’s Regional Print Centre on offer it is expected that there will be a high level of entries.

But organisers are hoping to exhibit at least one piece by every artist that enters, with work not selected for the Open, being offered a place in a fringe exhibition – also hosted at Undegun.

The judging panel, led by Elysium Gallery’s Jonathan Powell, who is the founder of last years successful BEEP Wales International Painting Prize, which was shown in North Wales (at Undegun) for the first time in its eight year history, also features leading Welsh artists Thomas Goddard, and Rhian Haf.

Other new elements to the Open will include a Digital Entry Only policy, with multiple support sessions set up for those who may not be confident with online entry.

It is hoped that this new approach can create a year-round legacy for the competition, and events will be held throughout April to encourage artists to network and create opportunities for collaboration.

Online Applications for the Wrexham Open can be made at:

The submission deadline is midnight, Friday, March 24.

The exhibition launch takes place on Friday, April 7 at 6pm and the exhibition will end on Saturday, April 30.

See full story in the Leader

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