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South West Showcase Open Call

Oliver Sutherland 'And then...', exhibiting in the Gallery at Plymouth College of Art as part of the South West Showcase in 2017.

Plymouth College of Art is seeking applications for exhibition proposals from contemporary visual artists based in the South West Region.

Two artists will be selected for short solo exhibitions in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art between Sept-Dec 2018. Artists will be awarded £2000 to produce their exhibition, with additional support from the college – including funding for production, marketing/press, equipment, an exhibition launch and key interpretation materials.

The South West, as defined by Arts Council England, includes: Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire.

The South West Showcase is a recurring open call platform, showcasing artists from across the South West region. The showcase aims to uncover and celebrate the talent of contemporary artists working and living in the South West and to present a long-term commitment from Plymouth College of Art to profiling and supporting the practices of artists in this region.

South West Showcase was a wonderful opportunity, supporting the creation of a new body of work, allowing space for experimenting and then bringing it all together in a show. The experience changed my practice as I was able to present a more complex interrelation of painting, sound, writing and installation, which has developed further since. Throughout I was supported, encouraged, but also allowed space to do my own thing. All in all an excellent thing which I am very grateful to have been involved with.
Kit Poulson (SWSC 2015)

SWSC was a great experience. It gave me the chance to develop a new body of work with critical and financial support and helped me push my practice into new areas. It was so rewarding to showcase my work at The Gallery to new and broader audiences.
Stuart Robinson (SWSC 2017)

Selection panel for the 2018 SWSC:

Hannah Rose (Exhibitions Manager, Plymouth College of Art)
Elisa Kay (Curator, Spike Island, Bristol)
Joanne Bushnell (Director, Aspex, Portsmouth)
Laura Smith (Curator at Tate St Ives)
Paul Fieldsend-Danks (Associate Dean Art, Plymouth College of Art)

The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art:

The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art (established in 2006) features a high quality contemporary programme of exhibitions and events which seeks to enrich teaching and learning at the college, whilst also welcoming a wider public audience to enjoy and debate contemporary arts. The programme is shaped by the curriculum, with focus given to art, design and digital media, reflecting the rich and diverse cultural community of the college and the city. The Gallery specialises in supporting artists at various stages of their careers, enabling them to produce new exhibitions, and offering exciting opportunities to enhance artist's’ professional practice in new and interesting ways.

The Gallery often works in partnership, contributing actively to strengthening and enhancing the offer of arts and culture in Plymouth.

To stay up to date with with what's happening in The Gallery follow us on facebook, instagram or twitter.

Open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday 10am - 1pm (subject to staffing)

The SWSC was a huge step forward in my practice. It gave me the time, space, budget and support to realise a solo project on an ambitious scale and 4 years on, I still feel it is a key moment in my career so far. SWSC creates a highly visible platform for artists living in a regional context to present their work and provides vital mentoring and advice throughout the process. As the only award of this kind in the south west, it is extremely important and crucial to supporting artists in this region.
Bryony Gillard (SWSC 2013)


Deadline for application:

Mon 31st July 2017 by 5pm.
Applications made after this deadline will not be accepted.

Important note: We are only able to accept proposals submitted via our website/form below. Please note we will be unable to offer individual feedback if you are unsuccessful, so please bare this in mind when deciding to submit your application.

Other Key dates:

Tues 1st Weds 16th August – shortlisting
Tues 22nd / Weds 23rd August - selection
Tues 29th August – Artists notified

Previous South West Showcase exhibitions have been awarded to:

Stuart Robinson
Oliver Sutherland
Marie Toseland
Kit Poulson
Abigail Reynolds
Bryony Gillard
Hannah James

The SWSC was a very rewarding experience. The institutional support and expertise on offer allowed me to create a really ambitious show and build important contacts that have been of enduring importance to my work. Through the associated event's programme, I also had the opportunity to discuss my work at a high level (including an in-conversation with Martin Clark). The exhibitions team were very open to ideas and worked extremely hard to help me to realise what I wanted to show. It’s wonderful to work with people who have a passion to make things happen and really care about the result. I was able to take risks and am still working with ideas that I first tried out during SWSC.
Abigail Reynolds (SWSC 2013)

Southwest Showcase was a valuable opportunity for me to produce a new body of work and present it to a public audience. The funding, time, support and space attached to the exhibition is a special resource, one which enabled me to develop my practice into a new, challenging direction.
Hannah James (SWSC 2013)


Applicant eligibility & expectations

Artists must be operating professionally (outside of education). Artists must be able to demonstrate their ability to deliver a high quality solo show at The Gallery at PCA. Artists are expected to give a public talk about their work, attend their private view and take an active role in the production of the exhibition. Additionally artists are expected to work with the Gallery Education Officer to support student engagement (including a a careers focussed talk) and with the marketing/gallery teams to support promotion and the production of a Gallery Short Video.


Key Gallery info:

The Gallery is not invigilated so artwork must be suitable for this context.

You can not drill into the gallery floor.

The Gallery has a large window which tilts outwards.

The space is adaptable and the Gallery team have experience of delivering bespoke builds/physical changes to the gallery space, however, this must be factored into the production costs for the exhibition.

Artwork must be suitable for our mixed audiences, including young people.


SUBMISSIONS FOR THE SWSC ARE NOW CLOSED - For information about the open call for the next iteration of the SWSC, please follow The Gallery on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter or join our newsletter. 

South West Showcase Open Call Submission

Please complete the form below.