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Finalists announced for Manchester Open Awards
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MANCHESTER.- Over 500 works by Greater Manchester artists will go on display at the Manchester Open Exhibition at HOME from Saturday, January 18 to Sunday, March 29.

And the names of 20 artists who are in the running for one of the prestigious Manchester Open Awards have now been announced.

The five winners of the awards will receive artist bursaries with a value of £2,000 each delivered in collaboration with Castlefield Gallery. These will be tailored to each winning artist, and may cover travel, materials, studio rent, website development or any aspect of their practice following peer review and advice.

The shortlisted artists include painters, illustrators, sculptors and digital artists from across Greater Manchester.

Five of the artists are shortlisted in the bOlder Greater Manchester Prize category for entrants aged over 50. The Prize is sponsored by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as part of their Culture and Ageing programme. There are also categories for artists working in sculpture, material and form; illustration and drawing; and for solo artists whose work might be suitable for an exhibition in HOME’s Granada Foundation Gallery.

A fifth category, The People’s Choice Award, will be voted for by visitors during the first four weeks of the exhibition. The artwork which receives the most votes will be named the winner.

The award winner will be announced at 6pm on Thursday, February 20. All finalists will receive certificates designed as limited edition prints by Minute Works, while the winners will each receive an award made by On The Brink Studio, in Stockport, created using Manchester poplar, bog oak and wax from the beehives on the roof of HOME.

Over 2,000 submissions were made following an open-call for artists to be considered for the exhibition, giving the judging panel of Bren O’Callaghan, Jamil Abdulkader, Monique Jarrett, Anne-Louise Kershaw, Mario Popham, Kate Vokes and Helen Wewiora a tough job to whittle the final number down to just over 500 to appear in the final exhibition. The quality was so high that the decision was made to spread the show beyond the main HOME Gallery and into the two Granada Foundation Galleries as well.

Curator Bren O'Callaghan said: "The Manchester Open 2020 is both a celebration and reminder of the creative talent within Greater Manchester, only a fraction of which is regularly visible. Although not a new concept, the open-submission format is still perceived as the reserve of hobbyists or members-only groups, when in fact there are multiple, thriving open exhibitions across the region, many of which have provided a rich source of inspiration and entrants for this, the most ambitious and democratic open submission exhibition in recent memory for any Greater Manchester city-centre arts organisation."

Alongside the works on display there will be a series of takeovers and interventions by a variety of artists, groups and performers each Thursday and free artist-led tours of the exhibition each Saturday.

The exhibition runs in HOME's main and Granada Foundation galleries until Sunday, March 29, and admission is free.

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