Black Swan Arts Open 2018 - Entry Guidelines

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The Black Swan Arts Open demonstrates the on-going and major commitment of Black Swan Arts to the development of artistic talent locally, regionally and nationally.

This guide contains information to help you make a successful submission to the Art Open. The amount of information below reflects our aim to cover every eventuality and guide you through the process. We recommend that you print out this document and have it ready to refer to during the submission process.

If you are unclear, then contact us for clarification (contact details at the end of the sheet). Information and application can be accessed from the website

Competition overview

The Black Swan Arts open is an ‘open submission’ (anyone can enter) competition that will be judged by professionals from a broad range of disciplines. Entry can only be via the online submission process on our website. A fee of £12 per image is charged and artwork is submitted as a digital image. It will be reviewed by the judges, who select in the region of 100 pieces for the exhibition – they also choose the prize winners. Works selected will need to be delivered to the black swan arts centre for exhibition by the dates stated below.

What can you submit?

Only original artwork will be considered (i.e. Not reproduction prints which are made to accurately reproduce an already created original image) but any medium will be considered, including applied arts and digital media. There are limitations on exhibiting certain items in terms of scale, equipment or health and safety. There is a maximum floor space for 3-dimensional work (e.g. Sculpture) of 1m x 1m. For 2-dimensional work (e.g. Paintings) size limits are 2m x 2m. We reserve the right to select but not display works. If you are in any doubt, then please contact us.

Before you enter

Prepare a digital image of your work

Work will be selected via a digital image, therefore you will need to upload a good quality digital photograph of your artwork via our online form. If you are unfamiliar with taking or preparing digital images, then we suggest you find somebody to help you with this. We are unable to do this for you.

Advice on taking a digital photograph

Place the work in an uncluttered space or on a plain wall so that the artwork is clearly visible and defined. Use a digital camera (or phone or equivalent) and take a picture. Make sure that…

  • Only the artwork appears in the photograph
  • If the item is very large or very small, please put a tape measure in the photograph to give an idea of scale
  • It is a clear, focused image
  • It is in colour against a plain background

Prepare your image for upload

  • Make the application from your phone or iPad
  • Save the image as a jpeg file less than 5MB in size. We suggest you ask for help if you are unsure about how to size the image or upload it.
  • Give the image a file name of last name, first name, artwork title.
  • Have your image(s) completely ready to use before you continue.

Film & animation: please upload a still and then contact us by email to arrange delivery of film. Please note that if equipment is required we will expect you to provide this.

Online submission in three simple steps

Once your image/s are ready, fill in the submission form.

1. Enter your information

  • Fill in your personal details, and progress to next page
  • At this point, you will receive an email with details of your submission so far, including a submission id. If you experience problems with the process contact us at
  • You will be able to return to your entry at any time to make amendments until 21 September 2018.
  • Paid-for submissions can be changed but not refunded.

2. Upload & submit images of your 

You can upload a maximum of four images of your artworks. Before you start make sure you have the following information ready:

  • Title
  • Subtitle or description (max 20 words)
  • Medium used (max 20 words)
  • Size of work (for film/media give the duration of film or time-based media)
  • Selling price (include in your total the 35% gallery commission e.g. If selling price = £100, 

Films & Animations stills

  • Make sure you have the image/s in your computer or device to hand so that when you click ‘browse’ you can find your image.
  • Ensure images are in jpeg format and below 5MB in size – otherwise they will take a long time to load. You might need to resize your image to make it smaller.

Please only press the [submit this image] button once - larger images may take some time to upload. Wait until you can see the whole image before you press ‘save and upload’.

Review your details

Review your entry by checking all the details, and if correct, continue to payment.

3. Payment

Our preferred method of payment is online via PayPal. By clicking ‘pay now’ button you will be redirected to PayPal where you will be able to pay securely using a debit/credit card or your PayPal account.


  • See order summary and check amount
  • If you have a PayPal account log into your account to pay using your PayPal email and password.
  • If you don't have a PayPal account, follow instructions that enable you to pay with a debit or credit card.
  • If you need to discuss alternative payment methods, please email us at


If you are selected for the exhibition you will be notified by email by end of September 2018. For any further information or assistance, email the office on or call 01373 473980 (10am – 12 noon weekdays)

Dates to remember

  • Extended deadline for entries: 21 September 2018
  • Email to artists selected: by end of September 2018
  • Photos and biogs of selected artists: required by 1 October 2018
  • Delivery to black swan arts: 7-9 October 2018
  • Artists preview: 18 October 2018 (open to the public from 7.30pm)
  • Exhibition dates: exhibition: 19 October - 24 November 2018

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