Black Swan Arts Young Open 2020

Closed Friday 28th February 2020

Eye painting above the black swan arts young open logo.

Deadline for entries: 28 February 2020

Exhibition dates: 21 March – 25 April

Preview: Saturday 21 March, 12pm midday

Location: Black Swan Arts, 2 Bridge Street, Frome BA11 1BB

Contact: Morag Stuart and Sally Barnett
01373 473980

Technical issues

Our technical issues have now been resolved. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you do need technical support, email rather than our exhibitions email and provide as much detail as possible about your issue.

Black Swan Arts Young Open competition is open to all young people aged between 8 and 19 years. It is one of the largest art competitions aimed solely at young people in the South West.

Who can enter

We welcome entries from all backgrounds and abilities. If you don’t think you have the confidence or skill to enter, why not challenge yourself and give it a go? You might be surprised by what you can create.

Think about what moves you. What makes you smile or laugh, what makes you angry or frustrated? This is your chance to express yourself. Take up the challenge and see where your imagination takes you.

Welcoming original and unique artwork

We welcome original work which reflects your unique style. You may be inspired by nature or the environment. It could be a creative response to concerns about politics or climate change. You may have a special friend, family member or pet you want to capture at this moment in time. Perhaps you are facing difficulties or loss and would find it helpful to create an artwork that helps others understand the challenges you face.

This competition is about reflecting the lives of young people today through their art. It is always a privilege to exhibit what motivates, delights and fascinates you. We look forward to receiving your entry.

Accepted mediums

There is no need to buy expensive materials. Look around you, see what is available at home or at your school or club. Could you use something you haven’t worked with before? We encourage 2D and 3D artists to use single-use or recyclables. You can sketch, paint or collect objects from nature to make something unique to you. Do you want to make a statement about all the plastic we are throwing away? Could you capture your cat in ceramic form?

You may need to buy glue, pencils, paint or paper but search your cupboards first. Ask your parents or teachers what they have you could use to create your piece. At Black Swan Arts Young Open, anything goes!

We welcome artwork in any medium including:

  • carpentry
  • ceramics
  • collage
  • digital media
  • drawing
  • handmade books/zines
  • illustration
  • jewellery
  • metalwork
  • painting
  • pottery
  • sculpture
  • textiles

Use our Pinterest board for inspiration

If you would like to enter the competition but you are stuck for ideas, use our Pinterest board for inspiration. There are hundreds of images of artwork from professional and amateur artists, to give you an idea of the range of possibilities. But remember, please do not copy them. We want to see your unique artwork.


We’re very pleased to present the panel of independent judges we have on board to view your submissions for Black Swan Arts Young Open 2020.

photograph of mark dorrington

Mark Dorrington
Mayor of Frome

photograph of Kristina Stephenson

Kristina Stephenson
Author and illustrator

photograph of Amy Yates

Amy Yates


If selected, your artwork will be curated, judged and exhibited for hundreds of people to see. There are also some exciting prizes which are being donated by local businesses. We’ll be able to confirm those details shortly.

Winners will receive a small group workshop with a professional artist.

photograph of jo joof

Workshop for ages 8 – 11
Jo Joof

photograph of jessie alcaraz

Workshop for ages 12 – 15
Jessie Alcaraz

photograph of Chris Pig

Workshop for ages 16 – 19
Chris Pig

Age categories

There are 3 age categories:

  • 8 – 11 years
  • 12 – 15 years
  • 16 – 19 years

What the Young Open means to us

More than 150 schools have participated in this event over the past six years and more than 1300 young people have taken part. This support and collaboration makes this competition one of the highlights of our year.

The Young Open Competition demonstrates the on-going and major commitment of Black Swan Arts to the development of talent and to the building of strong links with the community, locally, regionally and nationally.

If you have any questions about the competition please contact Black Swan Arts, by telephone on 01373 473980 or e-mail