Council opens up opportunities for creativity

Calderdale Open Art logo

Ahead of Calderdale’s Year of Culture in 2024, people are encouraged to bring the borough’s distinctive features to life by creating artwork that could go on display in a local gallery.

Calderdale Council has launched its Open Art competition and is calling for entries from professional and amateur artists.

The winning pieces of artwork will be displayed in the Calderdale Open Art Exhibition for six months at Smith Art Gallery in Brighouse.

They will showcase Calderdale’s unique landscape, people or history, and can be in any 2D format such as paintings, drawings or photography.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three works chosen by the panel of judges, including Paul Bartram, owner of the Yorkshire Gallery at The Piece Hall in Halifax; Dr Jo Neil, Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at Leeds Arts University; and artist, curator and writer, Alice Bradshaw.

The sponsors providing the prizes are Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant, Abacus Picture Framing and Harveys of Halifax Department Store. There will also be an additional £100 People’s Prize for the winner of a vote by visitors to the exhibition.

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:

“We’re really excited for the Year of Culture and proud to be getting local people involved through our art competition and exhibition.

“There’s tonnes of talent in the borough, and Calderdale Open Art is a great opportunity to celebrate this and inspire people from all backgrounds to get creative.

“We look forward to seeing people’s unique expressions of what Calderdale’s landscape, people and heritage mean to them. Art is a powerful way to do this, and reflects the importance of culture across our area.”

People can enter their artwork into the Calderdale Open Art competition up until Tuesday 15 August 2023. In a change from previous years, entries can now only be submitted digitally through the Calderdale Museums website, where you will also find the terms and conditions of entry. Head to

The successful works will go on display in the six-month Calderdale Open Art Exhibition at Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse, which starts on Saturday 30September 2023. 

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