OPEN 2019

15 March - 27 May


The biennial exhibition is open to all professional artists based in the West Midlands.

OPEN exhibitions have been a popular feature at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum since the 1930s and provide an opportunity to view and purchase a wide selection of works of art.

Works submitted must have been completed after January 2018. Entries were welcomed from a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, digital media and craft. Works were selected by an independant panel of judges: Mark Essen, an artist who works across ceramics, sculpture and project based work. Annelise Hone, manager of all aspects of the six permanent collections displayed at Compton Verney and Jennie Moncur, best known for her large vibrant tapestries, as well as her flooring installations.

The winning artist of the OPEN 2019 Award was announced at the exhibition Preview as Lorsen Camps with his work ‘Breakfast in Bead’. He says about the piece; it is “An old tray I pulled out of a skip in Durham about 10 years ago. The tray sat in my loft for years until I had to decide what to do with it, I decided to create a breakfast tray and what better or more iconic than a full English. The use of Hama beads seemed a good choice I love their bright colours and the pixelated look they give. I like the concept of taking a material or medium that is seen as ‘unworthy’ and bringing it to the fore”. As the overall winner Lorsen has won the OPEN 2019 Award of £1000, an exhibition in our Spotlight alcove and the opportunity to give a Friday Focus talk on his work.

Visitors to the exhibition can vote for their favourite artwork and the work of art which receives the highest public votes will be presented with the People’s Choice Award of £500.

Admission is free.


OPEN 2019


Upcoming exhibitions

An Entertainment

14 June - 1 September

Since the town’s development as a Regency spa resort Leamington has enjoyed a lively nightlife. This exhibition showcases the many entertainments on offer over the past two centuries, from theatres and cinemas to concerts and dances.

Objects on display include beautiful ballgowns from the 1800s to the 1950s, Victorian playbills and film of the 24-hour jive marathon of 1960. This will also be the first chance to see the museum’s newly-acquired Arbiter Elegantiarum medal, an enamelled badge of office worn by Leamington’s answer to Beau Nash. Visitors can find about the town’s historic venues and how they evolved over time, as ballrooms were transformed into music halls and theatres became cinemas. Displays will also explore the lives of the men and women at the heart of Leamington’s entertainment scene, from the raffish Regency impresario Robert William Elliston to the cinema magnate Edith Devis and bandleader Jan Berenska.

The exhibition comes up to date with a look at some of the many musical and theatrical groups in Leamington today. These range from the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra and Loft Theatre to Tango Warwick and Spa Opera.

There are plenty of activities in the gallery to keep young visitors busy during the school holidays. These include the chance to create a puppet and tell your own stories in our toy theatre.

Admission is free.


An Entertainment


20 September – 1 December 2019

Diane Arbus (1923-71) is considered one of the great figures of American photography. She pioneered the photographic
approach that bridges the gap between documentary and fine art, through her commitment ‘to photograph everybody’.
The works in the exhibition are drawn from the ARTIST ROOMS collection. ARTIST ROOMS is a collection of international modern and contemporary art jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Please see the ARTIST ROOMS website for more information

Dianne Arbus