What it is?

Featuring over 200 artists and makers, The Open is the people's exhibition and showcases the talent and diversity of the East Midlands. It is an annual exhibition held at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery and has been running for over 30 years. It is open to anyone, from complete beginners, art enthusiasts and seasoned professionals, who want to enter their work for exhibition. The Open also accepts artwork from children and young people, making an original and exciting show. This year’s Open exhibition is called Open 31.

The Open Photo Gallery

Applications for Open 31 are now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered.

What happens after I’ve submitted my work(s)?

After the submissions are collected a committee of judges, made up of arts professionals and arts community members, select an array of artwork, from painting, sculpture, textiles, prints, photography and more, from the submitted entries. The selected artworks are displayed in the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery from Saturday 5 December 2020 – Sunday 10 January 2021.

Entrants will be informed of the outcome of the judges’ selection by e-mail in the week beginning Monday 2nd November. Successful entrants and will be provided with details about delivering their work for the exhibition.
We endeavour to put as much of the fantastic work that we review into Open 31 as possible, however, we receive many high-quality applications from across the East Midlands and have a limited amount of space.
When and where is the exhibition?

When all the artwork has been selected and displayed, the exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday 5 December 2020 until Sunday 10 January 2021 at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.

Visits to the exhibition will be by booking only, using the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery booking system, to comply with the social distancing measures currently in place in the museum.

This year we will be hosting an online event instead of a launch night, to manage and enact social distancing measures. We are currently planning the online event and will send out details closer to the time.

Open 31 and the Artist Support Pledge

This year, in response to the COVID 19 pandemic we are incorporating the Artist Support Pledge into Open 31. The Artist Support Pledge is an online selling scheme, set up to support artists and makers through the pandemic. We are bringing the pledge into the exhibition to support artists selling work, to encourage generosity and to create affordable art for a financially hard-hit population.

For more details on how this will be implemented in the exhibition and online, please see the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of this page.

Important Dates

  • Week beginning Monday 2nd November – Applicants informed of judges’ selection outcome.
  • Friday 27 November – Successful entries to be delivered to Leicester Museum. More information will be given out at the time.
  • Saturday 28 November – Successful entries to be delivered to Leicester Museum. More information will be given out at the time.

Where can I find more information?

We have more information available in our Terms and Conditions which is available to download at the bottom of this page. Please select the Terms and Conditions appropriate to the category for which you are applying. If you have any further queries, or questions, please send us an email.


For any enquiries, please contact openexhibition@leicester.gov.uk