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Open Calls

Please read the following carefully:


Submission does not guarantee selection and Entry fees are non refundable.


  • You can submit up to three works for consideration. Please do not enter more than three.

  • Please ensure images submitted are good quality (usually 300dpi is best)

  • Please submit your image files in the format : YOUNAME_TITLEOFWORK.JPG

  • Do NOT submit work that is transphobic, racist, pornographic, pedophilic, anti-lgbtqia, ageist or could be deemed offensive or as a hate crime against a minority culture and or group.

  • Do not submit works that contain harmful substances that could endanger our staff and volunteers.

  • Please ensure works do not exceed 1.5m on any side.

  • If artwork is for sale; we take 20% commission on a sale so please amend your prices prior to entering

  • If entering video works please put a link to a webpage for us to watch the video in the description section.

If selected:

  • Please ensure you drop off the collect work in the timeframe given.

  • It is the responsibility of the artist to arrange delivery and collection of work. Any cost incurred through delivery must be paid by the artist.

  • If selected, please ensure all works come with hanging fixtures or clear instructions on how to display.

  • Artwork will be installed by our team of technicians; artists do not need to be present

  • If selected, when the exhibition ends you have up to 30 days to collect your work, any uncollected work after this time will be disposed of.

  • We have limited equipment for video works; Where possible we ask artists to provide their own equipment.

  • We have a small selection of plinths for sculptural works but you may need to provide your own if you have a specific requirement or exceed our sizing.


  • Our 'Early Career ' and above Patreon get free entry to our paid Open calls. For £12.50 you get to enter up to 3 works and gain a wealth of extra content. You must be a patron for a minimum of one month. Subscription can be cancelled at any time.

  • Being a patron does not guarantee selection.


Entry Fees

  • All monies raised from entry fees goes into the prize pot and towards marketing the main exhibition.

  • Entry fee payments must be paid within 3 days of the deadline for your application to be put to the panel. Failure to do so will mean your application will be automatically rejected.

  • Entry fees can be paid either via paypal, in cash at the main desk or direct bank transfer.

  • Entry fees are non refundable UNLESS you spend a minimum of 4 hours volunteering with us. See details below.


  • If you would like to volunteer for the gallery to help invigilate the exhibition then you will get your entry fee refunded. This will be paid 48 hours after successfully completing your shift.

  •  Volunteers also have access to unlimited hot drinks and a hot meal for free at our café  (including vegan options)

  •  Entry fee will only be refunded upon successful completion of 5 hours work of volunteering.

  •  Volunteering opportunity only open to UK Artists, ideally within the North West or easy travelling distance

AIR Open 2023

Launches 10th April

Showcase your work in our 6th annual AIR Open. This is always one of our strongest shows of the year and a great showcase of contemporary talent from around the world.


£5 per piece to enter, max 3 works. Any medium, any theme.



➡Cash prize of up to £1000

➡Additional prizes such as associate memberships, solo shows, gallery representation, art materials and more.
➡ The chance to get your work to the Manchester Contemporary 2023 to be seen by over 10,000 visitors.
➡Digital promotion of your work for selected artists throughout the show

➡Our longlist of artists will be placed in a virtual showcase that gains around 5000 views per show.

➡Plus a select few applicants will be chosen to feature in our Micro gallery alongside the main exhibition

➡Opportunity to get your work seen by an panel of industry experts and art professionals

➡Opportunity to take part in future shows- even if you aren't selected for this show, you might be offered future exhibition opportunities with us in our themed shows in 2023-2024.
➡Networking opportunities with other artists and industry professionals


❓Low income / can't afford the fee? We have a volunteer scheme where if you help us invigilate the show, you'll get your entry fee reimbursed (plus a free meal!)


❓Want more for your money? Become a patron to get free entry to the AIR Open PLUS a wealth of content

❓Unsure about the form or want to run an idea by us before entering? Email us at 

❓ Not sure how to pay? Paypal requests are sent within 48 hours of submitting or you can pay via a direct bank transfer. Email for info. 

Kindly sponsored by Saul Hay Gallery, Jacksons Arts and Castlefield Gallery


Please read our Terms and Conditions before applying


Judging Panel (TBC)

  • Ian Hay (Saul Hay Gallery)

  • Nat Pitt (Division of Labour)

  • Gaynor Seville (Whitaker Gallery) tbc 

  • Rebecca Wild (AIR Gallery)

  • Vincent James (Previous winner) tbc

Important dates

  • 3 April - Patreon launch

  • ​10 April - Public Launch

  • 25 June - Deadline at midnight GMT

  • 26-31 June - Judging

  • 5 July - All artists notified

  • 12-5 August - Artwork delivery

  • 14-17th August- Install

  • 17 August - Opening Night 6-10pm

  • 18 August- 30 September - Exhibition Continues

  • 30 September - Closing party/award afternoon 3-5pm.

  • 3-4 Oct - Deinstall

  • 10 October - 10 November - Artwork collection


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