The Nottingham Castle Open 2013

Hello and welcome to the new look Nottingham Castle Open and launch of our fantastic new website! Based on the feedback we receive and through my involvement with the EMVAN Open Season series of public talks and discussions last year, I have spent the last year rethinking The Nottingham Castle Open and where to take it next. 2013 sees another new approach to our oldest exhibition, evolving and reshaping its content to benefit artists across the region.

Our first major change is the introduction of our website, This now provides a comprehensive, easy to use, online submission process that accompanies an exhibition archive, resource and advice area, as well as guidance notes, image galleries and information about past exhibitions. This website will remain online all year round, helping artists selected for The Open to have more web presence and create a permanent ‘thank you’ to all of our generous sponsors. There is a lot of information to read through – but I am confident there needs to be! By removing paper-based applications we can give more information about the Selection Procedure, so the applicant knows exactly how and when the Selection Panel reviews their work; we are being as transparent as possible which is another response to our feedback sessions. The reduction of print, distribution and administration reduces costs and this leads me neatly onto our next major change: FREE ENTRY.

There is an abundance of Open-style submission exhibitions throughout the region, countless nationally, and an increasing amount appear globally each year, charging anything from £5 to £75 per application/entry for ‘admin’ or associated fees. No doubt these fees help run the exhibitions and contribute to the prize funds, but our previous costs, a modest £12, barely paid for the processing time (believe me, 1000 submissions from 250-300 artists applications takes considerable time to process!) . By investing in a website that will generate submission data automatically for us, we believe that there is no longer a need to pass on costs onto the artists submitting. By making the exhibition free to enter, we also hope to attract more sponsors, which in turn will add to the impressive prizes on offer.

As there are a lot of changes and new features to absorb, I will end this first blog by saying I hope you will find the site useful and we will continue to highlight new areas of our website, add artist and sponsor interviews, and update you with news over the next few months. I must take this opportunity to thank all of our partners, sponsors, contributors, judges and Joff+Ollie for their contributions towards the new Nottingham Castle Open 2013. Keep an eye on this blog, our Facebook and Twitter pages for further announcements.

Remember, the deadline for submission is MIDNIGHT SUNDAY 15th September 2013, so you have plenty of time to plan your submission.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing your application and your work!

Tristram Aver Exhibitions Officer, Nottingham Castle Nottingham Castle Open Coordinator