Plymouth Contemporary 2017



KARST is proud to annouce itself as a co-host of this year’s PLYMOUTH CONTEMPORARY

Plymouth Contemporary is an open submission exhibition that provides a platform for new, up and coming creative talent alongside nationally and internationally significant artists. Following the hugely successful launch of the first Plymouth Contemporary in 2015, this bi-annual exhibition seeks to become recognised as a beacon for showcasing the latest talent and new perspectives within contemporary art.

The 2017 Plymouth Contemporary, themed Visions, will run from 15 July to 2 September 2017 across the two venues of Peninsula Art Gallery and KARST and is open to all contemporary visual artists, from across the globe, working in any medium. With the theme ‘Visions’, artists are asked to respond to such a pertinent subject at a time when the world, on the surface at least, seems to be going through turbulent change. Artists are asked to explore what the concept of ‘Visions’ might mean for us now – from the political and social, to alternative realities and other dimensions, imaginary or absurd, Utopian or Dystopian, concrete or literal.


The awards will be chosen by a selection panel of curators, art directors, artists and professionals whose finger is on the pulse regarding the latest developments and will be presented on the opening night. The awards on offer are:

Overall award: £2,500

Special recognition award: £1,000

New artist award: £1,000

Audience choice award: £500 (to be announced in the final week of the exhibition).

“The first Plymouth Contemporary brought to view a new wealth of talent both from within the region and those from places all over the world who wanted their work to be seen in Plymouth. It was a privilege to be asked to select and I couldn’t be more excited to see the Contemporary’s second iteration.”  Helen Legg, Director, Spike Island and judge on the 2015 Plymouth Contemporary panel

Submissions and selection process

The selection panel includes Ben Borthwick (Artistic Director, Plymouth Arts Centre), Sarah Chapman (Director, Peninsula Arts and artist), Judith Robinson (Arts and Cultural Development Manager, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery), Carl Slater (Director, KARST and artist), Professor Chris Bennewith, Head of the School of Art, Design and Architecture at Plymouth University and Louise Coysh, Director of Arts and Culture, University of Southampton; they will  be particularly looking for submissions that clearly reflect this year’s theme.

Find out more about the 2017 selection panel.

Applications open: Monday 16 January, 9:00
Applications close: Friday 3 March, midnight
Judging commences: Monday 20 March
Successful applicants informed: Thursday 30 March

Artists can submit a maximum of two works digitally. these works must be completed upon time of submission. Full submission details and guidelines.

The Plymouth Contemporary is a partnership between the three key cultural change-makers within Plymouth in the lead up to 2020; Plymouth University, the Plymouth History Centre – the City’s £34 million visitor attraction for art and heritage, due to open during the Mayflower 400 commemorations – and KARST, Plymouth’s largest independent, artist-led contemporary art venue.

Plymouth Contemporary

Peninsula Arts Gallery,
Plymouth University,
Roland Levinsky Building,
Drake Circus,
Devon, PL4 8 AA

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