Funding level: Up to £1,000


Cambridge Open Art Exhibition is a unique event that not only promotes the arts in the local community but also encourages school children to take part in the running of the event. The exhibition has taken place annually in various forms for over 25 years and has been working in partnership with Swavesey Village College since 2013 where we now exhibit the work of over 90 local artists.

We are much more than just an exhibition:

We aim to inspire creativity: We encourage families to come along and get children actively participating. This year we have an interactive art installation - a collaborative piece led by a local artist working with school and community groups - and pupil-led art and craft activities for children to experiment with and stimulate their own creative ideas. Swavesey pupils also get involved in the running of the event every year, getting hands on experience of what it takes to raise an exhibition of this scale, documenting artwork, welcoming guests and interviewing judges and artists in order to produce a photographic and written review of the exhibition.

We are community centred: a café run by a community group serves visitors over the weekend with no commission charged by the Exhibition. This means the café profits go straight into supporting cultural events in the local area.

We support local artists: we charge no commission on artwork sales. Artists are free to set their prices and receive the whole value of their sales. This keeps prices within the reach of all our visitors. We also promote their work through social media.

We need your vote to provide us with funds to develop our website in 2018 and to support our very popular Win-a-Picture prize.

The exhibition is run by a dedicated team of volunteers who strive to develop new concepts and ideas each year to further engage the community, especially young people and children. Artists are charged a small entry fee to exhibit but this only covers basic running costs such as hall hire, brochure printing and admin costs.

We need a new website to help us engage young people in our activities, to connect with artists and promote their work, and attract buyers who will in turn make the exhibition a success for our artists. The present website is out-dated and difficult to format to achieve the results we need to attract a bigger and more diverse audience. It’s such an important way for us to communicate with people to let them know about all of the free creative activity we offer.

For the Win-a-Picture prize, visitors vote for their favourite artwork under £250. There is a draw on the final day of the exhibition and the winner receives their chosen artwork, with the money going to the artist. This prize has been one of the most successful aspects of the exhibition for attracting new visitors. It is very rewarding to see whole families discussing and arguing about their favourites and it contributes to our overall mission to get everyone excited about art - it’s a brilliant way to get people involved in critiquing the artwork and considering which pieces they would love to see hanging on their wall at home.

Thank you for reading and please support us by giving us your vote!

Cambridge Open Art Exhibition

Moment of Pride

We are proud to be an exhibition with a difference: our vision is to support local artists; to inspire and stimulate children and young people’s creativity, sparking a lifelong passion for visual art; and to work for the benefit of our community by making all of this free and accessible to everyone

Location: Swavesey