Join the Great Essex Art Debate

PUBLISHED: 10:22 25 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:22 25 August 2015

The Essex Open Exhibition

The Essex Open Exhibition


The Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend is centre stage for the 56th Essex Open Exhibition, in a celebration of Essex art and creativity. Caroline Foster reports

When described as ‘the largest and most prestigious open art exhibition in Essex’, it’s no wonder artists of all calibres have flocked to be part of this year’s open art event.

Being held for the first year at the Beecroft Art Gallery’s new home (the former Southend Library in Victoria Avenue), the 56th Essex Open Exhibition has seen a record number of entries from lesser known and new artists from across the region. Kevin Marsh, assistant curator for art exhibitions at Southend on Sea Borough Council, attributes the upsurge in entries to the exhibition’s new online entry application process.

‘It was a lot of work for the artists to bring their entries to the gallery for the selection process,’ explains Kevin. ‘Now they can upload their details and images of their work, which I believe has encouraged more artists to apply. This has also attracted a greater variety of work.’

The exhibition is open to any artist, amateur or professional, over the age of 16 and who is either resident or working as an artist in Essex (including the London boroughs formerly part of Essex).

Kevin also thinks raising the profile of the exhibition in this way has further encouraged new sponsors, including categories from Best Work in Exhibition, sponsored by ZeroAbove, to the Most Popular Work in the Exhibition, sponsored by The Royals Shopping Centre.

‘We have on show a variety of mixed mediums of work including oils, acrylics, watercolours, mixed media and photography, but we would like to increase the number of sculptures and 3D works in future exhibitions. We now have the space available to showcase more of these types of works, but we are still looking for quality,’ says Kevin.

For visitors, the 56th Essex Open Exhibition has something for everyone and for artists who have not exhibited in galleries before, this exhibition is a great place to start.

‘The open exhibition offers an opportunity for great exposure,’ continues Kevin. ‘It’s one of the busiest exhibitions of the year. For visitors, it’s an open topic for debate and somewhere they can talk openly about the work that has been included and chosen.’

Simon Isaac, strategy partner at ZeroAbove and also a keen photographer who has had his work featured in Essex Life magazine, added: ‘The open art exhibition in Essex is a platform for the benefit, encouragement and support of artists. It’s also recognition for those artists working in the region. It brings together the local community and people want to be part of it.’

The 56th Essex Open Exhibition runs until October 10 and visitors should note that the majority of works will be for sale. Visitors are encouraged to visit throughout the summer and marvel at the diversity, creativity and talent that is on display this year and show their support to all of our Essex based artists.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 09:07

Of all Britain’s coastal counties, Essex can surely claim to be one of the best. With more than 350 miles of shoreline to choose from, the Essex coast is very much what you make of it, so even on those days when you’re planning a little run out to the seaside and want more than just the beach, Essex has the answer

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

We’ve put together 15 questions that will push your knowledge of Essex to the limit - let us know how you’ve done on social media!

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From James Bond to Batman, Essex has been known to bask in a little Hollywood glitz. Here are 19 that have used our county’s incredible locations on the big screen

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Spend Halloween hunting down ghouls and ghosts in the county’s most haunted places and spaces. We pick 10 absolutely terrifying locations to visit this October.

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Chelmsford is on the rise, blossoming from its city status. One iconic landmark which has been part of the landscape for 300 years, and is also enjoying a renaissance, is Hylands House. Petra Hornsby reveals more

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council shares with us this beautiful six-mile walk around Bradwell’s stunning coastal delights

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

With one of the warmest and driest summers on record, this year has been a difficult one for gardeners. Susie Bulman from The Beth Chatto Gardens at Elmstead Market shares some top tips for plant survival, even in these conditions

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Our county’s remaining windmills stand the test of time as a tribute to a bygone era. Mica Bale highlights some of the best examples in Essex

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Whether you’re looking for a memorable day trip or an impromptu weekend getaway, Essex is a perfect patchwork of all the little things we love about Britain. Proudly showcasing the charm of the county, we pick 13 towns you must visit when planning a trip to Essex

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

This walk from the town of Bures on the Essex and Suffolk border leads you through the Essex countryside to the little villages of Alphamstone and Lamarsh | Words and photos: Laurie Page Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search