Opportunity : Call out for interventions of artworks to respond to ‘Signs’ in Compton Verney’s Folk Art Collection.

Outside In are working with Compton Verney to develop interaction and support to artists in the Midlands. The Midlands Hub, launching in March 2020, will offer artists resident in the region opportunities to engage with Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park through Outside In’s artist development programme, exciting exhibitions and training through the Step Up programme.

‘Signs’ is an opportunity for Outside In artists who are based in Birmingham, Solihull, the Black Country, Coventry or Warwickshire. We are inviting artists to interpret their own idea of a sign whilst communicating a message. We are looking for up to 10 artworks that will display alongside the existing Folk Art Collection from Friday 20 March 2020 – 3 January 2021.

British Folk Art Collection at Compton Verney

The Folk Art Collection

Compton Verney’s unique Folk Art collection was formed by Hungarian émigré art dealer Andras Kalman in the second half of the last century and includes a huge variety of objects and paintings made by people with no formal training as artists but who were making use of their innate abilities or skills acquired as part of their trade or training. Some of the artists in the collection were house painters, carriage painters, ship painters or apprenticed as carvers.

About the theme

For this open call we are looking for different ‘ways of communicating a message.’

In the Folk Art Collection there are many different signs including, weather-vane signs, pub signs, street signs, shop signs, indoor and outdoor signs. These are painted and framed or carved and textiles or objects.

A sign can indicate or point to something being identified but there is also a language implicit in signing, it evokes a memory or response, is hidden or obvious or specific to attract a certain group of people. We find signs in the everyday and these signs connect us to a place or territory; they can be humorous, playful or serious like a warning, they can direct a journey or convey information. Signs communicate a message.

What we are looking for

Artwork can be in any form, for example painting, drawing, photography or other materials but will need to be 2-D and no more than A0 in size (84 x 118 cms) and must be able to be hung or fixed to a wall.

Artists can submit up to three artworks to be considered by a panel of selectors from Outside In and Compton Verney, who will be rating the artworks anonymously.

The selectors will be rating the artwork by looking at questions which will include: ‘Does the artwork relate to the theme?’ ‘Can this artwork be fixed to a wall?’ ‘Is it interesting?’ ‘Does it work well in the space?’

How to apply

  • Please send us a link to your Outside In online gallery with the text from your artist statement
  •  3 images of the work you wish to submit as jpegs.
  •  You will also need to supply titles of the artworks, dimensions in centimetres and a description of each piece.
  • Please find application form and brief plus easy read version at the bottom of the page.

Please email submissions with ‘Signs Interventions’ in the subject line to: Jose.forrest-tennant@outsidein.org.uk


Application deadline is: Sunday 1st March 2020.

If you have further questions or would like this information in any other format, have support requirements or need assistance then please contact José Forrest-Tennant Outside In Midlands Coordinator on 07496 997 333 or the email above.

If selected, you will need to drop off artworks by 12pm, Friday 6 March 2020. at Artspace, 4th Floor Eaton House, Coventry CV1 2FJ.

If you would like further information about the exhibition space or Folk Art Collection please contact Annelise Hone at Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park.

About Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park

Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park is an award-winning gallery, based in a Grade I-listed Georgian mansion amidst 120 acres of Grade II-listed Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown parkland in Warwickshire.  With six permanent collection (Naples, Northern European Art 1450-1650, British Portraits, Chinese, British Folk Art & The Marx-Lambert Collection) and a schedule of thought-provoking changing exhibitions and events, it is an Arts Council England accredited museum, and a registered charity.

Compton Verney has a long history of working with Outside In, including staging an exhibition in 2014, and from 2019, becoming the base of the first regional office and programme.

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