Open Call Exhibition 2023 Announcement

A New Year Message from Liz

A New Year Message from Liz (It’s about the Open Call!)

Hi everyone! In case you don’t know me, I’m Liz Dyer, I’m the project manager and lead artist on the Celebration of Biodiversity Project. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for 2023, although I know that for a lot of people, it’s going to be a tough year in many respects. This is why, in November 2022, I took the decision to edit our project plan for this year. I did this to so that the project remains inclusive to those suffering financial hardship during the cost-of-living crisis and also to combat the rising costs of venue hire and maintenance for us, (we are running on a tight budget!) Here’s how:

Originally, we had planned a large-scale physical gallery showing in a Leicester City Centre venue for our Celebration of Biodiversity exhibition event in April 2023. Artists submitting work to the open call would each pay a fee to enter (up to £15 for 3 pieces of work). Of course, most artwork needs to be framed to be hung in a gallery, which when done professionally can be quite costly. Add to this the cost of transporting the work to and from the venue, and the cost of entering the exhibition suddenly becomes rather a lot. To add to this, securing a venue was proving difficult, as costs had risen in the time between writing our budget, obtaining the funding and attempting to hire an appropriate space.

Therefore, I took the decision to host our exhibition as a virtual event online and invite those under 18 to enter for free, whilst also reducing the entry fees for those over 18. By holding a virtual event, we can open the exhibition up to anyone in the world. visitors can attend the exhibition multiple times from the comfort of their own home, or from anywhere with a device that has internet access. It is technically an eco-friendlier event as a result. Artwork does not need to be framed, as frames are added virtually. Fortunately, we have also secured a free venue over the Easter break, Upstairs at The Barley Mow (near to Leicester railway station). This allows us to physically hang and display some of the very best pieces by artists that can frame and deliver their artwork, whilst offering a programme of free art workshops in the space. Unfortunately, this space isn’t accessible to wheelchair users. We are really sorry that we cannot accommodate everyone on this occasion, we weren’t able to be too picky in this case. However, we will be back in August with events accessible by all!

So, welcome to the launch of our Celebration of Biodiversity Open Call Exhibition!

You can find full details of how to enter your work and the application forms here.

I hope that we have made the exhibition more inclusive and welcoming to you all by lowering the costs and requirements to enter. We hope you’ll submit your best biodiversity and climate themed pieces.

Also…. You read it right! Insecta Collective art workshops are back! We will host six, two-hour, drop-in workshops over the course of the Easter holidays. The dates to add to your diary for these are 3rd, 4th, 5th 11th, 12th and 13th of April 2023. The workshops will run during the afternoons, times to be confirmed closer to the date. Watch out for our poster and a blog post in March.

The image below is a photo of me stroking a very cute kitty in a pub in Bristol at the very end of 2022. They had a lush array of plants in their window and inside, cats and beer! Basically it was my heaven!

Liz With a Cat