You are here

National Open Art comes of age with 21st Exhibition



  • The leading independent art prize comes of age with a series of collaborations and events at the Oxo Tower’s Bargehouse in November (17-26)
  • Gavin Turk to bring Turkish Tulips Exhibition Portfolio, fresh from the Museum Van Loon and Bowes Museum
  • Royal Academy of Art’s Chief Executive Charles Saumarez Smith to open free exhibition of contemporary art, photography and short-film

The 21st National Open Art Competition is to celebrate coming-of-age in style with a series of artistic collaborations and events during the 21st NOA Exhibition at the Oxo Tower’s Bargehouse in November (17-26).

The main exhibition of art, photography and short film, showcasing the best of British and Irish creativity, is being exhibited across nine gallery spaces. It will appear alongside the Turkish Tulips Exhibition Portfolio, featuring works by NOA’s Vice-President Gavin Turk, plus Damien Hirst, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cornelia Parker and Sir Peter Blake.

Live art will be created by NOA’s artists-in-residence throughout the free, 10-day event, while Be Smart About Art will present a series of professional development talks for creatives.

In a special weekend to inspire children’s creativity (25-26 November), artists Deborah Curtis and Gavin Turk’s the House of Fairytales will be inviting children to make films for its cinema, while Explore Learning will hold a number of free creative writing workshops to explore what the world will be like in 3017.

Also collaborating with NOA is Hyphen, an architecture practice that has delivered projects for leading brands in over 50 countries. Hyphen has designed a temporary installation for the reception space of the exhibition, in Gallery 1 on the ground floor.

Artist Jane McAdam Freud, former NOA winner Kelvin Okafor, gallery director Cynthia Corbett, photographer Zelda Cheatle and filmmakers Elaine Pyke and Adam Saward judged this year’s competition.

Kelvin, who won the NOA Visitors’ Choice Award in 2012, said: “Life changed because of NOA. The competition enabled me to work as an artist, which was my ultimate dream. 

“Just five-years-ago I was one of these artists, so to be a judge is an incredible honour. The judging process has been wonderful, but it has also been very hard, the standard was so high.”

More than £50,000 worth of prizes will be awarded to winning NOA artists after Charles Saumarez Smith, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Art, opens the exhibition.

The 21st National Open Art Exhibition runs 17 to 26 November at Oxo’s Bargehouse and is free to enter.

For more information visit

Contact Information: