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Cambridgeshire’s major independent non-selective Open Art Exhibition featuring contemporary and traditional paintings, sculpture and prints and the Cambridge Art Awards. Promoting art, artists and well-being through exhibition, education and participation.

The 2017 exhibition will be held on 17/18/19/ November. The exhibition is non-selective so do get your application in early. Join our mailing list to receive regular updates on entering – just click here

We are delighted to announce that Dr Catherine Burke, Reader in History of Education and Childhood at Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, will open the exhibition this year.  She will no doubt be expanding on her strongly held views regarding the importance of the arts and creativity in education as she commented recently in a letter to the Guardian:

“The generation of teachers and advisers who trained in the post-war decades is fast dying out, but some remain and can tell of their experience when the arts were considered a vehicle for excellence in state education. Fifty years after the publication of the Plowden report, it is timely to take a respectful look back to when the arts were recognised as fundamental not only to education but to building a healthy, socially just and democratic society. During the war years, certain teachers demonstrated the possibility of teaching the curriculum through the visual and performing arts in the most difficult of circumstances with remarkable results. A generation of regional chief education officers saw it as their duty to prioritise the arts in their endeavours to tackle social deprivation.

Alec Clegg, CEO for the West Riding of Yorkshire 1945-74, encouraged generations of West Riding teachers to use the arts, which were then recognised as a civilising influence and fundamental to human development. A child’s capacity for expression through movement, drawing or music was a means to strengthen identity and therefore social cohesion. Education through the arts, it was believed, was at the heart of the regeneration of democracy. Today the rationale for the place of the arts in public education is primarily economic. In this respect, we really can learn from history.”

The Cambridge Open Art Exhibition is committed to encouraging creativity in students and young emerging artists.

We also welcome all young people to come and see the exhibition and in the “Choose the Picture you like Best” draw you might win it.

You’re never too young to look at pictures!

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