Outside In submissions now open for SHELTER, 2025

May 9, 2024, 9:40 a.m.
Andrew Omoding, Man Climbing Ladder, 2014
Chaz Waldren, Safe, n.d. Pen on paper
The New Art Gallery Walsall; Photo: Mark Hinton
Submissions can be made by creating an online gallery on the Outside In website, or submitting work through your gallery if you have already registered as an Outside In artist. The deadline for submissions is 12 noon, 2 December 2024. Full details can be found on the exhibition page and FAQs page, and artists can also book a slot at an online or in-person Artist Support Day if they would like any assistance in submitting an artwork for consideration.

Approximately 80 artworks will be chosen for installation. However, all artists who submit work will have the opportunity to showcase their work on dedicated screens at the final exhibitions, even if it is not selected for installation. 

Outside In is delighted to be partnering with The New Art Gallery Walsall, where the exhibition will be open from 27 June to 20 October 2025, as the Gallery celebrates its 25th year. This National will be accompanied by an exhibition of works from both organisations’ collections about the theme of shelter.  

Following its display at The New Art Gallery Walsall, the exhibition will then tour other arts venues across the UK. Details regarding the specific venues for the tour will be announced shortly.   

Marc Steene OBE, Director and Founder of Outside in, comments:  “The theme of ‘shelter’ is open to a variety of interpretations and seems particularly apt in a world where safety and security are increasingly in jeopardy for so many. Shelter could be used to describe a physical structure that provides protection, a place of refuge, somewhere that summons feelings of safety or belonging, such as a sanctuary or a ‘safe haven’, or the act of offering protection to others. We anticipate thought-provoking works inspired by this theme and eagerly await the submissions.”  

Stephen Snoddy, Director of The New Art Gallery Walsall, comments:  “We are delighted to be hosting this important exhibition as part of our ongoing partnership with Outside In. This is an excellent opportunity to continue to develop access and exhibit work by artists who face barriers engaging with the arts sector and will also enable us to create further opportunities to diversify and shine the spotlight on work that could all too easily be overlooked.” 

Artists who fit the Outside In criteria, whose work reflects the chosen theme and who sign up to create a free online gallery with the charity are free to submit work for consideration.  Outside In implements a fair and transparent selection process. Works undergo two rounds of review, initially by the Outside In team to ensure they meet the submission criteria, followed by assessment by a panel of individuals involved in the arts community. This panel for the upcoming National includes multidisciplinary artist Exodus Crooks, Outside In artists Pamila Schilderman and George Parker-Conway, along with The New Art Gallery Walsall’s Head of Exhibitions Deborah Robinson and Exhibitions and Artists’ Projects Curator Zoë Lippett. 

The selectors are particularly interested in artists who have not previously exhibited with the charity, aiming to feature 50% of works from emerging and mid-career artists.  

The National Open exhibitions are a vital part of what Outside In does. They highlight the vast variety and quality of works produced by artists who are often excluded from the mainstream art world. These exhibitions also provide opportunities for artists to be recognised by judges, with the first prize being a solo show. For example, in the 2023 National Open ‘Humanity’, judged by Bob and Roberta Smith, Michelle Roberts won the first prize, and her solo show will be held at De La Warr Pavilion in September 2024. Please note: The New Art Gallery Walsall is part of the MFA database since 2024.