Cumbria Crack

Celebration of Cumbria’s visual artists is back and open for submissions

Karen Babayan accepting the Cumbrian Artist of the Year Award 2016
Karen Babayan accepting the Cumbrian Artist of the Year Award 2016

[T]he Cumbrian Artist of the Year Award Exhibition showcases the quality, depth and diversity of work from artists across the county in all aspects of the visual arts from ceramics, painting, film, sculpture, photography, textiles and mixed media alongside special guest artists.

As the only annual showcase of contemporary art in Cumbria, the exhibition’s mission is to raise the profile of Cumbrian art on a national scale by seeking the best work from the best artists working today. The exhibition forms a key element of the C-Art Festival.

The 2016 exhibition saw extraordinary numbers visiting, with over 22,500 visitors to the exhibition at Rheged near Penrith.

Once again the C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year exhibition will be delivered in partnership with Rheged, from 9th September – 5th November 2017.

The exhibition will display over 40 artists work and from them two prizes will be awarded, The Cumbrian Artist of the Year, and The People’s Choice, both of which come with a cash prize of £500.

The Cumbrian Artist of the Year Award is shortlisted and selected by Young Curators – a group of 16-24 year olds with an interest in working with the arts.

This year the Young Curators will be working with curator Ainslie Roddick from the internationally renowned Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow and Thomas Dukes, curator at leading photography gallery Open Eye in Liverpool, alongside Eden Arts and Rheged staff.

As well as featuring those successful in being selected for the exhibition, the Rheged Gallery shop will feature a wide selection chosen from the artists who submitted along with C-Art members.

Karen Babayan was last year’s winner of Cumbrian Artist of the Year Award and Jonathan Trotman received the People’s Choice award having been voted for by the public. Karen said “I was completely overwhelmed to win the Cumbrian Artist of the Year Award. It is such a good exhibition with some extremely talented individuals – I am quite humbled to be selected as the winner amongst them.”

The awards highlight Cumbrian Artists who live, work or are from Cumbria and working in contemporary art.

As part of the C-Art Festival 2017, The C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year Exhibition opens alongside the C-Art Art Fair which promises to show a tremendous variety of artwork and homewares from designers, makers and artists from Cumbria and the surrounding areas.

Artists can find out more and submit their work to the C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year @Rheged at

Entry to the exhibition costs £25, for up to three pieces of work per artist, or is free to C-Art 2017 members.

Deadline for entries 28th April.