Visual Art Open Finalist Show 2018 - Chester Arts Fair

Visual Art Open Finalist Show 2018

About the VAO

The Visual Art Open (VAO) launched in 2016 to offer both emerging and established artists the opportunity to develop their career and passion for the arts. The competition welcomes applications from artists all over the world working in either painting and mixed media, photography, sculpture, digital, drawing and young artists aged 24 and under.

In March 2018, a panel of art experts narrowed down all the applications to just 40 pieces with 5 finalists per category going through to the final round. For the  third time in November at the Deepbridge Chester Arts Fair, the VAO Finalists will be showcased together in a public exhibition.

Artists from all over the world including Europe, the Middle East, South Africa and the UK will congregate at the VAO Finalist Exhibition and then at the Fair in an official prize giving ceremony. The overall winner of the competition will receive a prize worth over £5,000 including a solo stand at the Fair in 2019 and a commercial mentoring package.

A cash prize of £250.00 will be award to the winner of each category.

More about some of our finalists

Painting/printmaking/mixed media

Charlie Davies’ ‘Caught on a  Breeze’  captures and conveys the movement of cow parsley with seed heads drifting across the page. This print was made using soft ground which enabled Charlie to capture the intricate details of the plants, then inked up with a swirling motion to further enhance the mood of the piece, making each print unique.


In this category, Sarah Gooder builds up layers of watercolour and ink to bring Luna’s elegant and gentle gaze to life on the paper.


Graeme Hawes’ ‘Blue Orient’ is about the suspension of decoration within the medium of glass, which is achieved by using a Swedish technique called Graal. Artistic sensitivity combined with a high level of skill is required throughout the long, complicated and risky process.


This photograph by Angus D. Birditt has been taken from the collection entitled ‘Vagrant Series’ exhibited in several photographic exhibitions, including The Brick Lane Gallery, Photofusion, and Salon ’14 in London. The photograph was taken in Paris 2012.


Gregoire A Meyer’s ‘Open Mind’ represents mindfulness, pure consciousness expressed moment to moment in action. This piece has been created digitally and with added 24 carat gold leaf sheet in order to add more depth to the work.

Chester Arts Fair, Charlier Davies, Caught on a Breeze
Chester Arts Fair, Sarah Gooder, Luna
Chester Arts Fair, Graeme Hawes, Blue Orient
Chester Arts Fair, Angus D. Birditt, Vagrant 2.0

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