The 2020 exhibition has been selected and is now available to view online at

The WAC Awards is an international visual arts competition.

The WAC Awards is an open competition for contemporary visual art that is gaining praise and respect in Britain and abroad. It was established in 2012 by a group of artists and their friends in Wells, the beautiful cathedral city in the South-West of England. An idea that came to life around kitchen and dining tables has already established a strong presence in the London, national and international art world and is drawing artists from places as diverse as Australia, Azerbaijan, India, Italy, Korea, Japan and the United States, as well as all over UK.

This year WAC have collaborated with Cass Art to offer a very special discount to every artist that enters Wells Art Contemporary 2020!*

*Please note that this discount code will be issued after the entry deadline on 1 August 2020.


Entry is by online submission through this website and the deadline for entry is 1 August 2020.

All entrants are asked to ensure they have read all Rules and Guidelines before entering.


All artists based in the UK or internationally, who are over the age of 18 on the 1st January 2020 are invited to apply. A third party may also submit work on the artists behalf with the full permission of the artist.


Artists may enter up to four works.

Entries can be any medium – painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, installation or video.

There is no size restriction on work submitted.

We have collaborated with Cass Art to offer a very special discount to every artist that enters Wells Art Contemporary 2020!


Entry Fee is £15 per work or £12 per work for current students.


All of our very generous prize givers are still supporting us and all of the Prizes that have been promised to the winning artists will still be awarded. We have endeavoured to increase the Prizes this year and have so far raised an extra £2,000 in prize money to be divided equally amongst four winners, including two students, as well as more in kind, to extend the Prizes already available to artists. More details on these will be available soon. We plan to hold the Awards Ceremony online in line with the Exhibition and again we will share the details in due course.

  • Howden Art Award (formerly known as the RK Harrison Award):  £2,000 awarded to one artist
  • JGM Gallery Exhibition Prize*:  up to 4 artists, including international artists, will be selected to take part in an exhibition in 2020 at the JGM Gallery in the heart of London’s new cultural quarter next to the Royal College of Art in London.
  • NG Art Creative Residency*:  The NG Art Creative Residency Prize aims to discover and celebrate emerging and established creative talents from a variety of disciplines. The Prize Winner will receive a free two-week placement at the NG Art Creative Residency in Eygalieres, Provence. This includes board and lodging, studio space, mentorship and residency-related outings.
  • Next Generation Art Prize*:  Andelli Art’s ‘Next Generation Art Prize’ recognises and supports the talents of artists of 30 years of age and under. The winner/s will be invited to participate in a two week group exhibition at the gallery in 2021, including a private view and social media support.
  • Parker Harris Mentoring Prize*:  Parker Harris will give a one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
  • Chubb Bulleid People’s Prize:  £500 selected by public vote.
  • Somerset Art Works Festival 2021 Award*: Somerset Art Works would like to offer a Somerset-based artist the opportunity to conduct research and develop a plan to create a new body of work which will be showcased during the Somerset Art Works Festival 2021. Somerset Art Works wants to enable new and exciting ideas that support the artist in developing their practice. We welcome applications from artists working in cross-disciplinary practices, such as new media, installation, moving-image, sound, live performance and socially-engaged practice. The selected artist will receive the following: Free entry to take part in the Somerset Art Works Festival 2021 with curatorial support, and 1 year SAW Membership; Mentoring, advice and support on artistic development and marketing from SAW Team; Financial support of up to £500 towards research and production. Please click here and here for more information.

For further details on all the prizes please read the Rules and Guidelines

* Please tick the box on the Entry Form if you wish to be considered for this Prize.


We are delighted to announce that Arts Council England are not only endorsing WAC, but are supporting us financially to organise a Virtual Exhibition in the Autumn.  Once the artwork has been chosen by our panel of selectors, the Exhibition will be curated by the WAC team. We are working on adding video clips from selectors and prize givers, a guided tour and even some Cathedral music to create a truly unique and special virtual experience.  As well as showing the Exhibition online, we are hoping to display the Exhibition on a screen within the Cathedral so that when they are open to visitors, they too will be able to enjoy the shortlisted work.

In addition, we are creating a facility to sell all the artists’ artwork online and we are building a network of supporters to help raise awareness and most importantly create sales. We will still be producing a fully illustrated catalogue, which will be sent to every artist in the Exhibition as well as to past and potential buyers through our networks. We understand the importance of this Catalogue to artists as a physical archive of your success in being selected.


A panel of distinguished artists will form the selection panel.  We are delighted to announce that the 2020 panel are:

Phillip Allen


Neville Gabie


Lisa Wright



Submissions deadline1 August 2020
Artists notified of judges decision24 August 2020
Artists confirm selected work information28 August 2020
Virtual Exhibition opens1 October 2020
Prize GivingTBC

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