WAC Awards is an international visual arts competition.

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.


Wells Art Contemporary welcomes submissions from artists over the age of 18 working in any medium. Selected artists will have their work shown in the iconic Wells Cathedral as well as in a dedicated virtual gallery on the Wells Art Contemporary website.

Please click here to enter. If you are submitting an installation proposal please read all the entry information before entering. You can find images of past installations, a map of the installation sites and the Cathedral’s health and safety guidelines here. Please download and read these before applying.



Entry is by online submission through this website and the deadline for entry is 25 May 2021

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 2021 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. Artists can use the online entry form on this site to enter any work, including an installation proposal.

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

Unless you are submitting an installation proposal works should be no more than 2.5m high and 3.5m wide. There is no size restriction for installations.

To complete your application you will need to enter:

  • An image of your work (no more than 1MB)
  • The title, medium, dimensions and price (please take into account WAC’s commission of 40%) of your work

If you are submitting an installation proposal there is additional information you need to enter. Please click here to read all entry information before applying.


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


If you are a student, you can use the code WAC21student at checkout to enter one work for free. The first 90 students to enter will receive this discount.

And if you are a student living or studying in Somerset, please use the code WAC21somersetstudent. There are 10 more free entry slots specifically for Somerset students, so the first 10 to submit a work can do so for free. Please note that students based in Somerset can use the WAC21student discount code if the WAC21somersetstudent discount code has expired.


  • Howden Art Award:  £2,000 awarded to one artist
  • 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.
  • JGM Gallery Prize*: The winner of the JGM Gallery Prize will be featured on the gallery’s own website and social media channels. A selection of the winner’s works will be on display and for sale on the gallery website and promoted across their social media – including an artist interview to be posted on their Youtube channel.
  • The Grace Student Awards*: Awarded by Tracey Grace, three shortlisted students will receive £100 each. Many thanks to our prize giver Tracey Grace for the free entries to the first 100 Students and the student prizes.
  • Parker Harris Mentoring Prize*:  Parker Harris will give a one-to-one mentoring session covering all aspects of professional development to a selected artist.
  • People’s Choice Prize: £500 will be awarded to the artist who received the most public votes.

A full list of prices will be announced shortly.

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.

** Please note that this prize can only be awarded to artists living in Somerset. Please tick the box on the entry form if you are eligible and wish to be considered for this prize.


We are delighted to announce that this year the exhibition will open at the iconic Wells Cathedral and will also be shown in a dedicated online gallery.

In conjunction with Wells Art Contemporary (WAC) and Project Factory CIC, Wells Cathedral is collaborating with Antony Gormley to produce a new work that will be exhibited on the West Front of the Cathedral. The piece will be loaned by the Artist and on display from the end of August 2021, coinciding with the opening of Wells Art Contemporary. 

If you are selected you will need to send us a high res image of your work and a work statement by 5th July 2021.


A panel of distinguished artists forms our selection panel.

Will Nash


Amanda Loomes

Artist Filmmaker

Jonathan Yeo


Installation selector

Simon Periton



Submissions deadline25 May 2021
Artists notified of judges decision25 June 2021
Deadline for selected artists to confirm selected work information and provide a high res image and work statement5 July 2021
Virtual Exhibition open2 August - 26 September
Private View at Wells Cathedral27 August 2021
Exhibition open at Wells Cathedral28 August - 26 September 2021

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