We believe in the power of art to express imaginative ideas, create positive change, and bring joy to our lives. Wells Art Contemporary remains committed to providing the unique opportunity of showing in Wells Cathedral to all artists. To give them more time to enter, the submission date is extended until 1 August 2020. With the full support of the Dean, we will present the exhibition in Wells Cathedral as soon as it is safe to do so. All shortlisted works will also be displayed in a virtual exhibition, and social media coverage will be increased to promote artists’ work more than ever.  


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. We regret that we cannot exhibit digital work unless all necessary equipment is provided by the artist (for example: monitors, screens, DVD players, headphones etc).

There is no size restriction on work submitted.

Please note:  There is the opportunity to exhibit site-specific installations within the Cathedral and its grounds in this year’s exhibition. Further information about this opportunity can be found here: https://wac-installations.artopps.co.uk/.  Artists may enter both Wells Art Contemporary and WAC Installations.

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.


  • 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 visitors to the exhibition.
  • 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.


Due to the current Government guidance, Wells Cathedral is currently closed for all events.  With the full support of the Dean we are delighted to confirm that WAC will be held as soon as the Cathedral is open and dates for this exhibition will be announced in due course.

In the meantime, the selected work for the 2020 exhibition will be shown as a virtual online gallery.  All works can be for sale from the virtual gallery and the team will be using all their efforts to promote this exhibition and the selected artists with an extensive social media campaign.

All exhibitors will be invited to the Private View and Prize-Giving in the Cathedral during the exhibition.


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 decision17 August 2020
Artists confirm selected work information24 August 2020
Virtual Exhibition opens1 September 2020
Cathedral ExhibitionTBC


As soon as we can issue full delivery details for the exhibition as the Cathedral, including in person and by post, we will update the details here and directly to the selected artists. We will ensure that all selected artists have suitable time to make arrangements to deliver their selected artwork.

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