Established in 2012 by artists for artists, Wells Art Contemporary (WAC) is an open competition for innovative visual art. Based in the beautiful cathedral city of Wells, Somerset, this yearly exhibition aims to support creatives, stimulate debate, and push the boundaries of the visual arts scene both nationally and internationally. Now in its 11th year, WAC has established a strong presence in the British art world and keeps growing, attracting entries from around the world – including Australia, Azerbaijan, India, Italy, Korea, Japan and the United States.


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 5pm, Tuesday 5 April 2022.

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 2022 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 WAC22student 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 WAC22somersetstudent. 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 WAC22student discount code if the WAC22somersetstudent 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.

If you are selected you will need to send us a high res image of your work and a work statement by Monday 9th March 2021.


A panel of distinguished artists forms our selection panel.


Submissions deadline5pm, Tuesday 5th April 2022
Artists notified of judges decisionMonday 2nd May 2022
Deadline for selected artists to confirm selected work information and provide a high res image and work statementMonday 9th May 2022
Virtual Exhibition openSaturday 25th June to Sunday 24th July 2022
Private View at Wells CathedralFriday 24th June 2022
Exhibition open at Wells CathedralSaturday 25th June to Sunday 24th July 2022

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