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Why galleries should support emerging talented artists through open calls?

How the 508 Gallery support emerging Artists.


Contemporary Landscapes Open Call Exhibition 2019

‘How do I get representation?’ is the hot question asked by emerging artists as they enter our gallery showroom.


We all know it’s tricky to grab the attention of high-end galleries as the response is always, We deal with ‘established’ artists, but what does that really mean?


Well... it means that they are visible to collectors and buyers, but of course like anything in life you have to start somewhere. Often the biggest artists of our times have been rejected over and over again. In most cases artists are scouted by gallerists in art fairs, online and in independent exhibitions. However it can be difficult to commit financially to these events without knowing the knock on effects.


At the 508 Gallery we like to challenge emerging artists by curating an annual open call.

We set a theme every year with the prize being a one-year representation. This gives an opportunity for artists to present their works which fit to the theme..


We launched our first open call last year Running a Picasso themed exhibition. WOW the results have proven to be a success!


14 artists were selected from over 300 submissions from around the world, our prize winner Maximillian Hembrow, a young graduate from Bournemouth University has proven to be a popular selling artist amongst 508 exhibitions and art fairs.


Launching our second edition of our open call this June with theme Contemporary Landscape has seen over 600 submissions, each carefully judged on quality and not by stage of career.



Artwork by Ai Campbell 'Desert #6'

It is important to acknowledge how commercially viable an artwork is.


Supporting emerging artists through Open Calls Not only gives them an opportunity to display their works to the public but shows that there are lots of factors to consider, I.E how to Build strong relationships between gallerists and artist, how to prep artwork ready for a show, transportation, presentation, framing etc. So many practical skills which cannot be learnt form a text book, it is important for an artist to understand commercially what are the need and wants form the client.


508 Open call competitions are a great way to start if you have no idea where to start.


hello@508kingsroad.com / 0203 719 3109

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