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Between January 2023 and March 2024, we are hosting an ambitious
programme of eleven open calls for eleven month-long exhibitions,
each which target different groups of people or different themes.

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Our Open Calls

We are looking for existing work.

A fee of £250 will be awarded to each featured artist,
with a total of three artists selected per exhibition.

(However, if you are applying as a group of artists,
a fee of £750 would be divided equally
amongst the successfully selected group.)

Current Round:

  1. Global Majority Artists (Black and People of Colour)

  2. Artists with Physical Disabilities

  3. Queer / LGBTQ+ Artists

If you would like to respond to this round of open calls, please do so by this deadline:
10pm, Thursday 31st August 2023


Artists Aged
25 - 60


Female / Female Identifying Artists


Artists Aged
Over 60


Natural Heritage Themes


Artists Aged
16 - 25


Global Majority Artists (Black and People of Colour)


Artists with Physical Disabilities


Queer /
LGBTQ+ Artists


New Graduates

January 2024

Neurodiverse Artists

February 2024

Environmental Themes

March 2024

Read below for more information about our series of open calls.

We are looking for existing work. A fee of £250 will be awarded to each featured artist, with a total of three artists selected per exhibition.


(However, if you are applying as a group of artists, a fee of £750 would be divided equally amongst the successfully selected group.)

You can apply to more than one category.

We will be prioritising applications from artists living or working in and around the city of Sunderland.

We would expect you to be able to both deliver and pick up your work to and from the Hills Arts Centre in Sunderland (SR1 3HT), and expect you to pick up your work in the week following the closure of your exhibition. Please note that we will not be able to hold work on our premises any longer than this.


If you require delivery of your work via the Post Office service rather than personal collection, we expect you to pay for postage and packaging. It is not our responsibility if your work gets damaged or lost in the post.


We hope every exhibition will include a celebration event, where you are welcome to deliver a talk on your work if you feel comfortable, or at least meet visitors. We are flexible regarding this to fit your requirements / schedule where possible.


We shall be providing short written feedback to all unsuccessful applicants, so that you may act upon this advice and guidance when entering future open calls.


We ask that each application includes attached imagery of your existing artwork, so please include submission of a document containing imagery of your work, or up to 5 images in the form of .jpg / .png files.


In order to ensure that this application process remains open and accessible, you are also welcome to submit your application in the form of recorded audio (as a replacement to answering the three "Key Questions"). Please ensure this recording is no more than 5 minutes in length.


By applying to our open calls, you will be added to our email newsletter, which includes information about other open calls, artist opportunities, events, and exhibitions. Please indicate in the form below if you wish to opt out of receiving this email newsletter.


In addition, you will agree to photographs / video material / 3D exhibition maps, or other forms of media containing your work to exist online on our website ( & social media accounts, as a way of capturing the legacy of your exhibition digitally. If you do not agree to this, please do not apply for this open call.

If this is your first time exhibiting, and you don't have "public liability insurance", we will be be offering a development conversation to choose the right provider (e.g. £36 for a year's coverage included with a membership to A-N artist network), because this is something that we would require should your submission be successful.

If you have any further questions about our other upcoming open calls and exhibitions, please get in touch with


Is any of this unclear, or missing key information? Please get in touch if so, to allow us to update or amend this form appropriately.


Thank you ever so much, and wishing you the best with your application to our open call,




Jay Sykes

Programmes Director, Hills Arts Centre (Norfolk Street Arts) / @JaySykesMedia

In response to feedback from an application, we have added further specificity in terms of our wall & widow sizes at the Hills Arts Centre gallery. Please see the table below for more information.

We plan to release visual representations of this information in the near future, to ensure better accessibility and clarity of message.
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