Art competition open for entries

andrea hook

Published Wednesday 4 May 2016

The New Forest’s famous scenery, wildlife and traditions will be celebrated this summer as sculptors, painters and photographers compete for prizes in a local art competition.

The New Forest Open Art competition returns for a fourth year and last year attracted 181 entries inspired by the National Park, with a record 14,000 people visiting the exhibition.

The competition is run by the New Forest National Park Authority in partnership with the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, and welcomes submissions from artists, photographers or craftspeople on 3 and 4 July ahead of an exhibition at the Centre from 16 July to 3 September.

The competition and the exhibition of artwork is sponsored by ExxonMobil at the Fawley Refinery, which has contributed prizes for the winners:

  • First prize - £500
  • Second prize - £300
  • Third prize - £100
  • People’s Prize - £100.

Alison Barnes, New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive, said: ‘The New Forest is a unique and inspirational place that stimulates creativity for artists, photographers and sculptors from all walks of life.

‘The Open Art competition recognises and promotes the talent of the large number of creative people who live and work in the Forest, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how their work can capture the area’s exceptional character.’

Hilary Marshall, New Forest Centre Manager, said: ‘The Open Art Competition is a great way for local artists to showcase work which has been influenced by the New Forest and we would like to thank ExxonMobil for their continued support.

‘We are already looking forward to receiving a high standard of entries again this year. The exhibition is always a firm favourite with visitors to the New Forest Centre and our recent free entry policy to the museum will also increase the audience for the Open Art Exhibition.’

Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager of ExxonMobil at the Fawley Site, said: ‘The New Forest Open Art competition is a great platform for both budding and established artists to showcase their talents. Indeed the New Forest is a wonderful area to inspire each and every one of us; I am very much looking forward to seeing this year’s entries.    

‘In 2004, the Fawley site was also the setting for one of the rounds in Channel 4's popular painting programme, Watercolour Challenge. On this occasion, artist, Jill Smith from Basingstoke was the winning artist.’

How to enter

Submission dates for artwork are Sunday 3 and Monday 4 July, 10am to 4pm.

Application forms are available from or by calling 023 8028 3444.


The free exhibition will run from Saturday 16 July to Saturday 3 September. Visitors will have the opportunity to buy selected artwork.

The open art exhibition is hosted by the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst. See more at


Notes to photo editor:

Last year’s winner Andrea Hook with New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, New Forest Centre Manager Hilary Marshall and Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager at ExxonMobil Fawley Site.

Notes to editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more

Media Contact:

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646639


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