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Annual Forest art competition opens for entries

Annual Forest art competition opens for entries


Sculptors, painters and photographers are invited to compete to win prizes for their work inspired by the New Forest.

The New Forest Open Art competition returns for its sixth year after attracting 185 National Park-inspired entries last year.

Run by the New Forest National Park Authority in partnership with the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, the competition welcomes submissions from artists, photographers or craftspeople on 1 and 2 July ahead of an exhibition at the Centre from 14 July to 8 September.

The competition and the exhibition of artwork are 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 special place, a place of limitless inspiration for our talented art community that draws on its beauty and traditions to create artwork of exceptional standard. The Open Art competition recognises and promotes the wealth of creative talent in the Forest. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this year’s entries interpret the special qualities of the landscape.

‘This competition is special because it helps connect people with our unique landscape through art year on year and these connections are an important way of helping us join people together to care for the New Forest.’

Hilary Marshall, New Forest Centre Manager, said: ‘The annual Open Art competition is a firm favourite with visitors and local artists alike, showcasing the great artistic talent within the Forest. The standard and diversity of artwork entered is increasing year on year and I am sure our competition judges will have a hard task ahead of them. We are delighted to be working with both the New Forest National Park Authority and ExxonMobil at the Fawley Refinery again to help support and encourage work within the creative community.’

Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager of ExxonMobil at the Fawley Site, said: ‘The New Forest is a unique and special area, providing inspiration to both budding and established artists. The Open Art competition is a great way for the creative community to showcase their variety of talents and I am very much looking forward to seeing this year’s entries and the competition continue to grow in popularity.’

How to enter

Submission dates for artwork are Sunday 1 and Monday 2 July, 10am to 2pm.

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


The free exhibition will run from Saturday 14 July to Saturday 8 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 Open Art winner Sandra Binney (centre) with her painting ‘Well Hello’ with (l-r) Hilary Marshall, New Forest Centre Manager; Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, New Forest National Park Authority Chairman; Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager from ExxonMobil at Fawley Refinery.

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest Centre

The New Forest Centre is a museum, reference library and art gallery conveniently located in Lyndhurst. The New Forest Centre aims to inspire its visitors to celebrate and conserve the New Forest. It does this by collecting, conserving and interpreting its collections and by providing educational activities and information to a broad range of audiences. In doing so, it acts in ways that are ethical, ecologically sensitive and intellectually accessible and affordable. It is owned and run by the New Forest Ninth Centenary Trust (reg. charity no: 279373).

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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