Library chiefs’ pop-up gallery appeal

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St Helens Library and Arts services are calling out to budding local artists to enter a renowned nationwide open art competition, which is due to showcase in the borough later this year.

Tight Modern is the world’s smallest temporary pop-up gallery; an 8ft x 5ft miniature replica of the iconic Tate Modern gallery set up by Creative Future – the Brighton based national arts charity – showcasing the UK’s best marginalised artists. The project brings new art to new audiences and takes new artists to established art galleries.

The competition is open only to those who find it difficult to access the visual arts either because of mental health issues, disability, ill-health or social circumstances.

Submissions from all art mediums can be entered from 15 July – 30 October, after which 60 artists will be selected by a panel of expert judges, to feature in the Tight Modern Tour, enabling artists on the margins to get their work seen by thousands of people.

St Helens is just one of four locations around the UK to host the 2016-17 Tight Modern Tour, and will do so at Central, Rainhill, Parr and Chester Lane libraries between 15 December 2016 and 15 February 2017.

St Helens previously hosted Tight Modern in 2014.

Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for arts and culture, said:

“This is a great opportunity for those who have found it difficult to break into the arts scene or find their voice in it for personal or health-related reasons. Your work could be seen by thousands of people around the UK!

“There’s a really big buzz about arts and culture in St Helens right now with our bid to host Great Exhibition of the North and the prospect of our Cultural Hubs – Arts in Libraries programme winning the National Lottery Arts Award to receive further funding and national recognition.

“Cultural Hubs has made it to the finals alongside six other arts initiatives out of over 600 nationwide, so please show your support for the borough and Cultural Hubs by voting for us at”

Throughout the tour, audiences will have the chance to vote for their favourite artworks, with monetary and professional development prizes up for grabs at the end of the tour in April 2017, supported by CASS Art and a-n, the Artist Information Company.

For full details and submission rules, please visit