12 June - 16 August 2020

MACCLESFIELD OPEN ART EXHIBITION began in 2013. Following the reorganisation of Macclesfield Museums in 2018 the Silk Museum’s gallery could no longer be used for exhibitions and lacking a suitable alternative venue the 2017-18 exhibition was to be the last – until now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the closure of galleries and the cancellation of exhibitions across the world. Online exhibitions may be poor substitutes for the real thing but in the present circumstances it’s the best we can do and it is under these circumstances that the Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition has been revived.


We had three aims in holding this exhibition – to present a spectacle for art lovers starved of ‘the real thing’; to provide artists with an opportunity to show and sell their work; and to raise money for East Cheshire Hospice.

Open exhibitions normally charge artists an entry fee. This exhibition was free to enter but those submitting works were asked to make a donation to the hospice if they could. Thousands of pounds have consequently been raised. Many of the works on display are for sale, and when artists make a sale they have been encouraged to make a further donation in lieu of the usual commission, and many have promised to do so.

East Cheshire Hospice was founded in 1988 to care for people with life-limiting illnesses. 83% of their income comes from donations. During the current COVID-19 crisis, with the cancellation of so many fundraising activities, the Hospice is experiencing unprecedented financial difficulties.

We would therefore also ask those of you visiting this site and spending time browsing the hundreds of artworks on display, to consider making your own donation, however small. (Please reference Macc Open Art when donating).



Artists were invited to submit a maximum of 3 works. There were no restrictions on who could enter and no selection process. Everything submitted has been displayed – in total 651 works by 236 artists. The exhibition is in three parts, simply because we had so many entries they wouldn’t fit in just one section!

The majority of exhibitors are from in and around Macclesfield, revealing an astonishing number of active artists and a remarkable wealth of talent in just one small part of the country.

Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to vote for their favourite work. The artist whose work receives the most votes will be rewarded with the £100 VISITORS’ CHOICE AWARD, kindly donated by Macclesfield Town Council.

While numerous works have received votes, Tony Needham’s painting Ed (84) has received the most, by some margin. This work is now so far ahead it seems unlikely, though not impossible, that it will be overtaken in the remaining days.