“The sketchbook is the most intimate creative form, it is the space where our ideas first become concrete and echoes of our ideas unravel a space for thought. For some contemporary artists this intimate form is the ‘work’, for others it is a place to record and hold information. For most it is the hinterland between the genesis of an idea and ‘the making.”  Meryl Ainslie, Director and Founder of Rabley Drawing Centre.



Sketch 2017 touring exhibition opens at the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster University this month with a special opening on Wednesday 22nd November where the winner of the Lancaster Arts Sketch commission prize will be announced. Planned activities and displays, include work influenced by Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals by Sarah Corbett and Zoe Benbow made through collaboration with Lancaster University English Department and the Wordsworth Trust.

November 20 – December 15

Opening hours: Weekdays 12-5pm
Opening Event 22 November 6.30pm

Peter Scott Gallery
Lancaster University, Arts Lancaster, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW
Tel. 01524 594151
visit site

We would like to thank our panel of Judges – Tom Hammick, painter and printer; Peter Randell-Page RA, sculptor; GIll Saunders, Senior Curator (Prints), Word & Image Dept, V&A Museum; our generous sponsors and all the artists who submitted this year.


Selected Artists:

Nidhi Agarwal, Nilofar Akmut, Lucy Austin, Peter Avery, Michelle Avison, Naomi Avsec, Richard Baker, Garry Barker, Brian Bishop, Andy Black, Kate Black, Patrick Blower, Julie Bolus, Neil Bousfield, Meg Buick, Robbie Bushe, Tom Cartmill, Becca Collins, Eugenia Cuellar, Yael David-Cohen, Mel Day, Anne Desmet, Clare Dudeney, Cameron Duke, Richard Eastwood, Peter Esslemont, Anny Evason, David Ferry, Coral G Guest, Nikki Gardham, Yolanta Gawlik, Chris Gilbert, Christopher Green, Beatrice Haines, Lesley Hicks, Tracy Himsworth, Eunju Hitchcock-Yoo, James Hobbs, Louise Holgate, Hilary Owers & Graham Hooper, Laura Hudson, Neil Irons, Lily Irwin, Paul Jackson, Alexander Johnson, Anne Kristin Hages, Karen Lorenz, Christine Mackey, Tony Martin, Patrick Martin, Lynda Marwood, Anna McDowell, Ruth Miemczyk, Julie Moss, Stephen Mumberson, Liz Myhill, Maureen Nathan, Simon Nicholas, Maureen O’Leary, Alison O’Neill, Beñat Olaberria, Edith Pargh Barton, Simon Parish, Helena Park, Stephanie Parr, Chitra Parvathy Merchant, Caroline Pedler, Howard Read, Chloe Regan, Margot Shores, Julie-Ann Simpson, Serena Smith, Barbara Sykes, Sadie Tierney, Luke Treece-Birch, David Willetts, Melanie Wickham


SKETCH 2017 is the fourth open sketchbook drawing prize of artists’ sketchbooks. For the first time SKETCH will be open to international artists as well as UK based artists. The aim of the exhibition is to promote the diversity and importance of drawing and the role of the sketchbook in contemporary fine art practice. The sketchbooks are chosen for the exhibition through an open submission process by a panel of three selectors with subject expertise who represent the perspectives of writer, practitioner and curator.

SKETCH is not intended to be a survey of the sketchbook, but a to generate creative impetus and provide a forum for debate, viewing the sketchbook as a place for impossible experiments alongside the ordinary and the observed. Viewing the sketchbooks for this exhibition is a journey through the most intimate studio space of the artist.


  • Rabley Print Editioning Prize – Rabley Drawing Centre is delighted to offer this Prize to all artists.  Please note that travel and accommodation are not included and it is subject to their usual Terms & Conditions. If you wish to be considered for this Prize, please tick the box on the application form.
  • Black Swan Arts Solo Exhibition Prize – Black Swan Arts is delighted to offer this Prize to all artists.  Please note that transport of works, travel and accommodation are not included.  If you wish to be considered for this Prize, please tick the box on the application form.
  • Lancaster Arts Prize – Lancaster Arts will fund a £500 new work commission for an early career Sketch17 artist; this will be accompanied by two portfolio sessions in collaboration with artists Dr Sarah Casey and Gerry Davies.
  • Plymouth College of Art Sketch 2017 Student Prize – The prize will take the form of access to the College studios, resources and workshops during the period October 2017- April 2018 with a materials budget of £220. The award provides the opportunity for the winner to undertake a period of research or realise a project, using workshop and supporting facilities at PCA and gives the opportunity to use equipment which otherwise might not be available to them. It is anticipated that the award winner will, at times to be negotiated, work alongside and interact with students at PCA.

Exhibition and Tour

The panel of judges will select approximately 100 sketchbooks for the touring exhibition and prestigious prizes.

21 May – 17 June 2017
Rabley Drawing Centre
Rabley Barn
Marlborough, SN8 2LW

22 July – 3 September 2017
Black Swan Arts, Frome
2 Bridge Street
Frome, BA11 1BB

9 September – 6 October 2017
Plymouth College of Art
Tavistock Place
Plymouth PL4 8AT

20 November – 15 December 2017
Peter Scott Gallery
Lancaster Arts
Great Hall Complex
Lancaster University LA1 4YW

How to Enter

Sketch 2017 is open to all UK and International artists.

Artists are invited to enter online.  The deadline for entry is Monday 27 March 2017, 5pm

Artists may submit up to 2 sketch books only. Please read the full Rules & Guidelines for entry.

Entry Fee

The entry fee is £15 for one sketchbook and £25 for two sketchbooks.


A panel of distinguished selectors will select approximately 100 sketchbooks for exhibition.  The panel of three selectors with subject expertise who represent the perspectives of practitioner and curator.

Tom Hammick


Peter Randall-Page RA


Gill Saunders

Curator, V & A Museum

Key Dates

Monday 27 March 2017, 5pmDeadline for entries
Wednesday 12 April 2017Artists notified of results
21 - 29 April 2017Receiving period to deliver selected sketchbooks by post
28, 29 & 30 April 2017, 11am to 5pmReceiving period for selected sketchbooks in person to Rabley
Tuesday 2 May 2017Deadline to deliver selected sketchbooks
May - June 2017Exhibition at Rabley Drawing Centre
July - December 2017Exhibition Tour

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