The Victoria Square Art Project is a Woking-wide open call for professional artists, schools, amateurs and enthusiasts alike to submit their work to contribute towards the town's flagship Victoria Square development. Read the full terms and conditions and submit your artwork here.

Lee Cavaliere, Project Manager of the open call, gives us more of an insight into the project:

There are myriad benefits to being from Surrey when you work in the art world. The first is the accent: posh enough to seem like you know what you’re talking about, not so upmarket as to seem overbearing or out of touch.

Secondly, Woking is connected enough to feel metropolitan; it’s full of opportunities to engage with culture, with theatres, galleries and public artworks sprinkled liberally through the town. But there’s always the knowledge that in fifteen minutes, you could be on a forest walk that ends at a 16th century pub.

This can rub off on people and lend to a sense of ease in any situation, which has benefited Lee Cavaliere's career in the arts as a dealer, consultant and curator, having worked with Tate and as gallery director in London’s Bond Street. Lee's inherent "Woking-ness" regularly sees him waft, besuited and content, round art fairs, museums and institutions all around the world. So for Lee, it was a real joy to be asked by The Lightbox to come home and manage the Victoria Square Art Project.

Lee Cavaliere, Project Manager of the Victoria Square Art Project with The Lightbox

Lee first met Peter, Head of Exhibitions at The Lightbox, back in 2008, when the pair manfully wrestled a Jenny Holzer sculpture into position for Tate’s Artist Rooms project. Lee has worked on a couple of Lightbox projects since and has always admired how the gallery and museum manages to maintain such a strong programme, while keeping up the sense of community, built around art, shared ideas and copious cups of tea. "In some ways, The Lightbox is the epitome of the nature of Surrey; friendly, pleasant, at ease, and yet, curious and serious", Lee says.

"The Victoria Square development is huge." As a child, Lee remembers being awed by Export House – "then, one of the tallest buildings in Surrey - and yet these three new towers will dwarf its stubby brutalism." The aim of this Art Project is to have art running through the development's structure like a bloodstream.

On the project, Lee adds: "I’ve been really impressed (not to mention happily gobsmacked) to find that this love of art goes right to the top, and has been spearheaded by Ray Morgan, Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council. And why not? Sure, we could place a couple of Damien Hirst pieces in there – but to what end? This is Woking, and it’s loaded with great talent."

This is why we’re asking artists from the area to submit artworks through an open call managed by Lee Cavaliere and The Lightbox. Selected pieces will be shown in an exhibition in the town centre, and then installed permanently throughout the development. It’s an incredible opportunity for Woking’s residents, workers and students to take possession of this development, and to really celebrate what’s happening creatively around the town.

Woking is a vibrant and wonderfully diverse place, and the applications that have been coming in for the project, so far, are inspiring. The Victoria Square Art Project will be a lasting and growing testament to the rich artistic community of the town; a way for the town to express itself, and to ruminate on its own strengths. "And for me," Lee concludes, "it’s an enormous privilege to observe my own innate Surrey-ness reflected back to me through Woking’s deep passion for the arts."

Submissions close Mon 1 June 2020. Selected artists will be notified by Wed 1 July 2020.

Anyone from the age of 11+ can enter the competition and all are eligible to win a prize. Please make sure to read the Terms and Conditions before you apply to this open call.

Submit your artwork to the open call

Creating a piece of artwork for the Victoria Square Project is a great way to get those artistic juices flowing while isolating at home. For more creative ideas, please visit our blog.