Three Counties Open Art Exhibition

The Three Counties Open 2023 features 98 selected artists from Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. Painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and textile works are exhibited across five rooms at the Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent. Open 11-3pm, Tuesday-Saturday, 28 July - 26 August 2023.

Access and Getting There


Burslem School of Art is fully accessible, with Blue Badge parking at the front and rear of the building. If parking at the rear, please note that you will need to call the intercom to be buzzed in, and a member of staff will give you lift access via a key. The front of the building can be accessed by a ramp. If you have access needs and would like to let us know before your visit, please don't hesitate to email or call 01782 731368.

Getting there

Address: Burslem School of Art, Queen Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST6 3EJ

By car:

From M6, take the A500, A527, B5051 and follow signs to Burslem From M1 then take the M50 and follow signs to Burslem.

There is multiple Pay and Display parking available with Chapel Lane car park and Navigation Road car park being the closest. Please note that the School of Art car park is for exhibition visitors ONLY and that this car park is locked after our opening times.

There is disabled badge holder parking at the front of the School of Art as well as step-free access at both the front and the back of the building.

By bus:

From Hanley: Take bus 3, 3A at the Hanley Bus Station and get off at Nile Street. From there, turn left and walk for a minute to the location

From Newcastle: Take bus 98 to the Town Center, and then it would be a minute walk to the exhibition OR Take the bus 99 to Brereton Place and walk 15 minutes to the exhibition

By train:

Stoke-on-Trent Train Station: There is a taxi station right outside, you can also take the bus 23, 25, 40 to Hanley then take bus 3, 3A to get off at Nile Street. From there, turn left and walk for a minute to the School of Art. - Longport Train Station: Closer to the location but trains are infrequent, you can take the bus 98 to the Town Center, similarly you can also take a 30min walk to the exhibition.

Volunteer with us

This year’s Three Counties Open Art exhibition will take place again at the stunning Burslem School of Art building. The exhibition includes work from the following categories: Digital Art, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Textiles.  

Three Counties Open Art volunteers play an important role in what we do by supporting the delivery of our events in Burslem during the summer. Our volunteers help our visitors have a great experience by being on hand to provide information, support and guidance and in helping us to create a brilliant exhibition by local artists for the local area. 

By volunteering at the Three Counties Open Art Exhibition you will: 

  • Learn new skills 
  • Meet new people 
  • Gain invaluable experience on a creative project 
  • Develop your CV in a cultural sector role
  • Have lots of fun and experience amazing artwork
  • Contribute towards making the Three Counties Open Art a brilliant event for the local area 

And in return we will: 

  • Support you in your journey with us. We will make time to support you in your learning and offer you relevant training and briefing related to your role with us.  
  • Host volunteer social / celebration events 
  • Pay for travel expenses and any access costs 
  • Make sure we take care of you, there will be plenty of refreshments and snacks available throughout the day. If you are with us more than 4 hours we will cover lunch. 
  • Provide references for volunteers who are dedicated and work to the best of their abilities  

Our Volunteering Opportunities  

Three Counties Open Art – Host and Invigilator 
Dates: between 27th July until 26th August (opening hours 11am – 3pm, Tuesday until Saturday). 
Commitment*: ideally at least one four-hour session per week whilst the show is open. 

Role: Support the Three Counties Open team during the exhibition by welcoming guests into the space, helping people find their way around, keeping an eye on the exhibits, gathering feedback and speaking to visitors.  

Three Counties Open Art – Install Team Member 
Dates: 21st, 22nd , 24th,  25th and 26th July 2023. 
Commitment*: ideally three days or more. 
Role: support the Three Counties Open team during the exhibition set up process by helping with tasks such as painting display boards, laying out artwork, supporting to hang work in the space and exhibition signage. This would be suitable for someone who is keen to get hands on experience of setting up an exhibition and seeing what happens behind the scenes of installing an exhibition.  

*We are happy to discuss your availability to commit and aim to be flexible to support people in accessing the opportunity to volunteer.   

Downloadable versions of our volunteering opportunities can be found here:

PDF version: 3C Volunteering 2023
Accessible word document: 3C Volunteering 2023 - MS word. 

If you would like to volunteer please email or call us on 01782 734340.

Previous Year's Exhibitions

In the summer of 2022, we opened the doors at Burslem School of Art for the first time since the pandemic to host the Three Counties Open Art exhibition. Over 175 artists from across Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire submitted work and of those 120 were selected for the show. There was a wide variety of works on display, ranging between different mediums and approaches; Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Textiles and Sculpture. We worked with artist Harun Morrison to organise and curate the exhibition:

"The process of thinking about the different relationships between over a hundred works in relation to each other and the architecture was endlessly challenging and stimulating. While the works have been loosely grouped in terms of post-industrial / urban, the domestic, the natural world and portraits; these categories are themselves a kind of fiction - that inevitably falls apart the more you try and reinforce them.

The range of formal approaches, the diversity of subject and artists themselves speaks to an abundance of visual culture in the region. I feel this is an exhibition that warrants multiple visits, that produces multiple rich meanings depending on the rooms you move from and towards.”

We were delighted to be able to host a digital version of the exhibition something we developed to enable the exhibition to continue during the covid-19 pandemic in both 2020 and 2021 and something we intend to continue into the future.  For the first time all artwork for sale at the show was also available via an online shop through Barewall Gallery.

  • 1020 visitors over the month-long exhibit
  • Many local visitors, as well as people from Manchester, Stockport, Lincoln, and even New York and Australia
  • We received 190 hand-written comments expressing audience’s delight with the show
  • 220 guests to Burslem School of Art for the launch event
  • 120 original works of art on display: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Textiles and Sculpture
  • 22 works from young artists
  • Live music from local musicians: Kieran Matthews Jazz Trio
  • 11 prizes awarded; 3 professional development awards
  •  ArtUK and Airspace came on board this year as judges
  • 43 artists, meaning 1/3 of entries in 2022 were from artists who have 
    not engaged with us previously!
  • First year entries open to 3D and sculptural artists with 14 submissions
  • Entry fees removed, making the exhibition more financially accessible 
    to artists

See the gallery from the exhibition and opening night below.

All photographs by Jenny Harper.

Three Counties Open 2022

Some feedback and outcomes from the 2022 exhibition.

Three Counties Open Art 2020.

During the pandemic we made the decision to continue with the Open Art Show but bring it into a virtual world. Here is a short film featuring some of the wonderful artists who shared their work in 2020 with a gorgeous performance by Keele graduate and regular performer at our Open Art Exhibitions Julian Liu. Film produced by Junction 15 featuring stunning locations from across the three counties and from our artists homes.