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News: South Shields Customs House offers artists the chance to win 6m high commission


South Shields Customs House offers artists the chance to win 6m high commission


An arts venue is calling on South Tynesiders to show their creative side – in a very big way. The Customs House, based on the banks of the River Tyne, which is also a charity, is asking artists to fill its 6m high building banner.

The project entitled ‘In this Together’ is open to anyone living in or from South Tyneside and can be in any style but the piece must show “What Togetherness Means to You”.


The chosen piece of art will be displayed for three months from March to July for all to see. While the shortlisted entries will be able to be seen in an online gallery. The final decision on the chosen design will be decided by a public vote via the venue’s social media.


Customs House executive director Ray Spencer said: “We’re so excited to see the entries that come forward. Our building banner is often used to advertise shows and at Christmas we decided to use photographs of our patrons to wish everyone a merry Christmas, we’re now going a step further and fully handing over the space to the people of South Tyneside to show their creative flair.

“We know this last year has meant we’ve had to stay apart from our loved ones, our schools and workplaces and the places we love, like The Customs House. We want to celebrate what it means to be ‘together’ in 2021 and we have the perfect space, splashed right across the front of our building, to display the work.

“This is an opportunity for people to share what togetherness means to them. Does it mean a hug from a loved one? A virtual get together with friends and family? Sitting together in your favourite theatre? A feeling of belonging? Or does it mean something else entirely?”

The Customs House are asking that all artwork is submitted digitally and should be in portrait (610mm [h] x 480mm [w])

Submissions should be sent to by 5pm on February 22nd with the subject title: Togetherness and the artist’s name.

Ray added: “This opportunity is open to everyone in South Tyneside, regardless of age or experience.”

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