While the Biennial attract artists from all over the world to exhibit in Liverpool, the next exhibition to open at the National Conservation Centre on Friday, Art Merseywide, gives talented local artists the opportunity to show their work. With artworks selected from open exhibitions held in Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral over the last year, Art Merseywide gives what exhibition organiser Louise Hesketh, of the Brindley Theatre and Arts Centre in Runcorn, describes as "a candid snapshot of the thriving local art scene".
Colin Simpson from the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead describes what the exhibition selectors are looking for when they choose the work for display. You can see more photos of the selection team at work on Flickr.
"Selecting for an exhibition like Art Merseywide gives an opportunity to express preferences and allow work to shine in a new context.
Every work will look different depending on the company it's seen in. Here we had the chance to slice off some of the most interesting work - notions of 'best' are always difficult - and allow it to be seen again because it is worth re-viewing.
The selectors all have slightly different perspectives but are only out to seek that work we feel is worth a second look, regardless of the background or training of the artist, most of whom we do not know.
The idea of an open exhibition is to encourage those people to come forward who do not have the background in art but are willing to have a go. Many need to realise their reasons for doing the work in the first place, which is for their own satisfaction, and not expect it to be loved by everyone impartial.
However there is always a handful that have been able to realise something intangible that allows them to rise above the rest and those discoveries are what we are all looking for. They are few and far between."