OFF THE RAILS Exhibition – Take part!

Calling all Artists, Trainspotters and Steam Railway enthusiasts!

This is an Open Call for Artists to submit work as part of our OFF THE RAILS exhibition which starts in January 2021 and marks the 50th Anniversary of Isle of Wight Steam Railway, moving from Newport, to its current location in Havenstreet.

For OFF THE RAILS, Quay Arts are teaming up with IW Steam Railway to celebrate their 50th anniversary moving from Newport to Havenstreet, by showing artefacts, signs and memorabilia from their collection as well as related objects and artworks from IW Heritage Service Collection, but we are also looking for contemporary artwork from artists, responding to ideas around notions of preservation, displacement and memory, and some wider themes on travel, engineering and movement. Works can be in any medium, i.e. film, audio, photography, painting, mixed media, print, sculptural 2d or 3d works, written or installation form.

Win win win!

One artist will be selected from the exhibition to hold a future solo exhibition in Quay Arts’ Clayden Gallery within 12 months of the finish date of OFF THE RAILS, gaining one-to-one support from the Arts Team in developing their exhibition. In addition, IW Steam Railway are also offering a years free Membership to the IW Steam Railway.

How to apply:

As this is a tight turnaround, we understand that some works might be in progress and wont be finished until January, therefore, to apply, please send no more than one page of information along with images / film / audio clips on the work you would like to exhibit in OFF THE RAILS. Where possible, please list medium, title, dimensions, price (if for sale – Quay Arts will add 40% +VAT on works for sale). You can submit up to three pieces of work. The selection of the work will be made at the discretion of the Curator.

Email your proposal (not actual work) to by midnight 29th November.

A one-off, flat-rate £15 submission fee will be required for all applications in order to support the exhibition overheads. Payments must be made within 48 hours of sending in your proposal. Payments can be made in cash or over the phone (01983 822490). All works must be available for the duration of the exhibition and installation periods: 4th January – 22nd March 2021.

*Important dates*

  • Deadline to apply: Midnight 29th November.
  • Notification whether or not your application has been accepted: 2nd December.
  • Install & drop off dates: 4th & 5th January.
  • Exhibition opening: 9th January.
  • Exhibition end date: 20th March.
  • Pack down & collection dates: 21st & 22nd March.


For more information, please visit the Heritage section on the IW Steam Railway website: If artists would like to ask any questions directly to the IW Steam Railway team, please note this in your application or direct questions to Georgia Newman at Quay Arts (see contact details below) and your query will be passed on.


If you require further information on the exhibition, or on how to apply, or would like a copy of this application in large format, please contact Quay Arts, Visual Arts Manager Georgia Newman on

Image credits:

Landscape Photo by Phil Marsh ‘Modern2020-09-09 483009 at Ryde Depot’

Portrait Photo by Clive Miller ‘Reflections’.