Artists are encouraged to enter their work into the Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition, which has been celebrating creativity in our town for the past five years.

The annual community exhibition, held at the Silk Museum, is a wonderful opportunity for illustrators, ceramicists, painters, designers and creatives to exhibit their work, with prizes for the six favourite entries.

Vicki Griffiths, from the Silk Museum which hosts the exhibition, said: “Last year’s exhibition was the biggest, and by general agreement, the best yet, with 225 works exhibited by 148 artists.

“Although initially intended to showcase local talent, the exhibition now attracts many entries from much further afield.

“And this year the total prize money and number of awards have been increased again, thanks to continuing sponsorship from Macclesfield Museums, Macclesfield Town Council and Mail Boxes Etc.”

There will be six awards: the Macclesfield Open Award of £300, two Judges’ Awards of £100 each, a £100 Silk Museum Award, and a £100 award chosen and donated by Mail Boxes Etc.

There is also Visitors’ Choice category, voted for by visitors to the exhibition; this £100 prize is awarded once the votes have been counted at the close of the exhibition.

Previous winners include Claire de Ruiter, from Macclesfield, whose stunning picture of a heron earned her the coveted ‘Visitors Choice Award’. A painting by Peter Davis, from Wilmslow, was chosen by staff at Mail Boxes Etc, who sponsor their own prize. Peter also won the Silk Museum award in 2015 with his portrait ‘My Mother Joyce’.

The community exhibition runs from Saturday, December 9, until Saturday, January 20, and artists can submit up to two pieces of work.

Organisers will choose the final pieces worthy of exhibition.

Handing-in days at The Silk Museum are Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, between 10.30am and 3pm.

Entry forms and guidelines are available from Macclesfield Library, Macclesfield Visitor Information Centre, and Macclesfield Museums.

You can also download forms from the Macclesfield Open Art website and Macclesfield Museums’ website .