This page contains useful resources for artists. If you are part of an organisation that would like to be added, or know of some good resourses you use and would like to share to help others, please let us know.
Scroll down or click on the items on the list below.
On Line artist’s resources
Lots of info and guides for artists. A great deal if you join their air member scheme as you will get free public liability insurance. (Most artists don’t realise you are not supposed to exhibit without public liability insurance, which can normally be very expensive. This is a fantastic deal)
Artquest is London’s advice and information service for visual artists and craftspeople providing online and face-to-face support. It has a great list of pretty much everything you need to know about being an artist. They are based within the University of the Arts at CSM Davies Street London- nearest tube Bond Street.
A UK resource for creative’s, containing news, information, jobs and events.
This particular site has info on what’s on, information for artists with jobs and funding. Sign up to their newsletter for opportunities. They also have a listing of artists and venues within the area. Even if you don’t live in that borough of London, it’s a good site to know about.
Public art information site, with guidance and examples from around the world
Offers free advice, events and info on copyright, design rights, trademarks, royalties and lots more. Highly recommended- they even have lawyers onboard that can help you.
Raises awareness of the benefit of voluntary and amateur arts and crafts to the well-being of communities, social inclusion, lifelong learning, active citizenship and volunteering. Information on funding, jobs, events directories and much more, also includes a newsletter you can sign up for.
Offers independent information to artists about cultural exchanges and residency programmes.
Training advice and guidance services
A lot of the sites listed on this page have newsletters that you can sign up for. A good tip is to open a separate email account just for them and then give yourself a couple of hours a week going through the lot. Otherwise you may find your get so many in your normal email account you just delete them without reading through as I have done in the past. It could be the perfect commission or exhibition you delete. The more you sign up to the better, as long as you look at them of course. A lot of the bigger sites have options to select what you’re interested in, so you only get sent what you want. It’s free, so what have you got to loose; make sure you know what’s going on don’t get left in the dark.
Sends you international opportunities and residencies
Opportunities and events
A mixture of everything to do with the arts, highly recommended. They send a lot of information on management and “getting started” talks. Not all talks, events etc, are free, but many are. Tip- only sign up for the type of newsletter you want to receive otherwise you may get hundreds of emails, with info through all the art genres.
Artsnews and Artsjobs run by the arts council- it’s totally free, you can sign up for both, again tick what suits you. This is very good, but a huge amount of people look at it, so you need to act quick with the job opportunities. You can also view on line ads.
Another newsletter worth signing up for has over 10,000 subscribers, full of opportunities.
Matt puts together some great shows and if you sign up for his newsletter they keep you informed of submissions for their shows and invites. He also does a magazine on line and free talks which are highly recommended. Normally held in a friendly pub somewhere in London, great for networking and learning.
Covers art exhibitions, information on copyright protection, news and featured artists
Awards and competitions
We have only listed a few of the bigger ones. as this changes so often, best to sign up to their newsletters.
Never get too disheartened if you don’t get chosen for awards or competitions, even if you have applied for a lot. It never means your work is no good. It normally is a case of the curator just having a rough idea in mind of what they already want. Sometimes it can be if the submission is not complete, they disregard it to be fair they don’t have time to chase every artist that does not label their work correctly. So, make sure you read through all the guide lines and what they require. Label images and all documents with your name, so items don’t get muddled Never leave it to the last minute to send your submission in. Most places are like Illumini, we start looking as soon as they come in. Don’t send high-res images unless they ask for them. And make sure your CV is not several pages long. Its normally a good idea to keep it to two A4 sides max.
A lot of projects have to charge submission fees, for a lot of reason, some being connected to funding. It can be hard to find the money to promote all the artists if funding is not achieved. Some submission fees can be very high though. I personally recommend you only choose the ones your work fits into and read through very carefully to make sure this is worth you paying out for. Budget yourself for the ones that fit your art well. Also check out the last shows, how successful were they? How well advertised where they? Do some research. A lot of this may seem very obvious, but you will be surprised how many don’t do it. Our submission process is very easy and straight forward and we don’t care what experience you have had or where you are in your career, not everyone else is like that, but so many people don’t label images, forget to write their name, or send work that has nothing to do with the subject matter/theme of the exhibition.
Hope the tips help and wish you all good luck with what you apply for, remember if you don’t get accepted it’s not because your work was not good, it may have just not fitted in with their ideas for the show.
Annual exhibition of work, by students and graduates. You must be in your last year or have graduated in the last year to qualify. Submission via website after October
Art prize for painters, 2 awards- student £5,000 and professional £10,000 given annually. Open to UK citizens and anyone living or working in the UK, no age limit.
Jerwood Applied Arts prize. The 6 categories are: metal, jewellery, textiles, glass ceramics and furniture. Prizes worth up to £30,000. Submit details on website from December.
30 artists chosen that are not students but have not reached professional level. All details on website
Jerwood drawing prize. £10,000 in prize money, with 1st ,2nd and 3rd. Application forms available from May
Jerwood Sculpture Prize. Biennial large scale outdoor sculpture commission
Mark Tanner Sculpture Award. It’s the biggest sculpture award in the UK. Must live in greater London to apply. Exhibition held at Standpoint near Hoxton square
www.tate.org.uk/art/turner-prize The most famous prize, you have to have had an outstanding exhibition or display in the last year to qualify. It’s for British born artists and under 50 years of age
More aimed at book illustration, for students or pro’s that have had a book published in the last year. Closing date March
The Cartier Award, one the world’s leading art awards, is open to artists living outside the UK, up to five years from graduating from an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or under thirty years of age. You get to exhibit at the Frieze Art Fair deadline January.
The Summer Exhibition is the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world. There is a fee and they display the artwork so close together it’s criminal, but it’s the royal academy! Deadline around March
BP National Portrait awards for portrait painters
John Moore applications available in February. Bi-annual contemporary painting prize at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.
It’s always hard finding creative jobs that pay. A lot are advertised as voluntary unpaid positions. Never totally rule these out, not only do you learn new things at a work placement, sometimes you can be taken on by the employer after. The bigger galleries do this as well. It can be a good experience and a great way of doing a taster, to see if it really is for you. Ask the employer if they can help with travel costs. Some organisations are just not funded and can’t afford it, some are just a bit cheeky shall we say, so make sure the post will benefit you in the long run. The sites listed below have paid and unpaid positions. Good luck!
On Line database of jobs for creatives.
A huge list of jobs, site is run by the arts council, paid and un paid positions. Can also sign up for the newsletter. Recommended, but a lot of artist get this newsletter, so positions go quick.
A specialist careers resource for creative and performing arts, run by the university of the creative arts.
Artist’s directories & networking
There are many sites out there where you can add your profile, artist statement and art work. A lot are free and if you don’t have a website of your own it’s a good start for people all around the world to see your work. It’s a really good idea to get a website as soon as you can though. A lot of artist directories are used by curators to search for artists, and you can normally add a link to your own site, giving them more information. Some of these websites also have a networking aspect, where collaborations and inspiration can come to life.
This site is great, includes “what’s on” guides, free listings and networking galleries, you name it’s got it.
As well as a resource site, this offers networking and a directory where artists can get profile pages, add galleries, post exhibitions etc
Networking, resources, directories and professional development. Membership is free and open to everyone who is working in, living in and/ or interested in arts and culture in Southwark.
For all you Film and Video artists, this promotes and presents over 100 digital media artworks
This is not free to upload you artwork, but does have a large list of profiles of artist and curators. Along with opportunities.
Public database of artists both established and emerging
London Arts in Health Forum (LAHF) is a London-based networking organisation for health and arts professionals and health-related organisations.
Forums for networking and you can put your work online for sale
Free Online galleries and profile pages for artists, free listings and resources.
“What’s on” guides
There are many sites out there advertising exhibitions, as great as they are for seeing what to do at the weekend, don’t forget to list your own shows with them many are free and a lot have newsletters they send out to more people then your personal mailing list will.
A great list of what is going on in the London art scene. It goes beyond the commercial and mainstream exhibitions . Art Licks does the work for you by going and seeking out the best up and coming artist run spaces, artist collectives, curatorial groups, exhibitions, performances and publication events. Sign up for the newsletter.
Includes a forum and intensive listings
Art related directory and profiles of famous artists
A free print version and online of gallery listings, normally found in galleries
This is a tricky subject; you could have the best ideas in the world, but still not get funding. It’s a bit like applying for submissions- again don’t get disheartened. There are really too many artists and not enough funding, a very low percentage get funded, but that does not mean don’t apply.
Research and preparation is so important, don’t rush out sending loads of applications for funding. You need to find the people that fund what you are proposing. A lot of foundations only fund certain things ie. projects involving children, or in a certain area, or certain nationality etc. So, do your homework. Once you find one it’s not really a good idea to send more than 2-3 applications out at a time. Some funders do communicate between themselves so share information on applicants. Also make sure they don’t want to be the only funder, some do. The majority on the other hand, prefer you have funds from other places i.e. other funding or donations etc.
It’s normally a really good idea to chat to them about your project before sending in an application, they can guide you with what they want; it makes life easier when you come to fill out the application, rather than it being rejected because you didn’t understand the rules or didn’t meet the criteria. With the arts council you can make appointments and go in and chat to an advisor, it does make all the difference.
A lot of them have deadline, sometimes the trustees only meet once or twice a year, so make sure you know when the deadline is and give yourself plenty of time. I personally recommend applying a year in advance, that way if you are not successful straight away, you still have a chance of reaching your goal. The process can take several months before you hear. All funders are different.
Normally there is an application form and proposal to write; supporting evidence and a budget to submit. You need to make the budget realistic, get quotes even if they don’t ask to see them, they may come back to you and ask. It also gives you a guide. Add a contingency of about 5-10% – this allows for anything you have forgotten or will need to spend more on. The arts council site gives some examples of budgets and a guidance booklet, which I highly recommend before you fill out the form.
Contact your local council’s art sections, most have funding programmes for art events in their area. As well as funding you may want to consider sponsorships with businesses, look at small companies as well s large, maybe in the area of the event, or companies you use for your materials. A lot of companies will prefer to give “in kind”, which can be great for your refreshments, materials for artists etc. You will need to promote them and offer a sponsorship package.
They have different offices all over the UK. There is no deadline for applications and both individuals and organisations can apply. It takes up to six weeks to process applications for £5,000 or less, and 12 weeks for anything over £5,000. A variety of funding levels are available for one off purchases. They normally range between £200 and £100,000, and cover activities lasting up to 3 years. You will need to fund at least 10% of the cost of the project.. They are there to help on the phone or in person, so contact them first.
The areas they fund are Arts & Heritage, Education, Environment and Social change. There is no maximum grant size. Organisations need to submit an outline application, which should include an outline proposal, project budget, and the organisation’s latest report and accounts. Based on this information, a decision will be made whether or not to invite the organisation to make a full application. Takes 5 months to hear back.
Supports: Arts, Heritage, Community, Mental Health and Offenders. Applications can be submitted at any time. Trustees meet twice each quarter to decide on applications. Complete the application form available on their website and send it to them along with a covering letter and itemised budget.
Supports arts, education and health. Their special interests in the arts sector include building projects for performance or display facilities, achieving learning outcomes through arts and developing greater public engagement through exhibitions, events and other initiatives. To apply, send a letter of application to the Director, on no more than four sides of A4, with a copy of the full annual report and accounts. There are no deadlines for making applications. The letter should clearly explain how the work will meets the Foundation’s aims. It should also include details of two unconnected referees.
www.gulbenkian.pt/uk-branch Supports art, education and social change. Max grant is £15,000. Fully prepared proposals are considered at three Trustee meetings a year, usually held in the first week of March, July and November. There is no standard application form. Please apply in writing to the relevant Programme Director.
www.awardsforall.org.uk Funding for All is a Lottery grants programme aimed at local communities. It will fund a range of projects which support people taking part in arts, sports, and heritage or community activities. Grants between £500 and £5000 are made. Application packs online.
Deadline are 15 Jan 2009,14 April 2009 ,19 June 2009. Grants up to £2,000 for the arts. Has a much simpler application process- go and line for further details.
No deadlines. Amounts from £500- £5,000. Prefer to fund individuals.
Deadlines January, April, June, October. Up to £10,000 for a small grant and £30,000 for a big grant. Arts: projects which enable the disabled and people living in areas of need and poverty to participate in the performance arts and to experience artistic excellence in the performing arts; projects which encourage and give opportunities to young talented people whose circumstances might otherwise deny them.
Does not fund individuals. Like’s to fund projects for people under age of 25. You also need to be a not-for-profit or charity.
www.henry-moore.org Application online. Deadlines 1st Dec, 18th March, 1st June, 28th October. Does not fund individuals. Funds events close to Henry Moore’s practice. Exhibitions challenge funds and new projects, this includes exhibitions, exhibition catalogues and commissions. In order to encourage ambitious proposals, a small number of grants may be awarded as follows: £40,000* (exhibition), £15,000* (exhibition catalogue) and £60,000* (commission). (*any sum up to this maximum.)