Aberdeen City announces Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards (VACMA)

Aberdeen City Council today (Monday 4 September) invited budding artists to submit applications for grants to help them develop their work.

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards in Aberdeen are open to artists working in contemporary visual arts and craft at all stages of career, living and practicing in Aberdeen City.

In partnership with Creative Scotland, Aberdeen City Council has established two award schemes as a means of assisting visual artists and craft makers who can demonstrate significant progression and artistic development of their practice and an ongoing commitment to their work through the creation of new work, new skills and/or new opportunities.

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker (Awards) offers individual development grants of £500 up to £1,500 to be awarded to successful applicants towards the costs towards activities that are integral to the practitioner's personal and professional development.

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker (Mentoring Scheme) makes available two individual grants of £1,500, this is to support successful applicants to undertake self-determined artistic and professional development with additional support from an experienced mentor who will guide them to further success.

Aberdeen City Council’s cultural spokesperson, Councillor Marie Boulton, said: “As a council we are committed to nurturing talent on our own doorstep and the awards will help successful applicants to develop their ideas and skills through practical support and mentoring.”

The Awards and Mentoring scheme are intended to support activities that are integral to the practitioner's personal and professional development, such as the immediate costs of researching, creating and presenting new work or advancing skills, technical ability and ideas. Applicants can apply for both schemes, but if successful would be allocated one award only.

Julie Ann Simpson, one of the award winners from last year, reflected on the scheme and what it was like to work with a mentor:

“The VACMA have allowed me to develop new skills and broaden my artistic output. Having a mentor in tandem with the scheme has been an invaluable asset. The sessions are both supportive and challenging, with new possibilities for my practice arising all the time.

“It has been revealing to see the potential within certain aspects of my work which I may have disregarded. Taking these opportunities and breaking them down into actionable goals.

“Moreover, it is just hugely enjoyable to talk with an experienced artist about a subject you care about. I don't think these conversations should be underestimated.”

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards Aberdeen City is coordinated by Creative Learning with support from the Creative Partnership and Policy Team on behalf of Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland. The Schemes are funded through Creative Scotland, Lottery funding and Aberdeen City Council.

For those people interested in finding out more about Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards, Creative Learning are providing bookable one to one information sessions on Thursday 7 and 14 of September at Rosemount Community Centre.

For more information and to download an application please go to the Aberdeen City Council website: http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/vacma/

For more information on the national scheme: http://www.creativescotland.com/vacma