Local artists to benefit from Aberdeen Art Gallery national award

Local artists will benefit from Aberdeen Art Gallery’s success as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020, it was announced today (Thursday 26 November). 

The Gallery’s share of the £200,000 prize, which this year is split equally between five winners in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be used to support a series of small-scale commissions. 

Creative practitioners (artists, makers, musicians, dancers, designers, writers and performers) living in AB postcode areas will be invited to submit proposals for a series of small-scale commissions. With these ‘micro-commissions’ creative practitioners are being asked to respond to the Aberdeen’s outstanding collection of art and history through the creation of new work which explores the themes of identity, intersectionality and representation.

Key to the success of the commissioning process will be the appointment of an Artist Facilitator, for which expressions of interest are now being invited from creative practitioners and those with experience of facilitating projects and conversations.

The Artist Facilitator will use their networks and excellent understanding of the creative sector in Aberdeen to guide both the Art Gallery and awardees through the process, supporting conversations between staff, volunteers, audiences and the creative community.  

Commissioned artists will have access to the Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums’ collections and specialist curatorial expertise, as well as opportunities to share their work through the public programme of talks, events, performances, workshops and displays. 

The micro-commissions will be offered in two rounds, each with two commissions of £3,000 and four commissions of £850. The finished works might be small-scale, and the time spent developing and producing need not be long and drawn-out. The commission will become part of Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums’ collections and organisers are keen to discuss how this might work with non-traditional artforms.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson said: “Along with tourism, the cultural and creative sectors are amongst the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Aberdeen Art Gallery has been recognised as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020 for its stand-out achievements of 2019. We want to share our success for the benefit of local artists.

“With this series of micro-commissions we are providing opportunities for the local creative sector, increasing the diversity of artists represented in the collection, re-interpreting existing collections through new comparative works, and giving our staff the opportunity to learn more about the local creative communities: their practice, challenges and barriers.

“Importantly, the new commissions enhance our audience experience through new works that better reflect their own lives and circumstances.” 

To find out more about the Facilitator role and how to apply please go to https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/aagm/opportunities 

The deadline for submissions is midnight Sunday 6 December 2020. 

Micro-commission opportunities will go live on Thursday 3 December and the deadline for submissions will be midnight 3 January 2021. The second open call will be from April 2021, deadline for submission midnight 9 May 2021.