Artists' work in 2011
This Research paper forms part of a series that looks specifically at the nature and value of openly-advertised work and opportunities for visual and applied artists. Drawing on data published on www.a-n.co.uk/jobs_and_opps, this series set out in 2007 to track on an ongoing basis the key categories of awards/fellowships, academic posts, art vacancies, commissions, exhibitions, residencies and competitions/prizes, and by doing so, to identify any trends arising, and provide commentary and contextual evidence and analysis from other related sources, to contribute to arts and cultural consultations and policy.
- In 2011, the overall value of work on offer to artists was only marginally better than the 2008 recession year in which the total value of openly-offered work to artists dropped by 60% against 2007 figures.
- Only 36% jobs and opportunities in 2011 offered to pay anything to artists, in comparison with 57% doing this in the recession year of 2008.
- In 2011, commissions provided 18% of the value of all work, with an average budget of £20,961: comparator 2007 (pre-recession) figures were 62% and over £100K.
- Jobs in Higher and Further Education including lecturing, research and technical salaried posts amounted to 27% of all paid work on offer in 2011 (34% in 2010).
- Residencies that make up 2% of the value of all work offered in 2011 paid an average fee of less than £2,000, in contrast with £5,600 paid in 2010 and £6,342 in 2007.
- 10% of the value of all work in 2011 came through local authorities, mirroring 2010 figures.
- In 2011, nearly half of all work openly offered to visual and applied artists came from the public sector arts and higher or further education, all facing further cuts and squeezes in 2012.
Artistsí livelihoods and employment status
The ecology of the arts seems to positively encourage portfolio working, with artists tending to rely for their livelihoods on a combination of projects and other income sources to maintain their practice. This was borne out by the 2008 study Creative Graduates – Creative Futures and also findings from the a-n and AIR Big Artists Survey in 2011.
ACTIVITIES ARTISTS USE WHEN CARRYING OUT THEIR PRACTICE
|Activity||% use regularly or occasionally|
|Exhibitions/ Gallery Commissions||93|
|Arts research/ consultancy||52|
This same survey also revealed a change in the employment profiling of artists. Where as 70% were self-employed and 25% a mixture of self-employed and employed in 2009, by 2011 only 50% was wholly self-employed and 31% a mixture of self-employed and employed.
|Employment status||Big Artists survey 2011 %||AIR employment status survey 2009 %|
|Mixture self-employed and employed||31||25|
The survey also noted that the likelihood of being self employed increased with stage of practice, with 42% of emerging artists surveyed self-employed, 49% of mid-career artists self-employed and 63% of established artists self-employed. In contrast, the likelihood of being a mix of self-employed and employed reduced with stage of practice in that 35% of emerging artists were self-employed and employed, 30% of mid-career artists self-employed and employed and 21% of established artists self-employed and employed.
Higher Education is a key employer of artists – providing a quarter of all paid work on offer in 2011. The AIR survey into the impact of cuts in HE published in March 2011 demonstrates that “51% of AIR members had worked in some capacity in HE in the past five years. 64% had contributed as a freelance or occasional lecturer. 39% had been employed on a part-time basis and 9% full-time.”
“Over half (56%) got up to 25% of their income from work in HE, whilst 16% got between 25-50% from this area. A further 29% earned 50% or more of their income from HE work, that included lecturing and technical positions. Significantly, half believed that their HE income was likely to reduce in the future.”
Other funding sources for artists
Alongside data provided in our analysis of openly-offered Jobs and opportunities in 2011, it is useful to consider other sources of arts funding that might have been provided to visual and applied artists during 2011. Historically, such grant schemes were published within a-n’s Jobs and opportunities. However, as few are now deadline-based, there is a tendency for arts councils to announce and promote any schemes on offer predominantly on their own websites rather than to seek to actively place them within listings such as a-n’s.
Because grants awarded data is not easily available from the arts councils, the following evidence from 2009/10 is provided for illustrative purposes, as collected and analysed by Dany Louise for A fair share: direct funding to individual artists from UK arts councils, commissioned by a-n.
- In 2009/10, Arts Council of Wales’ rolling funding scheme gave out £182,789 in individual grants to artists (average of £2,373 each).
- In Northern Ireland, the-small grants scheme awarded £207,900 in 2009/10 in sums of £1,300-£1,700.
- In England in 2009/10, 485 artists were successful in gaining £2.836m from the overall £54m Grants for the Arts (GFTA) allocation (average of £5,848 each).
- In Scotland in 2009/10, the Scottish Arts Council (forerunner to Creative Scotland awarded £386,500 in grants to seventy-six artists (average of £5,085 each).
In the visual arts, Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio Organisations (NPO) funding for 2012-15 has prioritised the galleries. Whilst ACE’s NPO announcements in March 2011 stated the need for galleries to adopt strategies to support artists’ professional development (other than showing artists’ work), this imperative is unlikely to be set out in Funding agreements as it has not been enshrined within NPO Key Performance Indicators that focus on increasing audiences, digital products and the level of income gained from charitable and philanthropic sources and sponsorship. As described in a-n’s Ladders for development and Realising the value reports, many of the smaller-scale artists’ initiatives such as Artsway, Isis Arts, Castlefield Gallery and PVA that generated openly-advertised residencies and other fee-based opportunities did not gain NPO status. In terms of artists’ access to Grants for the Arts (GFTA), as NPOs are no longer eligible to apply to this fund, ACE has estimated that “£12 million a year will be freed up, making it readily responsive to new ideas, and to spot and nurture new talent”. A review of GFTA is underway and ACE in conversation with AIR has said it is keen to ensure more artists are aware of it (and make good applications to it). Individuals may apply for £1,000-£30,000.
The Artists' international development programme is a £750,000 fund, jointly funded by British Council and Arts Council England. It offers early stage development opportunities (small grants £1,000 - £5,000) for individual freelance and self employed artists based in England to spend time building links with artists, organisations and/or creative producers in another country and will have three rounds for applications in each financial year until February 2015.
Creative Scotland’s fifteen new investment (rather than funding) strands launched last year include £1.1m to Creative Futures artists’ residencies and £1.25m to professional development, both budgets covering all art forms. There is also a small grants scheme match funded by local authorities awarding sums of £500-£1,500. No further major changes – other than to application assessment criteria – are expected in the near future.
Arts Council of Wales plans to continue the awards to artists programme. “We’re particularly looking to invest in talented and professional individuals who are at a tipping point in their careers, where a purposeful financial investment can assist them in taking their work to a new or different level of achievement.
Local authorities are in the early stages of managing cuts of around 7% each year for the next three years, with many arts budgets already affected. The May 2012 survey by Arts Development UK (AD:uk) should provide a clearer picture.
OPPORTUNITIES COMPARED 1
Volume and value of opportunities offered to artists 2007 - 2011:
|Type||No 2007||Value 2007 (£)||No 2008||Value 2008 (£)||No 2009||Value 2009 (£)||No 2010||Value 2010 (£)||No 2011||Value 2011 £|
|Awards / fellowships||53||2,309,050||59||3,430,460||87||3,944,650||64||3,889,794||82||4,808,495|
|Competitions / prizes||82||584,400||68||458,762||140||1,808,595||123||628,801||127||933,983|
OPPORTUNITIES COMPARED 2
Expressed as % of overall volume of opportunities offered to artists 2007 - 2011:
|Awards / fellowships||4%||5%||6%||4%||5%|
|Competitions / prizes||5%||6%||9%||8%x||8%|
VOLUME OF OPPORTUNITIES WITH MONEY ATTACHED
Comparing 2007 - 2010
MAJOR EMPLOYER CATEGORIES
Comparing 2009 - 2011
TOP EMPLOYERS AND VALUE OF WORK
|Organisation||Type||Location||Annual £ on offer to applicants|
|City of Calgary Public Art Program||City council||Canada||£471,000|
|Nottingham Trent University||HE||Nottingham||£307,730|
|Sheffield City Council||LA||Sheffield||£197,500|
|Royal College of Art||HE||London||£194,824|
|Slade School of Art||HE||London||£191,517|
|Creative Scotland||Arts council||Scotland||£186,000|
|University for the Creative Arts||HE||South East England||£184,293x|
|Centro Nacional de las Artes||Festival||Mexico||£160,958|
|Elbow Room||Arts org||Wales||£142,000|
|Organisation||Type||Location||Annual £ on offer to applicants|
|Mall Galleries||Arts org||London||£357,000|
|Caerphilly County Borough Council||LA||Wales||£275,000|
|London Thames Gateway Development Corporation||LA||London||£223,000|
|Slade School of Art||HE||London||£216,000|
|Moyle District Council||LA||Ireland||£195,000|
|Burnley Borough Council||LA||Lancashire||£142,000|
|Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturnea||Arts org||Spain||£118,500|
|The Making||Arts org||Hampshire||£92,000|
|Organisation||Type||Location||Annual £ on offer to applicants|
|Working parts (Landmark Wales projects)||Arts org||Wales||£8.5m|
|Essex County Council||LA||Essex||£2.14m|
|Omagh District Council||LA||Omagh||£340, 000|
|University of Wales||HE||Wales||£152,000|
|Central St Martins, University of the Arts London||HE||London||£151,245|
|Glasgow School of Art||HE||Glasgow||£146,172|
|University of Wolverhampton||HE||Wolverhampton||£1141,443|
|University of Huddersfield||HE||Huddersfield||£115,709|
Exploring an Artist fund
Last year, a consortium instigated by AIR – Artists Interaction and Representation and DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society) and including a-n, Artquest and Axis began discussions on strategies to support artists’ development and practices. Within this, the group commissioned an initial research report to locate evidence for establishment of The Artist Fund: “A new and flexible fund for individual artists that is open application and distributed by artists through dedicated peer review, to provide grants of under £10,000”. This short report is due to presented to the arts funders, charitable trusts ands potential sponsors to gauge interest in supporting further research into the viability into and enabling mechanisms for such a fund.
References and resources
A fair share: direct funding for individual artists from UK arts councils, Dany Louise, September 2011 www.a-n.co.uk/a_fair_share
Ladders for development, Dany Louise, May 2011 www.a-n.co.uk/ladders_for_development
Realising the value, Dany Louise, February 2012 www.a-n.co.uk/realising_the_value
The Lost Arts website maintains details of visual arts cuts and closures www.lost-arts.org/losses/all/losses/all/filter/visual-arts -
Creative Graduates – Creative Futures, Linda Ball, CHEAD 2008.
AIR survey of artists and impact of HE cuts www.a-n.co.uk/air/document/1169000
The Big Artists Survey 2011 www.a-n.co.uk/big_artists_survey
Arts Council of Wales:
International opportunities fund www.artswales.org.uk/what-we-do/funding/funding-advice-and-guidelines/international-opportunities-fund
British Council / Arts Council International programme www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/strategic-funding/grant-programmes/artists-international-development-fund/
Arts Council Northern Ireland www.artscouncil-ni.org/subpages/funding.htm
Previous research reports and papers in this series include:
Art work in 2007 www.a-n.co.uk/publications/topic/411817
Art work: Artist’s jobs and opportunities 1989-2003 www.a-n.co.uk/knowledge_bank/article/200221/193936
Art work analysed: Artists’ jobs and opportunities 2003 – 2005 www.a-n.co.uk/knowledge_bank/article/278654/193936
Susan Jones is Director, a-n The Artists Information Company and a researcher and published writer on arts matters.
Data collection for this report was undertaken by Annie Padwick.
First published: a-n.co.uk April 2012
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