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Resource Guide

Setting up an artist-led space

Russell Martin’s guide to running your own gallery demystifies the process of setting up an artist-led space and highlights the issues to consider before taking such a step.

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Resource Archive Discussion

Changing public art practice and artist-led regulation

The evolution of public art is an ongoing process and as an arts practitioner I contribute my share through work with Chrysalis Arts, which is currently celebrating twenty years of live and public art practice. As a co-founder and director I feel it is time for some reflection on the climate for creating artwork in public places and consider what the future holds.

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Resource Guide

Quick guide to proposals

a-n’s Exhibition Payment Guide says artists should make sure they provide clear evidence of their work and experience when approaching a gallery with a proposal. This quick guide offers advice on the main areas to consider when developing a proposal, and includes tips on what to include when responding to an approach from a gallery or making a speculative pitch.

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Resource Guide

Why artists move: a guide to relocating

In recent years many artists have moved from major conurbations to smaller towns or cities in the UK, with access to cheaper work space and accommodation, improved health and wellbeing, and the need for stronger community networks among the factors influencing their decision to relocate. In this guide, Dan Thompson explores the many and varied reasons why artists move to a new place.

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Resource Guide

Artist commissions outside of the gallery

Contemporary Arts Programme Manager at the National Trust Grace Davies explores the benefits to non-arts organisations of commissioning artists outside of traditional gallery spaces, and offers some top tips for artists to consider when making an application.

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Resource Guide

Making a residency proposal to a non-arts organisation

Hannah Pierce, who has held curatorial and programming roles with organisations including The National Trust and Jerwood Visual Arts, offers advice and explores the key issues to consider when applying for a residency with non-arts organisations.

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Resource Guide

People like us

Kevin Hunt explores the nature of temporariness and expiration, morphing and longevity in artist-led initiatives. Written to coincide with the launch of the Artist-Led Hot 100 (version ii) and Assembly Liverpool, May 2017.

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Resource Guide

Quick guide to negotiation

Negotiation is one of the four core principles of a-n/AIR’s Exhibition Payment Guide. This quick guide offers 10 tips for better negotiation.

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Resource Guide

Exhibition contract checklist

A best practice reference guide to use when creating an agreement for a solo or group exhibition with a gallery or organisation presenting visual arts. You can also use the a-n Contracts Toolkit to build a contract to the specific exhibition context, and this checklist will support you with this.

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Resource Profile

Rural contexts: Curating in rural places

Rosemary Shirley explores new approaches to curating in rural contexts including New Geographies, a project developed by a consortium of nine arts organisations based in the East of England, and Ian Giles work as part of the project, Open Ramble East, which looks at queering rural places through rambling walks.

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Resource Guide

Proposals: exhibitions in galleries

Proactively seeking out opportunities to realise exhibitions and projects is an important strategy in the arts. Adam Smythe, Curator at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, gives some advice on the best methods of approaching galleries with exhibition proposals for your own work or for curatorial projects.

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Resource Guide

Approaching galleries

Jennie Syson offers some advice on approaching galleries, through setting out the different research routes and methods you might use.

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Resource Profile

Artists and mental health: The Bethlem Gallery

The Bethlem Gallery in Bromley provides a professional platform for artists who have experienced mental health difficulties. Alistair Gentry speaks to the gallery’s director Beth Elliot about the organisation and how it fosters a supportive artist-focussed environment.

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Resource Guide

Artists on boards: a guide to becoming a trustee or board member

Joining a board can provide artists with a voice in the decision-making room and a way to steer the arts agenda. Nicola Naismith explores what’s involved, and hears from artists and their fellow board members about the important contribution artists can make and why being a trustee matters.

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Resource Guide

Artists’ manifestos: making change happen

Writing a manifesto was one of Dan Thompson’s first acts as an artist and he has since written several more including one about using empty shops, and The Paying Artists Manifesto for Artist-Led Work that showed how artists working with their own ecology, economy and excitement ‘make the world around them better’. He explores the history of artists’ manifestos and shares advice and tips on how to write your own.

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Resource Profile

Alternative art education: Kirsty Ogg, New Contemporaries

In 2017, New Contemporaries, an annual exhibition of emerging artists from UK art schools, opened up its application to include artists from alternative learning programmes. Director Kirsty Ogg discusses this decision, the changing climate for emerging artists in the UK, and what artists really need to develop and challenge their practice. Interview by Michaela Nettell.

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Resource Research paper

Social Art Summit

A collection of reflections on Social Art Network’s two-day event in Sheffield, November 2018.

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Resource Research paper

Possible Utopias. Totally, sometimes.

Steve Dutton discusses the outcomes of a-n’s Artist-led Bursaries, awarded to six artist-led groups in 2017 to explore how artists and artists’ groups adapt to navigate turbulent cultural and political landscapes.

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Resource Profile

Artists and wellbeing: Ria Hartley, ecologies of care artist

ecologies of care was initiated by artist Ria Hartley in 2018. The project comprises a growing toolkit of resources designed to support artists who have access requirements to express their needs. Hartley speaks to Lydia Ashman about the toolkit and why artists’ health and wellbeing should be a sector-wide priority. This resource is available in text format and also as a video format sound recording.

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Resource Guide

Associate programmes for artists

What are artists’ associate programmes and what do they offer within the broad landscape of artists’ professional development? What should artists consider before applying? Based on extensive research into sixty arts organisations across England, Scotland and Wales, this guide by Dany Louise offers artists help in thinking through the various options available to them.

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