Open call: New project to support emerging artists

Twenty emerging artists are to be given professional support, a platform and funding as part of Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival (WCAF).

This year’s event recognises the lasting effects of the pandemic which has created ongoing pressures for the north west’s creative communities. So festival organisers at Culture Warrington have teamed up with Short Supply, an organisation that helps early-career artists, and Castlefield Gallery to provide an opportunity called Slap-Bang.

An open call has been launched to find 20 artists with less than five years’ experience in the creative industries for a showcase at Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces Warrington (the former M&S store in Sankey Street) and Warrington Museum and Art Gallery pop-up at Golden Square shopping centre.

The selected artists will each receive a £200 fee for their participation in an exhibition between 4 and 22 December, with a wider programme of activity supported by the Short Supply and the WCAF team.

A spokesperson for the event said: “We particularly welcome applications from artists who do not have any formal arts training or a higher arts education, and who are currently operating outside of city centres in Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. We also want to encourage artists from diverse and marginalised backgrounds to apply, such as those from a lower socio-economic background, those who consider themselves to be ill/disabled, those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and those who are within an ethnic minority. ​”

This year’s Contemporary Arts Festival focuses on Warrington, its diverse communities, talented and largely undiscovered artists and unique venues.

A spokesperson for Short Supply added: “We want to provide platforms for those living and working in their respective hometowns to present new work and provide opportunities to mentor and support them. Warrington is a town with a lot to offer – one slap-bang in between two major cities of culture. How are artists living and working outside of city centres surviving some of the harshest conditions to affect artists in recent memory?”

To apply click here. The deadline for applications is on 7 November. For more information email [email protected]