Temporary Public Art Commission

Visual Arts Plymouth (VAP) is seeking expressions of interest from UK and international artists for two temporary public art commission to be realised in Plymouth City Centre as part of Plymouth Art Weekender 22 / 23 / 24th September 2017.

There are two commission budgets available: £3000 and £9000. Each budget is expected to cover all fees, design, production, materials and installation, plus travel and accommodation expenses. The deadline for submissions is 23rd April.

The £3000 commission is intended to support an early career or local artist.

About Plymouth Art Weekender

Plymouth Art Weekender (PAW) is an ambitious three day event that takes place annually across the city. The Weekender confidently celebrates Plymouth, its people and the visual arts, promoting the city as an exciting contemporary art destination. Initiated by Visual Arts Plymouth, a voluntary group of artists and organisers active in the city, PAW showcases a wide and diverse range of activity for all ages, with events and exhibitions throughout the city drawing large audiences from Plymouth & beyond.

The Commissions

Proposed works should have a strong visual presence during the 3 days of the Weekender. PAW is looking for works which will help draw audiences to the Weekender, through spectacle or intrigue, and which will be widely enjoyed and remembered. Proposals which include opportunities for participation will be looked on favourably; whether this targets audiences during the Weekender or involves members of the local/arts community in the development of the work.

It may be useful for artists considering applying to read Plymouth’s Public Art Plan and the Plymouth Principles.

Selected artists will work closely with the PAW Coordinators on developing their proposals, site, public participation, education and outreach programme. Experience of working in the public realm is not essential, but please reference this in your statement and why you feel your work may be suitable. All art forms will be considered but please consider the temporary nature of the commission.

With two commissions available, one of £9000 and one of £3000, please make it clear in your application which you are applying to. The aims for both commissions are the same, but a greater, scale and impact will be expected for the larger.

PAW endeavours to be an open and accessible platform – artists with a disability, or who feel that they may be at a disadvantage should contact plymouthartweekender@gmail.com to discuss this.

Application Requirements

To apply, please email Plymouthartweekender@gmail.com with Public Art Commission as subject.


For the £3,000 commission:

  1. No more than 500 words, explaining your interest in this opportunity and how you would approach the commission – including an outline of any initial ideas.
  2. Up to 4 jpeg (max 1MB each) images of previous work and / or  max 4 URL links to an image/video/sound
  3. A link to a website, online portfolio or documentation of a previous project
  4. Artist CV/Bio or link to online CV/Bio
  5. Phone and email contact details


For the £9000 commission:

  1. No more than 800 words, explaining your interest in this opportunity, your experience in delivering projects of this scale, how you would approach the commission and an outline of your expected outcomes.
  2. Up to 4 jpeg (max 1MB each) images of previous work and / or  max 4 URL links to an image/video/sound
  3. A link to a website, online portfolio or documentation of a previous project
  4. Artist CV/Bio or link to online CV/Bio
  5. Phone and email contact details


Selection Process:

From this information 3 artists will be shortlisted for each commission. Shortlisting will be made by PAW Coordinator and a selection panel of 3 VAP Activators. Shortlisted artists’ proposals will then be presented to a final selection panel of VAP Activators and PAW Coordinator.

For the £9000 commission, shortlisted artists may be asked to give further information on their approach to the commission and an indicative budget, which will be discussed with VAP activators and PAW coordinators before selection is made.

Important information:

  • The sum listed for each commission is the total available and artists should budget for this to cover all production costs, expenses, VAT (if relevant) and artist fees
  • Artists will need to have their own public liabilities insurance in place for any activity taking place outside of the live Weekender dates
  • Proposals from collectives or artists working in partnership are welcome
  • The PAW coordinators will work with the selected artists to find suitable sites(s) for their work at the Weekender
  • Applicants are able to apply for both the £9000 and £3000 commissions. In this case, please make it clear in both proposals that you have applied in both categories and if submitting the same idea be clear about how it will work differently at each scale

Key dates:

23rd April – Deadline for proposals is midnight

27th April – Commissions will be shortlisted. If you have applied for the £9000 commission you may be contacted by the shortlisting panel for further questions on this day

2nd May –  Commissions selected

8th May –  All applicants notified

Please note that whilst we will notify all applicants of their success or otherwise, the PAW team will be unable to offer individual feedback on proposals.

For more information on Visual Arts Plymouth and Plymouth Art Weekender, visit:

http://vaplymouth.i-dat.org/ http://plymouthartweekender.com
Plymouth Art Weekender is coordinated by Visual Arts Plymouth and funded through the city wide Horizon project, a collaborative programme developed between Visual Arts Plymouth, Karst, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth City Council, University of Plymouth and supported by the Art Council England’s ‘Ambition for Excellence’ funding programme and Plymouth Culture