Local Engagement Commission

Temporary public art commission for Plymouth Art Weekender 2019 with a focus on local engagement

Visual Arts Plymouth CIC  are seeking expressions of interest from South West based/connected artists for temporary public art commissions, as part of Plymouth Art Weekender 2019. This year, we are offering two commissioning opportunities; one focussed on local participation, co-commissioned by Nudge Community Builders CBS and one with an open brief, co-commissioned by Theatre Royal Plymouth.

This is the call out for the local engagement commission, in partnership with Nudge Community Builders Community Benefit Society (CBS). The focus of this commission should be on activating and engaging with Plymouth’s Stonehouse communities. This could see you engaging with a specific community group, age group, group of interest or area in the city.

Artists are invited to submit their proposals for consideration for a commission to be realised in Union Street area as part of the Weekender which takes place 27th / 28th / 29th September 2019. There are a number of requirements for this call, so please read the brief carefully.

The available fee is £3000. The fee is expected to cover design, production, materials and installation, plus agreed travel and accommodation expenses.

Deadline for applications: midnight 5th June 2019.

About Plymouth Art Weekender

Plymouth Art Weekender 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 CIC, 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 and artists from Plymouth & beyond.

Nudge Community Builders CBS is co-commissioning this project through Creative Civic Change funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund. Our shared vision for this project is to bring joy and colour to Union Street though activity that will seek to create voice, visibility and possibilities in our neighbourhood in constructive and empowering ways for individuals and spaces. This will lead to places where creativity and innovation is permitted, easy and encouraged.

The Commission

The focus for this commission should be engaging with the local community in Plymouth. This might mean:

  • working with particular group/groups who you identify in your proposal to develop the work
  • delivering tailored workshops/sessions for different community groups as part of the work
  • applying as part of a community group who would like to take on the commission together
  • The content of the commissioned piece coming directly from community members

The proposed work 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. Ideally there would be a work in progress that can be available at the Street Party on 15 September as a preview (not required).

It may be useful for artists considering applying to read Plymouth’s Public Art Plan and the Plymouth Principles. More info on Nudge and the Creative Community Change funding is available here https://nudge.community/.

Selected artists will work closely with the Festival Coordinators on developing their proposals, site & public participation. Experience of working in the public realm and/or with community groups is not essential, but please reference this in your application and explain why you feel your work may be suitable. All art forms will be considered but please consider the temporary nature of the commission.

Application Requirements

To apply, please use the Local Engagement Commission google form or email your application to plymouthartweekender@gmail.com with the subject Local Engagement Commission

  1. No more than 600 words, explaining your interest in this opportunity, how you would approach the commission, and how you would hope to connect to a community group/s. Briefly outline the budget (incl any further funding sought/awarded) 
  2. No more than 300 words, explaining your experience of and/or interest in working with community groups
  3. A list of any community groups you would like to work with, and whether you have contacted them
  4. Identify between 1 and 3 potential sites or venues (if possible)
  5. Up to 5 jpeg (max 1MB each) images of previous work and / or 5 URL links to websites showing specific sound and video works
  6. A link to a website, online portfolio or documentation of a previous project
  7. Artist CV/Bio or link to online CV/Bio
  8. Phone and email contact details

Selection Process:

3 artists will be shortlisted for the commission. Shortlisting panel will be made up of PAW Coordinators, representative of Nudge (co-sponsors) and VAP Outreach Activators. Visual Arts Plymouth CIC will then feed in before the final selection is made.

PAW endeavors 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.

Important information:

  • The fee listed for the commission is the total available and artists should budget for this to cover all production costs, expenses, VAT (if relevant) and artist fees
  • Artists should have their own public liabilities insurance in place and any other relevant documents appropriate to the proposed project
  • Applications from collectives or artists working in partnership are welcome
  • The PAW coordinators will work with the selected artists to find suitable venue(s) for their work at the Weekender

Important dates:

Deadline for applications: 5th June 2019

Artists notified: 15th June 2019

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

Plymouth Art Weekender is supported by Arts Council England, The Box, Nudge Community Builders CBS, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth University, Plymouth Marjon University, Take A Part, KARST, Plymouth Culture, Ocean Studios & RIO, Plymouth Athenaeum, Plymouth School of Creative Arts, Duke of Cornwall Hotel and Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth CIC.