Temporary public art co-commission for Plymouth Art Weekender 2020

Visual Arts Plymouth CIC in partnership with Nudge Community Builders Community Benefit Society (CBS) are seeking expressions of interest from Plymouth based artists for a temporary public art commission as part of Plymouth Art Weekender 2020.

Artists are invited to submit proposals for a commission to be realised in Plymouth as part of the Weekender, which takes place on the 25th, 26th and 27th September 2020.

The available fee is £3000. The fee is expected to cover artist fees, design, production, materials, installation and any travel and accommodation expenses included within the budget. There is the opportunity to apply for further funding with the support of the Plymouth Art Weekender team however this would only work with projects that are already fully formed enough to submit funding bids in March/ April 2020. Nudge are looking to increase the scale of their commissions so this project could lead to future opportunities for the right project.

Deadline for applications: 16th of March 2020.

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 activities for all ages, with events and exhibitions throughout the city drawing large audiences and artists from Plymouth & beyond.

About Nudge Community Builders

Nudge Community Builders CBS is co-commissioning this project through The Local Trust as part of the Creative Civic Change programme with support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund. Nudge prioritise their spend within a mile of Union Street and then within Plymouth so are looking to support local talent. 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 Outline

Nudge and Visual Arts Plymouth are interested in work that will bring colour and joy to Union Street and the surrounding area; to draw a wider audience on the street. We are looking for artists who will engage with the outdoor environment of Union Street itself - the architecture, objects on the street and the communities based in the area. The commission must also have a presence at the Union Street Party in the lead up to PAW 2020.

We envisage this commission taking shape through ongoing conversation with the commissioning partners and local communities and welcome proposals that will thoughtfully carry this through to the presentation of work at PAW 2020.

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, as well as being a site for thought and discussion. The work should also consider ideas around community engagement and widening participation in the arts. Experience of delivering work in the public realm is desired for this commission so please reference this in your application and explain why you feel your work may be suitable.

Proposed works must include temporary artworks which have a presence on Union street and may include other outdoor/ indoor public spaces. A wet weather plan must also be included in the delivery of the project.

Selected artists will work closely with the Festival Coordinators Flock South West alongside support from Nudge, Visual Arts Plymouth CIC and Plymouth City Council to develop their proposals, site & public participation.

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

Application Requirements

To apply, please email commissions@plymouthartweekender.com with the subject line ‘Nudge / Plymouth Art Weekender Commission Application’ to submit your expression of interest:

Please include:

  • No more than 800 words, clearly and concisely outlining your ideas for this opportunity, where it will be sited and how you will approach the commission brief
  • No more than 300 words, referencing your experience of working in the public realm
  • No more than 300 words referencing ideas for a wet weather plan
  • No more than 300 words referencing potential activity and or presence at the Union Street Party
  • Reference to your status as an artist based in Plymouth
  • A draft budget outline totalling £3000
  • Up to 5 jpeg (max 1MB each) images of previous work attached to the email and / or provide up to 5 URL links to websites showing specific examples of works
  • Your artistic CV and bio
  • You phone and email contact details

Selection Process

From the information submitted, as above, 2 artists will be shortlisted for the commission - at this stage, artists may be contacted with questions from the panel. The panel will include PAW Coordinators Flock South West, representatives of Visual Arts Plymouth CIC, Plymouth City Council and Nudge.

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 coordinator@plymouthartweekender.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 liability insurance in place, before activity commences
  • Applications from collectives or artists working in partnership are welcome
  • The commissioners Nudge and VAP will work with the selected artists to find suitable venue(s) for their work at the Weekender and Plymouth City Council will support this process

Important dates:

Deadline for applications: 16th March 2020

Shortlisting of applications: Week of the 16th of March 2020

Artists notified: Week of the 23rd of March 2020

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 School of Creative Arts and Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth CIC.