York Open Studios Call for artists 2021

Deadline: 30/08/2020  |  Published: 02/06/2020  |  City: York  |  Region: North Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  York Open Studios

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York Open Studios is York's largest arts festival which takes place on the 17/18 and 24/25 April 2021. We are inviting applications for our 2021 event.

York Open Studios is a selected event taking place in artist's own workshops, studios and homes all across York. Every year we showcase around 150 of York's 2D and 3D artists who make original art. 2021 will be extra special because it is our 20th anniversary year! 

We had to cancel our 2020 event because of coronavirus, so for 2021 we will be hosting many of our 2020 artists but we are always open to all artists who would like to apply. You must live or have a permanent studio within a ten mile radius of York City centre to be eligible and we welcome applications from artists at all stages in their career, including recent graduates who pay a reduced fee.

Due to this year's cancellation we will be working on a reduced budget for 2021 and will have to cut some costs. Our full directory will still be produced but may only be available as a PDF which will be distributed to our current mailing list and made widely available. We plan to produce a paper map with brief details about all our artists; each artist will also have a dedicated page on our website and will be showcased across social media. We will also continue to negotiate wide media coverage in newspapers, magazines and radio.


We charge £110 for successful applications. Recent graduates (within 2 years) pay a reduced fee of £55. Artists pay commission of 10% on their total sales if they make more than £250.


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Artists and craftspeople who live within ten miles of York City centre who create original 2D and 3D work.
When is the deadline?
Midnight, 30th August 2020.
How many images can I submit?
You must submit five print-quality (300dpi) JPG images of the type of work you expect to show in April. At least three of these must be individual works but two may be detail or close-up shots.

Your images must be high quality and show your work clearly. They will be used by our panel during selection and then if you are successful they will be used on our website, marketing materials, social media. We do not expect professional photos but they should be polished, print ready and taken with a professional outlook. We reserve the right to crop your images.
How much does it cost?
We charge £110 for successful applications. Recent graduates (2 years) pay a reduced fee of £55.

Artists pay a commission of 10% on their total sales if they make more than £250.
Is there a private view / opening?
Artists can choose to have a public opening on Friday 16th April 2021 which will be published in the directory and on the website.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
Friday 16th April 6-9pm
Saturday 17th April 10am-5pm
Sunday 18th April 10am-5pm
Saturday 24th April 10am-5pm
Sunday 25th April 10am-5pm
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
We will publish a PDF directory with a map which will be available for download from our website, distributed to our mailing list and given to our artists for distribution. Our map will include limited information about all our artists and will be printed for distribution. Each artist will have a dedicated page on our website and will be showcased across our social media channels. We employ a PR agency who provide wide press and magazine coverage and we place adverts in local and national publications.
Do I need to be present?
Yes, you would need to be present at your venue at all published times on both weekends.
Where will my venue be listed?
Each artist will have a listing in our PDF directory and our printed map and a page on our website.
How do you decide on applications/proposals?
We employ an independent panel to select our artists.
What happens if my application/proposal is accepted?
You will receive a congratulations email and a further form to fill in to ask additional questions for your directory entry. You will also be asked to pay your admission fee. The deadline for payment is 18th October 2020.
What are the selection criteria?
The work submitted should be original, consistent and show a clear 'Artists's voice'. While all the work is for sale, York Open Studios is not a craft fair. The panel are not looking for generic items, your work should be exciting and intriguing and demonstrate a clear direction and vision. The panel will use their knowledge and experience to come to a decision and think about qualities such as use and application of materials, originality and composition. The panel will look for work showing artistic commitment and a professional outlook. Decisions will be based purely on the quality of the applications submitted so make sure your images are high quality and show your work clearly. You are asked for a description of your work and you must make sure that the panel understands what they are looking at. Write about your materials, techniques, scale and inspiration and avoid flowery descriptions.

Artists who submit poor quality images or a too brief description are unlikely to be selected.

Non-selected artists may ask for feedback on their submission, but we will only be able to provide this where the panel have stated specific reasons.
Will I need to attend any meetings?
Yes, you will need to attend a meeting on Saturday 10th October where we will introduce ourselves, welcome new artists and give you important information about the event. There will also be an optional meeting/social prior to the event where new artists and people who have exhibited before can get together to share useful hints and tips on how to get the most out of York Open Studios.
How is York Open Studios run?
York Open Studios is run by a committee of 8 volunteers.
Where can I exhibit?
Borrowed or hired venues are not permitted. You can use your own permanent studio, workshop, home, an educational establishment where you teach or where you are artist in residence. Up to five artists can share one venue as long as at least one artist uses the space on a permanent basis. If there are more than five artists who are all permanently resident in a venue then they will be permitted to show together.

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