Kirkstall Art Trail 2023

Deadline: 10/04/2023

City: Leeds  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  KAT Kirkstall Art Trial

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Make your mark - submissions for KAT2023 are now open! Kirkstall Art Trail is a celebration of art in our community, taking place on Saturday 15 - Sunday 16 July 2023. Join us for a weekend-long series of free exhibitions, installations, performances, and interactive activities for everyone. Kirkstall Art Trail is looking for artists, makers, creative organisations, workshop facilitators, venues and volunteers based in West Leeds and the surrounding areas.

Kirkstall Art Trail is community-led and artist-focused. We are passionate about nurturing accessible and inclusive opportunities for creative people in our area. 

We’re excited to be back - but we need your submissions and suggestions to make KAT2023 the best it can be! The application deadline is Monday 10 April 2023

For artists and makers, this is a unique opportunity to showcase (and sell) your work to people who attend the two-day event. From professionals to people just starting out, we’re encouraging everyone to take part. 

Creative organisations and workshop facilitators have the chance to run community-engagement activities - which might be emerging or existing ideas - in a friendly and lively setting. 

For venues and volunteers, without you, Kirkstall Art Trail wouldn't be possible. Residents, community hubs, and local businesses are encouraged to open their doors and become trail hosts. We value our outdoor spaces, and we’ll be using these too - rain or shine!  


Contact the curator
When is KAT2023?
KAT2023 is taking place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July 2023, and will be open 11am - 5pm on both days.
What is KAT2023?
The Kirkstall Art Trail, also known as KAT, is a community art event taking place in the summer of 2023 in Kirkstall, Leeds.

KAT2023 will feature a weekend-long series of free exhibitions, installations, performances, interactive activities. These will take place across the local area, in temporary pop-up indoor and outdoor venues.

The two-day trail will showcase artists and makers in Kirkstall and the surrounding areas, from professionals to people just starting out. Come along to meet our creative community - some of their work will be available to buy too!

KAT2023 is open to everyone to attend, not just people from Kirkstall! People visiting the trail will have access to a map of locations, exhibitions and events to explore at their own pace. KAT2023 is taking place over two days, so people can decide to do different parts of the trail on different days - or see everything in one day!

KAT2023 is free to attend and free to participate in as an artist, maker, creative organisation or workshop facilitator. KAT2023 will receive investment to cover running costs from local sponsors, community support budgets, and bids to funding opportunities.
Who can apply?
KAT2023 is looking for artists, makers, creative organisations, and workshop facilitators based in West Leeds and the surrounding areas to submit applications using curatorspace. Different styles and forms of artistic expression are encouraged. If you’re not sure about submitting an application, please get in touch with the team.

We are also welcoming applications from venues and volunteers based in Kirkstall, to help host events and the two-day trail.
When is the deadline?
The deadline for all applications is midnight on Monday 10 April 2023.
What do I include in my submission?
Artists and makers are encouraged to submit up to five examples of their work as part of their application on curatorspace. Alternatively, you may wish to describe your idea if it’s still in the initial stages - especially if KAT2023 is the reason you are creating and making!

The work you exhibit as part of the trail will depend on the type of art, any requirements you have, and the space you are allocated. We aim to make the best matches between exhibitors and venues.

For venues, volunteers, and sponsors - please tell us about your space or what you’d like to offer in an email. Maybe you’re willing to have part of your living room transformed into a mini art gallery, or can offer up your business’ bike rack or accessible toilet? Perhaps you’d like to help direct visitors around the local area, or share KAT2023 messages on social media and by word of mouth? Do you want to be a KAT2023 sponsor and offer us some funding, or some services in kind?
How are the applications assessed?
We will prioritise artists, makers, creative organisations and workshop facilitators based in Kirkstall, West Leeds, and the surrounding areas.

We will endeavour to match each applicant with a suitable venue, but some matches may be trickier than others. We may need to work with you on a solution, or signpost you to a more suitable opportunity.

We will consider the barriers applicants may usually face when it comes to engaging people with their work, and aim to provide a place for them where practicably possible.

Once your application has been assessed, we’ll notify you as soon as possible with the outcome and next steps!
When do I need to be ready and available?
We’ll be in touch with you about KAT2023 arrangement well in advance of July, but here’s an insight to give you an idea of how the weekend will work.

Shortly after the submission deadline, the KAT2023 team will notify successful applicants and then begin the task of matching people and places. As soon as the matches have been made, we will be encouraging everyone to make contact and begin discussing arrangements.

Ensure the work you want to exhibit, install, perform, engage people with is ready ahead of Saturday 15 July. If you intend to sell any of your work, please make your own preparations in advance. Think about how you are going to signpost people to your further work, events, and contact details.

Most venues will require setting up on the morning of Saturday 15 July, before the trail opens at 11am. Some venues, installations, workshops may need to be set up a day or two ahead, but this will have been discussed and arranged in good time.

We ask that our KAT2023 exhibitors engage with the people visiting the trail as much as they can, and it’s best that they attend both days - but some exceptions can be made.
When do we wrap up?
KAT2023 will finish at 5pm on Sunday 16 July 2023. We hope that everyone can then begin to pack up, de-install, and take some well-earned rest after a vibrant weekend!

We hope to host a wrap up and thank you party shortly after KAT2023 - we’ll be in touch with everyone involved once we’ve settled on a date and a venue.
Are there any costs involved?
There is no charge for participation. The entire KAT2023 series of exhibitions, installations, performances, and interactive activities will be free for everyone.
Will I be paid to participate?
There will be no payments to individual artists and makers, but you are very welcome to sell work and take all of the profit.

Creative organisations and workshop facilitators may be reimbursed for all or some of their time and resources, subject to our funding and sponsorship support.
What publicity will there be?
We will publicise KAT2023 on social media, through local press and organisations, residents’ networks, at other local events, and with some posters and flyers around Leeds.

We’d be delighted if anyone involved or interested in KAT2023 could raise awareness of the opportunities it offers, and to encourage as many people as possible to save the date in their summer diaries.

Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - and bookmark the KAT website!

Nearer the time, a printed and digital map of the trail will be published. This will advertise who is where and what’s on.
What about insurance and risk assessments?
To be updated.
How accessible and inclusive will KAT2023 be?
Within the arts, and across Kirkstall, there are many different types of underrepresentation, including gender, sexuality, faith, ethnicity, people with disabilities, and socially-economically disadvantaged people.

We know that issues persist, and that multiple aspects of a person’s identity may combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege.

KAT2023 aims to nurture a more inclusive community, where everyone feels art and Kirkstall is for them. We want to create positive change and address barriers to participation and attendance, where practicably possible.

We ask that everyone who participates and attends KAT2023 treats people fairly and respectfully.

Due to the variety and nature of our venues, we won’t be able to ensure access for people with disabilities - but we'll do our best.
How environmentally sustainable will KAT2023 be?
There are pressing challenges facing the planet’s future and people today. KAT2023 will recognise the environmental impacts of organising and hosting the two-day event, and will seek to minimise these impacts were practicably possible.

We ask that everyone who participates and attends KAT2023 considers sustainable practices and actions.

We ask that local residents, and people across Leeds and the surrounding areas, attend KAT2023 by public transport or active forms of travel. We have train, bus, and cycle routes!

Please car share if driving, and be mindful of where you park so not to block pavements and our small streets.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
Artist, makers, schools and creative organisations are all welcome to apply. In previous years artists at all stages of their careers have been included and we welcome applications from emerging artists and those new to the trail.
What is an Art Trail
A number of venues across the local area will become temporary spaces for art exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations and for a short period of time they will open their doors to visitors. These venues could be a variety of things for example: private residences, empty shop units, cafes, restaurants or gardens. As a visitor you will be given a map of locations and artists which you can use to explore the trail at your own pace. Kirkstall Art Trail takes place over two days so you can decide whether to visit the sites over both days or see them all in one day.
Where will the art trail take place?
Kirkstall Art Trail will take place across a number of venues in central Kirkstall. By central Kirkstall we mean the area within the outer sites of Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club, Hollybush Conservation Centre and Kirkstall Abbey. A map will be published prior to the event and will be available on our website and at all venues over the weekend.
What kind of artwork will be exhibited?
The art exhibited will be from visual artists who are local to Leeds and the areas that surround this. Some will be from early career artists and others will have much more experience of selling and exhibiting their work. We aim to showcase a variety of talent so we are confident there will be something to suit all tastes.

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