Saltaire Arts Trail Open Houses 25-27 May 2019

Deadline: 25/01/2019  |  Venue: Various homes and businesses in Saltaire  |  City: Saltaire, Bradford  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Saltaire Inspired Team

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**DEADLINE EXTENDED to Friday 25th January 2019** Call for proposals from visual artists to exhibit work as part of Saltaire Arts Trail Open Houses 25-27 May 2019. The annual Arts Trail opens up the UNESCO World Heritage Site to visitors by presenting great contemporary art within its public and private spaces, and the Open Houses make use of Grade II listed mill cottages at the invitation of the owners, turning them into mini-galleries and giving artists a unique exhibiting opportunity.

Who are we?

Largely volunteer-led, Saltaire Inspired creates exhibitions and projects in unique spaces. We promote and develop artists and their practice, showcase and sell high-quality contemporary craft and design, engage and inspire the local community and aim to make visual arts accessible and engaging through the use of private and public buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site as venues. Visit the Saltaire Inspired website to find out more.

Our premier event, Saltaire Arts Trail, takes place annually, next year on the late May bank holiday weekend, 25-27 May. Over three days, Saltaire becomes a magnet for visitors, with an estimated 6000-8000 attending each year since 2007. There are commissioned exhibitions and installations, a high-end designer/makers fair, free creative family workshops, and of course the famous Open Houses - a village wide gallery of contemporary art in the Grade II listed homes of Saltaire residents. 

The Open Houses

Kindly offered by the local residents of Saltaire, the Open Houses encourage visitors to explore the parts of the village not traditionally on the tourist map.  The Open Houses are hugely popular, with many visitors taking the opportunity to see inside the small industrial cottages (average floor space 12ft x 12ft) as much as to see the wide variety of art on offer. They do come prepared to take an interest in the art though - and to buy. The houses are without doubt one of the unique selling points of the Saltaire Arts Trail, providing a village-wide gallery space, a truly unique venue in which visitors can appreciate contemporary art in an informal domestic setting. 

What we are looking for

As in all strands of the Arts Trail, we are looking for work that is of gallery standard, contemporary and interesting, and that will make our events stand out as exceptional in quality and interest. 

  • Within the Open Houses we aim to present a diverse exhibition of contemporary visual art across the village. The domestic setting of the mill cottages is particularly suitable for showing work in the fields of painting, photography, printmaking, digital art, drawing & sculpture, but we are very open to proposals to show work in other media such as film, installation and performance, especially when it references the location.
  • We are keen to welcome submissions from both recent graduates/artists in the early stage of their careers as well as from established artists. Returning exhibitors will be expected to exhibit new work. If you have exhibited with us before, please make sure you include details of proposed new work in your application.
  • Space in the houses is limited and we do not have sufficient volunteers to invigilate them throughout the event. You'll need to be prepared for, and excited about, showing your work in a domestic setting, alongside other artists, and being present to welcome visitors. 

Read our FAQs for more information about the event. 

How to apply

Make your submission via Curatorspace, uploading between 4 - 10 good quality images. Please ensure that you upload and attach each image individually.

A non-refundable administration fee of £5 will be required for all submissions. As a volunteer-led charitable organisation, this helps us to cover the administrational costs of carrying out a fair and unbiased selection process with an independent panel of industry professional judges.

The administration fee should be paid no later than the closing date of Friday 25th January 2019, in order for your application to be considered. The £5 administration fee does not guarentee you a place within the Makers Fair, all applications are subject to a selection process. Make your payment here 


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Visual artists resident in the UK and working in any medium.
When is the deadline?
Friday 25th January 2019.
Is there a fee to apply?
There is a non-refundable administration fee of £5 required for all submissions. As a volunteer-led charitable organisation, this helps us to cover the administrational costs of carrying out a fair and unbiased selection process with an independent panel of industry professional judges.
The administrational fee should be paid before the closing date for entries, of Friday 25th January 2019. If the £5 fee is not paid by the closing date, your application will not be considered. Payment can be made online via PayPal (no PayPal account needed). *Please see the opportunity description for a link to PayPal for payment.*
Please note that this £5 administrational fee does not guarantee you a place within the Makers Fair, all applications are subject to a selection process.
What other fees / commission are there?
If you wish to make your work available for sale, a 30% commission on all sales will apply. No other charges apply. Artists wishing to exhibit work not for sale are also welcome to apply.
How many/what kind of images should I submit?
You can attach up to 10 images as part of your application. To help us with selection, please upload a minimum of 4. It is vital to the selection process that the images you submit are of a good quality and give a true idea of the work you wish to exhibit.
Please upload JPG images, no larger than 1MB. If you are selected, the images will be used initially as part of an online gallery, so we only need them to be web-size at this stage. Please note: You will need to upload each image separately to ensure that they successfully attach to your application, please check your completed application to make sure all images appear.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
With the Open Houses, we want to create a diverse "Open Exhibition" across the village. Although these venues will be most suitable for showing work such as painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture, we would also be very interested to receive proposals to show less conventional work, including film, live art & installation and would do our best to accommodate it within our spaces.
What is the decision making process for the proposals?
An independent committee of arts professionals will assess all applications and make the selection at a date to be agreed in February 2019. You will be informed as to whether your application was successful as early as possible after selection. The panel will be given the task of putting together a well-balanced show, considering new and returning exhibitors, emerging and established artists and an interesting mix of genres. It is important that the images you submit are representative of the quality of the work you wish to show. The panel will be able to research your website, but time is always tight and first impressions from the submitted images are crucial. The decision of the selection panel is final and unfortunately no discussion can be entered into once the selection has been made, though we will be happy to give general feedback.
I'm an artist living in Saltaire, and I want to open up my own house. Do I still have to apply?
No. We have a strand of the Arts Trail specifically for Saltaire Artists. You will not need to apply if you want to show work in your own home in the village. However, if you want your house or studio to be promoted as part of the Trail in the Trail Guide and Map, your artwork to feature in our online gallery on the website and to appear in all our associated publicity and marketing, you'll need to register. There's a fee for this which varies depending on whether you're inviting other artists to share your space. Please contact us directly through the 'contact the curator' section of this page, or email if you are interested in this option.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
You will be contacted shortly after selection, and by no later than March 2019. All artists who have submitted work will be contacted even if unsuccessful on this occasion. If selected, you won't know the location of your Open House until a little while after selection, as we need to match work selected to venues available. Once this is done, we will put you in touch with your host so that you can plan your exhibition together. If your application is successful, you must be able to install your own work in the week running up to the event and be available to deinstall afterwards, you also will ideally be able to share invigilation duties with the other artists exhibiting in your allocated house, and will be asked to agree to our terms of participation. Payment of the pitch fee must be paid by the deadline date to be provided in order to secure your place within the Open Houses.
How much/what type of work can be shown?
It will depend on the venues available, which vary from year to year. The Open Houses are small domestic spaces which come to us through the kindness of their owners, so we take a lot of care in curating them. You'll be looking at around approximately 6 to 10 ft of wall space for 2D work, or a couple of coffee tables and a shelf for 3D. In terms of displaying work, we aim for a gallery appearance, not a shop look, and do NOT intend to salon hang floor-to-ceiling or to allow large numbers of browsers or racks, for aesthetic as well as safety reasons, so do please think 'less is more'.
When can work be installed?
The event opens to the public on Saturday 25th May 2018, and houses must be ready for visitors by 10am. Work can be installed in the week prior to this, following close liaison with your allocated Open House host and Saltaire Inspired volunteers.
When does work need to be taken away?
At the close of the Arts Trail weekend, 5pm on Monday 27th May, or by arrangement with your host if later.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
Saturday 25th - Monday 27th May 2019, 10am - 5pm each day.
Does the location have disabled access?
Due to the peculiarities of the domestic settings, most houses are not accessible to those with mobility needs.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Saltaire Inspired will market and promote the Open Houses as one of the highlights of Saltaire Arts Trail 2019, through the production and distribution of printed matter, an online social media campaign and by generating press releases and distributing them to appropriate media. Exhibiting artists will be featured on the Saltaire Inspired website in an online gallery and on a printed programme brochure and map.
How are sales handled?
Work exhibited in the Open Houses may be priced for sale, though it need not be. As there is a commission of 30% on sales, and all monies will be collected centrally by Saltaire Inspired. We aim to get payments after commission to artists within 2 weeks.
Work sold during the weekend may be taken away immediately by buyers so, space permitting and in consultation with your host, you can bring spare work for replacement of sales.
I'm not sure whether to go for this or the Makers' Fair. Can I put a joint application in for both?
Do please try to choose one or the other, as you will not be able to take part in both and are quite different offers - advice can be found on the Saltaire Inspired website to help you decide which opportunity is best suited to your work. If you want to show a large selection of work, including small items, and to be in charge of your own sales, then the Makers Fair will be more appropriate than the Open Houses, where space is at a premium (please read the Artistic Policy for the Makers Fair opportunity to see if your work is suitable, as the Makers Fair is for contemporary craft applications only)
If you are still really torn, you can add a note in the 'Additional Requirements' box to say you'd be interested in the Makers Fair if not selected for the Open Houses - please note that your application will be judged primarily for the opportunity you apply for, and will only be considered for your 2nd choice opportunity if time allows on the selection day.

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