Saltaire Arts Trail Open Houses 2016

Deadline: 13/01/2016  |  Published: 08/11/2015  |  City: Saltaire, Bradford  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Saltaire Inspired Team

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Call for proposals from visual artists to exhibit work as part of Saltaire Arts Trail Open Houses 28-30 May 2016 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 and give 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, across the late May bank holiday weekend. 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 all throughout the event. You'll need to be prepared for - 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, and how to apply. 

The application deadline is Friday 13 January 2017

There's an application fee of £5.00 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?
Now extended to Friday 22nd January 2016.
Is there a fee to apply?
There is a non-refundable application fee of £5. Payment can be made online via PayPal, (no PayPal account needed). Please go to the opportunity page on the Saltaire Inspired website to make your payment.
What other fees / commission are there?
There is a commission of 30% on all sales. No other charges 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. Please upload JPG images, no larger than 1MB. If you are selected, the images be used initially as part of an online gallery, so we only need them to be websize at this stage.
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 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.
As in all strands of the Arts Trail, we aim to include and promote work that is of excellent quality, contemporary and interesting, from a wide range of artists. We are interested in receiving proposals from those who have recently graduated or who have recently started work in the arts, as well as established artists.
What is the decision making process for the proposals?
An independent committee of arts professionals will assess all applications and make the selection at the end of January and applicants will be notified of decisions by 7 February. The decision of the selection panel is final and unfortunately no discussion can be entered into once the selection has been made, though we are 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. Last year we created a new strand of the Arts Trail specifically for Saltaire Artists. You will not need to apply. However, if you want your house or studio to be promoted as part of the Trail in the Trail Guide, 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 with further information as soon as possible after 7 February 2016. You won't know exactly where your work will be exhibited until a little while after selection, as we need to match work selected to venues available.
How much/what type of work can be shown?
It will depend on what is available. 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 12 x12 ft of wall space for 2D work, or a couple of coffee tables and a shelf for 3D. We 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 think compact.
When can work be installed?
The event opens to the public on Saturday 28 May 2016. Work can be installed in the week prior, following close liaison with the Open House host and Saltaire Inspired volunteers.
When does work need to be taken away?
By Monday 30 May 2016, 5pm
What are the exhibition opening hours?
Saturday 28 - Monday 30 May 2016, 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 2016, 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.
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, all monies will be collected centrally. We aim to get payments after commission to artists within 2 weeks.
Work sold during the weekend may be taken away by buyers and replaced.
For those artists wishing to sell cards and other small items of merchandise priced under £10, a dedicated stall staffed by a Saltaire Inspired Volunteer will be made available in the Makers' Fair in Victoria Hall, and artists will be able to place work there for a flat fee of £10 (no commission charged). It will not be possible for these items to be displayed in the Open Houses, because of the difficulties of managing such small payments.
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 - they are quite different offers. There's information on the Saltaire Inspired website to help. If you are really torn, put a note in the 'Requirements' box to say you'd be interested in the Makers' Fair if not selected for this.

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