Saltaire Arts Trail OPEN VILLAGE (4th - 6th May 2024)

Deadline: 12/11/2023  |  City: Saltaire, Bradford  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Saltaire Inspired Team

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DEADLINE EXTENDED to Saturday 11th November 2023. Call for visual artists working in a variety of art forms to exhibit work as part of Saltaire Arts Trail OPEN VILLAGE, taking place Saturday 4th May - Monday 6th May 2024.

The annual Saltaire Arts Trail is a community arts event, celebrating the village of Saltaire’s heritage and opening up the UNESCO World Heritage Site and it's surrounding area to visitors by presenting great contemporary art within its unique public and private spaces.

Over the three days of the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Saltaire becomes a magnet for visitors, with an estimated 4000-5000 attending Saltaire Arts Trail each year since 2006.

The Saltaire Arts Trail prides itself in reaching out to new audiences and making art accessible to all by using imaginative venues to display visual art outside of traditional settings. Hosted by Saltaire Inspired, the Saltaire Arts Trail programme includes the Open Village, in addition to the contemporary craft Saltaire Makers Fair, commissioned exhibitions and installations, and creative family friendly workshops.

Event Dates: Saturday 4th May - Monday 6th May 2023 (May Day Bank Holiday weekend).

The Open Village

Kindly offered by the local residents and small business owners, the Open Village encourages visitors to explore spaces in Saltaire and the surrounding area not traditionally found on the tourist map. Grade II listed mill cottages, public buildings, gardens and surrounding small business spaces transform into mini-galleries, giving both emerging and established artists a unique exhibiting opportunity within these domestic and heritage settings.

Artists selected through this open-call will be invited to exhibit their work in these unique spaces.

Previous Open Village events have been hugely popular, with many visitors taking the opportunity to see inside the small industrial cottages and peer into windows to see the wide variety of art on offer in an informal domestic setting. Visitors come prepared to take an interest in the art on show around this village-wide gallery, and each year are looking for exciting and innovative projects which really set the Saltaire Arts Trail apart from others in the UK.

Please be aware that we have made improvements on how we run our Open Village opportunity this year, and would strongly encourage all applicants to read the ‘Opportunity FAQs’ section for full details before applying. 

A one-off participation fee will be applicable for all artists selected to take part in the Open Village, at £80 per artist. Window exhibition spaces viewed externally may also be available, with a reduced fee. No commission will be taken on any sales. 

Students and Recent Graduates 

At Saltaire Inspired, we are keen to welcome applications from artists from a wide variety of backgrounds and are committed to supporting emerging artists.

If you have recently graduated from an art or design degree in the last 2 years, or are a current student, please let us know in the “Student or Recent Graduate” section of the application form, as we have a limited number of reduced fee graduate/student spaces available.

What are we looking for

  • We are looking for a diverse exhibition of visual art that is contemporary, interesting, and of gallery standard. Year after year, the high quality of exhibiting artists is what makes Saltaire Arts Trail an exceptional event.
  • Due to the nature of the unique spaces to exhibit within, the Open Village opportunity is particularly suited to showing wall-hung contemporary Fine Art work in a wide variety of media, and small scale sculptural works to be displayed on shelves, small tables and floors. Gardens and public spaces may be offered to show larger sculptural objects and installations.
  • Art forms accepted include painting, photography, printmaking, digital art, drawing, collage, illustration, textile art and small scale sculpture or contemporary objects. This is not an exhaustive list, and we are very interested to see original works in other mediums.
  • Saltaire Inspired is committed to inclusion and diversity, and particularly encourages applications from artists whose backgrounds and lived experiences are underrepresented in the visual arts, contemporary craft and design sectors. If you would value a pre application conversation or have questions about showing your work at the Saltaire Arts Trail, please contact us.
  • We are keen to welcome submissions from both recent graduate artists in the early stages of their careers, as well as from established artists. Returning exhibitors will be expected to exhibit new work, so if you have exhibited with us before, please include details of proposed new work in your application. 
  • Space in the Open Village can be limited due to the nature of these unique spaces. Please consider this when submitting your application.
  • Additionally, please be excited and prepared to invigilate your own work during the weekend and be present to interact with and welcome visitors. Artists must also be available to install and take down their own work. 


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 £6 will be required for all submissions. This £6 fee does not guarantee a place within the Open Village, as all applications are subject to a selection process. As a volunteer-led charitable organisation, this helps us cover the costs of carrying out a fair and unbiased selection process with an independent panel of industry professional judges. This administration fee should be paid on the same date you submit your application in order for your application to be considered. 
  • Before you submit your application, you will be directed to Curatorspace’s secure payment portal in order to make payment of this fee and complete your submission. 


Who are Saltaire Inspired

Saltaire Inspired is an ambitious arts charity, creating quality contemporary arts events in unique settings.

We deliver three annual arts events in the World Heritage village of Saltaire and the surrounding area, and work towards our vision to help Saltaire become an internationally recognised centre for the visual arts.

We create art and community events in unique spaces and present exciting and challenging contemporary visual art in accessible settings, inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to take part. Saltaire Inspired is a registered charity. 

Visit the Saltaire Inspired Website to find out more.  

IMPORTANT NOTE - Before submitting your application, please read the 'Opportunity FAQs' section for full details and requirements for this event. This can be found towards the top of the page, below the event title, by clicking the tab in green text. 

Submission fees

The following submission fees apply to this opportunity.

  • Open Village at SAT24 Application Fee - 6.00 GBP

The appropriate fee will be payable using a debit or credit card after the first submission has been completed. If the submission fee allows you to submit more than once, you will be able to make further submissions after the first. Contact the curator if you have any questions about the opportunity or the submission fee, or email help@curatorspace.com if you have any questions about the payment process.

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Visual artists resident in the UK and working in a variety of media. Applications to show jewellery will not be considered for this opportunity, and should instead consider the SALTAIRE MAKERS FAIR opportunity.
When is the deadline?
EXTENDED DEADLINE - Saturday 11th November 2023
What kind of work are you looking for?
With the Open Village, we want to create a diverse Village-wide Exhibition. Due to the unique nature of the domestic and small business settings, venues will be most suitable for showing wall-hung Fine Art work in a wide variety of media, and small scale sculptural works to be displayed on shelves, small tables and floor standing.

Window spaces may also be filled with art for audiences to enjoy from the street, and gardens may be offered to show larger sculptural objects suitable for outdoor display.

Art forms accepted include painting, photography, printmaking, digital art, drawing, collage, illustration, & small scale sculpture or contemporary objects, but this is not an exhaustive list and we are very interested to see original works in other mediums.

We would also be very interested to receive exciting applications to show less conventional work and would do our best to accommodate it within our spaces.
Will my work be displayed in a room, window or a garden space?
Saltaire Inspired will invite residents and small business owners to offer their interior living spaces, exterior spaces AND/OR window spaces to selected artists in which to exhibit their work. In response to the pandemic, in 2021 we hosted a Window-only Gallery trail with great success, to allow visitors to view the artwork from the street, meaning more space for more artists than ever before.

If your application is selected, Saltaire Inspired will allocate you with a suitable space depending on the work being proposed and the display requirements. If you feel that your work is only suitable for one type of space, please provide your preference in your application. Please note that the more flexible you can be, the more likely we will be to find a suitable space for you to exhibit.
Is there a fee to apply?
There is a non-refundable administration fee of £6 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.

Before you submit your application, you will be directed to Curatorspace's secure payment portal in order to make payment of the application fee and to complete your submission.

The administration fee should be paid on the same date as your application is submitted to ensure it will be considered.

Please note that this £6 administrational fee does not guarantee you a place within the Open Village. All applications are subject to a selection process.
What other fees / commission are there?
No commission will be taken on sales. Artists will have control over their own sales and will take home the whole amount earned through these sales. We believe that this will be of financial benefit to most artists offering work for sale over the Arts Trail weekend. Artists will be responsible for taking their own card and cash sales, and may consider bringing their own card reader.

A fixed one-off participation fee will be applicable for each artist selected to take part in the Open Village trail at Saltaire Arts Trail 2024.

For artists allocated in an Open Village house or business, the fee will be £80 per artist.

For artists who may be allocated a window space, the fee will be £60 per artist.

No commission will be taken on any sales made during the event.

As Saltaire Inspired is a not-for-profit arts organisation, the fixed fee will contribute towards the effective and professional organisation and delivery of the Saltaire Arts Trail, to a high standard and to the benefit of the artists involved in this year's event.
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 4MB. 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 is the decision making process for the applications?
An independent committee of arts professionals will assess all applications and make the selection in late November 2023. 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, you do not need to apply through this Curatorspace opportunity. 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 Saltaire Arts 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 will need to register.

There is a reduced participation fee 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 openhouses@saltaireinspired.org.uk if you are interested in this option.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
You will be contacted shortly after selection in late November / early December 2023. 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 Village space 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 uninstall afterwards. You also will ideally be able to share invigilation duties with the other artists exhibiting in your allocated space, and will be asked to agree to our terms of participation. Payment of the one-off participation fee must be paid by Friday 5th January 2024 in order to secure your place within the Open Village trail.
How much/what type of work can be shown?
It will depend on the venues available, which vary from year to year. The Open Village spaces are small domestic and small business spaces which come to us through the kindness of their owners, so we take a lot of care in curating them.

For an Open Village wall space, you'll be looking at approximately 4 to 8 ft of wall space for 2D work, or roughly a couple of coffee tables and a shelf or two for 3D work. If places in a window, the average Saltaire house window measures 160cm high x 100cm wide, and work should be installed in the interior side of the window facing outwards, so that visitors can view the work from the street.

In terms of displaying work, we aim for a curated 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 please think 'less is more'. If your work is of a larger scale, you should expect to show fewer pieces, and if your work is of a much smaller scale, you could expect to show more pieces (within reason).
When can work be installed? When does the work need to be taken away?
The event opens to the public on Saturday 4th May 2024, and houses must be ready for visitors by 10am. Work can be installed in the week up to this date, following close liaison with your allocated Open Village host and the Saltaire Inspired team.

Work should be removed at the close of the Arts Trail weekend, 5pm on Monday 6th May, or as soon as possible after this by arrangement with your host.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
Saturday 4th May - Monday 6th May 2023, 10am - 5pm each day.
Does the location have disabled access?
Due to the peculiarities of the domestic settings, most mill houses are not accessible to those with mobility needs. If you require particular access needs and are selected to exhibit, Saltaire Inspired will work hard to find a suitable location, however please note that this cannot be guaranteed as we are often limited by the spaces that we are offered by residents.

Many of the window spaces and small business/public spaces will be accessible to visitors to view the artwork on display.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Saltaire Inspired will market and promote the Open Village trail as one of the highlights of Saltaire Arts Trail 2024, 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 Village locations may be priced for sale, though it need not be. Sales will be handled entirely by the artists, no commission will be taken on any sales.

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.

Artists will be responsible for taking their own card and cash sales, and may wish to consider bringing their own card reader.
I'm not sure whether to go for this or the Makers Fair opportunity. Can I apply for both?
No, 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 - please read the 'What kind of work are you looking for?' FAQ. Further 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 for sale, including small items, then the Saltaire Makers Fair may be more appropriate than the Open Village, where space is at a premium (please read the Artistic Policy for the Saltaire 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 Saltaire Makers Fair if not selected for the Open Village - please note that your application will be judged primarily for the opportunity you apply for.

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