Each year a-n.co.uk puts together an authoritative and useful guide to degree shows.
This years features 75 graduate art and design shows taking place across the UK. The publication includes contributions from: Steven Bode, Film and Video Umbrella; Artes Mundi director Karen MacKinnon; Louise Hutchinson, S1 Artspace in Sheffield and snapshots of current thinking from five final-year students. Several also artists recall their own degree shows – as far back as 1979 and share what the time meant to them.
If you are curious about what takes place at this time of year in art colleges or are wondering which shows to visit, this is a remarkable publication and well worth your time.
Market values: “Nobody owes you a living just for being an artist”
As the debate rages about paying to enter open competitions and dwindling exhibition fees, Steve Messam argues that while the art should always come first, it's time for artists to get more business-like and professional.
Now in its second year a-n The Artists Information Company will be supporting artists to attend the preview of the Venice Biennale. There is a VERY short deadline ( 25th February ) and this is only open to a-n members, but is well worth a look. Almost worth becoming a member just for the opportunity to be in with a chance - a-n also offers some exceptional advice and information for artists so is well worth the membership anyway.
The artists bursaries are for a £400 contribute towards the costs of attending the 56th Venice Biennale, including the preview period of 6-8 May 2015. The bursaries are exclusively for emerging to mid-career practitioners who hold an a-n Artist membership.
Artists should be paid for what they do. In many cases they are not. OK, some of the big names make very large amounts of money from the sale of their work or the commissions their galleries connect them to, but on the whole, the vast majority (the 'others') are either unpaid or extremely badly paid. However, artists not only have a cultural impact on our society, but a demonstrable financial impact.
The 500,000 visitors to the Hepworth Wakefield, during its first year, contributed an estimated £10 million to the local economy in Wakefield and a recent economic impact of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park estimated its annual contribution to the local economy to be £5 million. Those are findings from the Local Government Association 2013.
So why do we undervalue artists? If you are involved in the visual arts you have probably been in a position where you were offered an exhibition but no fee. 63% of artists have had to turn down requests from galleries to exhibit their work because they cannot afford to do so without pay. That astounding fact comes for "Paying Artists: Phase 1 Findings, a-n/DHA" and is part of a report on the issue put together by a-n The Artist Information Company.
The UK does seem to be struggling in this area. In Norway, artists are paid for exhibition of their work, based on the number of artworks shown and the duration of the exhibition. In Canada, artists have a legislatively-enshrined right to compensation for the use of their works in public exhibitions.
There is currently a campaign to improve this situation organised by a-n, their dedicated site has some valuable statistics and information about how you can help. Sign up for their newsletter for up-to-date information or download the informative research document. Major artists, institutions and organisations are supporting the campaign to pay artist. You can help too.
If you are a new artists then this online publication is a 'must' to delve into.
Produced by a-n, The Artists Information Company, it brings together a wealth of relevant professional information aimed at new graduates. There are sections on your use of the Internet, with a profile of web savvy artist Ellie Harrison; a look at some of the options which might be available to you; applying for opportunities; setting up your own studio or studio group and where to go to find other, relevant, information.
a-n produces consistently excellent material - it is well worth noodling around their website - and 'Signpost ' is going to be invaluable to new and developing artists.
To view the publication you need to be a member of a-n which will give you access to all of their online resources.
To say that there have been some stunning exhibitions this year is a tiny understatement. Difficult to make a selection but here, six a-n writers – based in London, Hastings, Glasgow and Edinburgh – pick, in no particular order, their top five UK exhibitions of the year.