Grants scheme for local artists

Angus Corbett, a glass artist from Barr was a successful applicant last year.
Angus Corbett, a glass artist from Barr was a successful applicant last year.

South Ayrshire’s artistic community is being encouraged to make the most of a grants programme designed to nurture local talent.

Now in its second year, The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards make small grants available to applicants committed to continued development.

Lynn McHattie, a textile artist from Maybole, was one the successful artists to be funded last year.

Lynn McHattie, a textile artist from Maybole, was one the successful artists to be funded last year.

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards: South Ayrshire, are match-funded by South Ayrshire Council and Creative Scotland. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to their work – whether they are at an early or established stage of their practice – and to advancing their skills and ideas. The intention is that the fund will have a clear impact on the applicant’s creative activity, and will move their practice forward.

The available funding has increased by 67% this year, with £10,000 being made available over two rounds. Individual awards between £500 and £1,500 will be available, which will help artists and makers to develop and extend their own creative practice. The bursaries are for individuals living and/or working in South Ayrshire.

Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development, Tourism & Leisure Portfolio Holder, said he was confident the funds would help develop up and coming talent, “We’re committed to working with our communities to help make life better and these grants, for artists and makers, encourage people to nurture and develop their talents right here in South Ayrshire.

“Grants from last year helped to make a big difference to applicants with plans to create new and innovative art, and that’s something that I’m sure will inspire even greater interest in the coming months.

A selection of work from Maybole textile artist Lynn McHattie

A selection of work from Maybole textile artist Lynn McHattie

“We’ll be prioritising projects that present art to the public, strive to reach new audiences, or which encourage more people to get involved in South Ayrshire’s communities. I’d encourage anyone with a desire to do more to get in touch and submit their applicationssoon.”

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards: South Ayrshire is part of a nationwide grants programme developed in partnership with Creative Scotland and will be delivered by South Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Place Partnership Implementation Group, and South Ayrshire Arts Partnership.

Anne Petrie, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland, said, “Creative Scotland is proud to support the Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards which is a national scheme that offers a valuable opportunity for artists and craft makers, at all stages of their careers. By applying for small grants at a local level we aim to develop their practice through new work, new skills and new opportunities.”

Lynn McHattie, a textile artist from Maybole was one the successful artists to be funded last year, “I think this project has really allowed me to hone my skills and develop my practice and take me into areas that would have been difficult to explore without this funding to support it.

Angus Corbett at work

Angus Corbett at work

“The application is really straightforward but I recommend people focus on what the project is and try and develop a brief on what they are trying to do, and particularly on what they are trying to achieve.

“This scheme allows you to develop your practice in ways that will develop further into the future.”

Angus Corbett, a glass artist from Barr was another successful applicant last year, “I’d recommend VACMA to people who wanted to develop skills like different techniques or something they want to do throughout their life. When you’ve set your mind on something you want to do then go for it.”

All applications must be received by: Round one – Wednesday 4 October 2017 at 5pm; Round two – Wednesday 7 February 2018 at 5pm

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application no later than six weeks after the published deadlines.