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Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021

Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021: Application Guidance

Call for entries now open
Deadline 26 August 2020, 5pm

MAKING applications: In conversation with Mark Corfield-Moore, Jessica Harrison and Jasleen Kaur

On Tuesday 11 August, 1-2pm; we’re bringing together three artists and makers from previous editions of this award to talk about their experiences. Mark Corfield-Moore (2019), Jessica Harrison (2017) and Jasleen Kaur (2015) will reflect on the application process, the reality of making their commissions and the impact of the award on their own practice. This event will take place via Youtube live, find out more, here.


What is Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021?

Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 is a major award for five early-career UK-based artists and makers to develop and present ambitious new works.

The award offers a supported, high-profile national platform for artists and makers who are between one and ten years of beginning their professional artistic practice to take risks at a pivotal moment in their careers. It seeks to raise the profile and visibility of making processes within the visual arts and create a space for critical dialogue between the craft and visual arts sectors. 

Open to individuals, collaborations and collectives, we invite proposals for bold new work(s) using all forms of making and material experimentation. 

We welcome proposals from those working in all materials and progressive practices including but not limited to: ceramics, glass, jewellery, metal, paper, textiles, wood, fashion and sculpture. 

There are five awards of £8,000 each plus curatorial and production support from the Jerwood Arts team to support the making of new work over a six month period for a group exhibition in London, followed by a three-venue national tour through to 2022 including Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scotland. 

The Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 selection panel of practicing artists, critics and curators will be: Dame Magdalene Odundo (Potter), Yinka Ilori (Artist, Designer), and Junko Mori (Artist, Maker in metal), Christine Rew (Art Gallery and Museums Manager, Aberdeen Art Gallery) and Harriet Cooper (Head of Visual Arts, Jerwood Arts). The panel will be chaired by Lilli Geissendorfer (Director, Jerwood Arts). 

Application is free, and the deadline is 5pm, Wednesday 26 August. 

This eighth edition launches a new collaboration with the Art Fund and partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery, who will host the exhibition of the new commissions in Autumn 2022.

Find out more about the selection panellists and previous awardees here.

Find out about the 2019 edition of Jerwood Makers Open, currently on tour at Manchester Art Gallery, here.

Before applying, please read the guidance below and the FAQ page.

You can apply using the online form here.

An audio recording of the application guidance and FAQ is available here.

You can download this pdf of the application guidance and FAQ.

You can download the application form in the following formats:

  • PDF that can be run through text recognition software
  • Word document

Full access details and support with your application are available below.

What do the five awarded artists and makers receive?

  • £8,000 each, inclusive of their fee and production budget
  • Full curatorial and production support from Jerwood Arts and a dedicated Curator and Project Manager for nine months followed by a 16-month tour
  • A premiere exhibition at Jerwood Space, London in Summer 2021
  • An exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scotland, in Autumn 2022
  • Two further national exhibitions between Autumn 2021 and Autumn 2022

What are we looking for?

We are looking for bold, original and achievable proposals for a new work that foregrounds materials and making and will represent a step-change in your practice. We aim for the period of development enabled by the awards to be of significant benefit, allowing experimentation with new and ambitious ways of working.

Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open focuses on making and materials and presents these in a visual arts context. They seek to support exceptional skill and imagination within what are traditionally described as crafts and applied arts, looking broadly at how contemporary artists are defining or challenging the discipline. The Jerwood Arts team provides significant developmental support to selected artists, working alongside them on the curatorial and logistical development of each idea. Please see FAQ for more details on eligible materials and practices. 

Proposals must be achievable within the £8,000 award and the six-month production period. Proposals should also demonstrate clear thinking about how the project and timeline may need to be adapted due to circumstances and restrictions to activities in relation to COVID-19.

The selection panel will consider applications based on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the artist’s current making practice, including the most recent examples of ideas and projects
  • The quality of the artist’s proposed new work
  • The feasibility of the proposal
  • The potential impact of the award on the professional development of the artist’ practice and career

Who are we looking for?

We welcome applications from individual artists, collaborations or collective groups working with making and materials who are between one and ten years of beginning their professional artistic practice. 

We are looking for artists and makers in whose work we can see the potential for progression both in their practice and profile. We are looking to support you to make the most of a high visibility opportunity with a series of exhibitions and a national PR campaign.

In deciding whether Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 is right for you at this time, think about your short and long-term goals for your practice and how this opportunity might help you get there. How will you make best use of the opportunity, time, curatorial support and logistical back-up to develop your ideas and further your practice? You might be looking for an opportunity to crystallise current or new research, focus your practice or realise a new idea, or something else not listed here. 

In the ten year history of the awards some groups, including Black artists and makers, have not been represented within the awardees. To address this, we are taking positive actions to support an increase in applications from artists whose background and/or identity is under-represented in the awards’ history. Your application is particularly encouraged if you identify as Black, Asian or ethnically diverse, LGBTQIA+, d/Deaf, disabled, neurodiverse, or have long-term health difficulties, are from a lower socio-economic background, and/or based outside of London. Please see below for details of our approach to diversity and inclusion, including the access and application making support available.

Who is eligible?

There is no educational requirement or age limit. 

We welcome applications from individual artists, collaborative groups and collectives who are:

  • Early-career artists and makers who are focusing on material processes within their practice. For this award, we define early-career as those who are between one and ten years of beginning their professional artistic practice at the time of applying. This means they consider the beginning of their professional artistic practice to have started after June 2010, and no later than July 2019, unless there has been a career break for health or care reasons. Please see the FAQ for more details.
  • Those who have applied in previous editions, as well as those who have not.
  • Artists and makers who have the legal right to work in the UK, are resident in the UK, and with the intention to continue residence within the UK until June 2022. You do not need to be a British National.
  • You can only submit one application either as an individual or as a member of a collaborative group or collective.

We cannot accept applications from:

  • Anyone who is undertaking full or part-time formal education at any point between November 2020 and June 2022. (including dissertation writing)
  • Artists and makers who are looking for support for product development or commercially-led practices, or routes to market.
  • Proposals which will need additional funding to realise.

What do I need to do to apply?

In the application form, you will be asked to provide: 

  • Name and contact details, including pronoun preference
  • Website link (optional)
  • 50 word statement on how you define the start of your professional artistic practice 
  • 150 word statement detailing your key career moments
  • 150 word artist’s statement
  • Details of the materials you propose to work with, and the size and scale of the proposed work(s)
  • 50 word proposal summary
  • 500 word proposal, covering:
    • Why do you want to make the work(s)? Why now? 
    • What materials and processes you will use?
    • How will the award benefit and develop your practice in the short and long term?
  • A timeline for making 
  • A budget outline
  • Up to ten still images 
  • Separately, answers to a set of questions to help us monitor equal opportunities

Key dates

  • 26 August 2020 Deadline for applications 5pm
  • 10 November 2020 Shortlisted applicants notified by 6pm
  • 11 November 2020 All applicants notified
  • 12 November 2020 Interviews (in person or by video call tbc)
  • December 2020 – May 2021 New work(s) researched and produced
  • Summer 2021 Exhibition opens at Jerwood Space, London 
  • September 2021 onwards Exhibition tours 
  • Autumn 2022 Exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery

How to Apply and Access Support 

You can apply using the online form here.

You can download this guidance, the application form and the FAQ in the following formats:  

  • A PDF that can be run through text recognition software
  • A Word document

An audio recording of the application guidance and FAQ is available here.

Before applying, please read the guidance below and the FAQ page. This covers the most common questions and is updated regularly.

We recommend you draft your responses offline, and then paste them into the online form when you are ready. You can also use the save and continue function to return to your application.

We are committed to making our opportunities accessible and the application experience as user-friendly as we can. This is part of our ongoing work to welcome and encourage applicants facing barriers to applying. With the awards targeted at those between one and ten years of beginning their professional practice, we are particularly keen to support first-time applicants and those under-represented in the history of the awards with their applications.

Approach to selection

All applications will be reviewed by two internal readers at Jerwood Arts. A longlist of approximately 100 applications will be shared with the full selection panel. From these, the selection panel will meet to discuss and shortlist eight or more applicants to invite for an interview.

All applications are assessed blind, without names or other monitoring information attached. We give unconscious bias guidance to all readers and selection panellists. Our decision making process includes introducing artform, location and monitoring information at key moments, for example, to note any % variances between the total pool of applicants and the longlist/shortlist. Where two or more equally strong applications are in play, we choose to recommend the applications that will result in a balanced, representative and inclusive long/shortlist for consideration at the next stage. Throughout the selection process, we prioritise quality of practice, ideas, planning and potential for step-change.

Application making advice

We are happy to receive emails to with questions. We will acknowledge your email within three working days and aim to answer your question within five working days.

We also offer the opportunity to speak with a member of the Jerwood Arts team for a ten minute advice session in advance of applying. In these sessions, we are unable to read draft applications or texts, but we are able to discuss your specific ideas for applications and guide you as to how you might strengthen these in the application. Please email with your phone number to book an advice session.

Please note that the advice we give on making an application is on the eligibility and suitability of your proposal and will have no bearing on its assessment. You do not need to have spoken to a Jerwood Arts member of staff before making an application. 

Access Support Worker

We can contribute up to £200 towards a fee for an Access Support Worker for applicants who need one. Please email or call us on 07944 903991 at least one working week before the deadline to discuss how we can help.

Audio and video applications

If you would prefer to submit your application as an audio or video recording, the online application portal provides the opportunity for you to do this. You can upload one audio or video file containing your length of practice, key career moments, artist statement and proposal. We will ask you to complete contact details and a 50 word summary of your proposal, a budget, a timeline and an equal opportunities monitoring form in written form to assist the processing of your application. No assessment of the production quality of audio or video recordings will be made.

Responding to COVID-19

Acknowledging the uncertainty around artistic practice and exhibitions for the foreseeable, we are asking applicants to be flexible with their proposals as follows: 

  • As we cannot predict how, when and for how long restrictions due to COVID-19 may be imposed, we require proposals to be flexible to changing timeline and circumstances and to always adhere to changing government guidelines. 
  • We require that elements of your research and work can be presented online, as well as in a physical gallery. 


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