Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 9

Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open is a prestigious biennial artist development, commissioning and national touring award, now in its ninth edition.

Launched in 2010, Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open (formerly Jerwood Makers Open) is a commissioning opportunity that recognises and promotes the significance of making practice and process within contemporary visual arts. It supports extraordinary UK-based early-career artists and makers to develop their creative ideas independently, enabling them to experiment, learn and take risks with substantial curatorial support.

The award offers a supported, high-profile national platform for artists and makers at a pivotal moment in their careers. There are five awards of £8,000 each plus curatorial and production support to enable the making of new work over a six month period for a national touring group exhibition.

Jerwood Arts launched the initiative in response to a need for early-career artists and makers to undertake projects outside the specific commercial briefs common in the applied arts sector. To date, the initiative has invested over £360,000 directly in artists to support 41 major new commissions that have been exhibited at 17 venues across the UK. It continues to respond to an ongoing dialogue around the place of materials, skills and processes in contemporary art practice.

The latest edition of the programme is Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 9, announced in May 2023. It has introduced a second collaboration with Art Fund and three new partnerships with museums and galleries across the country: lead partner Amgueddfa Cymru, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, and York Art Gallery.

The call for entries will launch in October 2023, remaining open through to December 2023.

The final five artists and makers will be selected by a panel of expert artists and curators, including:

  • Dr Helen Walsh, curator of ceramics at York Art Gallery, looking after the York Museums Trust’s important contemporary ceramics collections and historical ceramics/decorative arts collections. From 2012, she led on the establishment of the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) at York Art Gallery, which opened in 2015. Helen also founded the UK’s Contemporary Studio Ceramics Subject Specialist Network (SSN).
  • Angharad Pearce Jones, blacksmith, sculptor and installation artist based in West Wales. Angharad has an extensive artistic practice but also applies her metal fabrication skills to civic regeneration projects, creating props for TV and film, gates and railings for the construction industry and public sculpture. She is currently working towards her most significant show to date at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
  • Phoebe Collings-James, multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, ceramics, sound and video. Phoebe’s works function as “emotional detritus”, speaking of knowledges of feelings, the debris of violence. The artist also runs Mudbelly, a ceramics studio that encompasses a shop and a teaching facility offering free ceramics courses for Black people in London, taught by Black ceramicists.
  • Celia Joicey, Director of Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, a world-renowned tapestry studio and a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design. Celia was previously Head of the Fashion and Textile Museum until 2017, Head of Publications at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Editor of the RSA Journal and Head of Publications at the Royal Society of Arts.
From left to right: Phoebe Collings-James, Celia Joicey, Helen Walsh, Angharad Pearce Jones.

The panel will be chaired by Director of Jerwood Arts, Lilli Geissendorfer. The artists and makers will be announced in April 2024 before embarking on an eight-month period of making, testing and commissions development. Their work will be exhibited at National Museum Cardiff in January 2025, before touring to Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery in June 2025, and York Art Gallery in October 2025.

Thanks to support from Art Fund, the programme will also create an Exhibition Project Manager role, hosted by Amgueddfa Cymru. This post will oversee the relationship with the selected artists, commissions development, the exhibition management at National Museum Cardiff, and will help deliver the national tour. The recruitment will start soon.

For the latest updates on Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media. For information on the past Jerwood Makers Open iterations, you can browse through the Supported programmes on our website and learn more about the previous awardees, their work and presentations across the country.