ArtWorks currently supports over 100 artists across three sites in the Sheffield/Rotherham area. This is a number which continues to grow by the week as word spreads about the terrific projects our artists are involved with.
But how are these projects selected? What level of involvement is offered to individual artists in group projects? I'll try to give you an idea of how it works in this blog post...
Project ideas originate from all sorts of places. Our artists are constantly grinding away at their own works - many of which organically develop into large scale projects which include multiple artists. Sometimes projects come from collaboration between artists and our workshop leaders. We are also often approached by external organisations for commissions/collaboration.
We also find our projects through open calls for artists. We are have an enormous breadth of talent in our studios, and so our artists find that they are able to rise to new challenges with ease!
Wherever the project idea originates from, there are usually three main factors we consider when committing to a project long term.
When deciding on potential long term projects it is imperative to consider the individual practises of the artists who attend our studio. One of the main draws to Artworks is the support we offer to develop artists as individuals. No two sets of interests & skillsets are the same, and ArtWorks offers the freedom to express yourself and develop your practise at your own pace.
So how does this effect large projects?
Our specialised workshops leaders who work with our artists are extremely familiar with their individual skillsets and artistic interests and are able to discuss with an artist how they may be able to contribute to a project. Some projects are more suited to particular skillsets, and this is considered when deciding on a project.
How many of our artists will be able to benefit from this project? How will it positively impact their individual practise?
One of the best examples of collating a large number of artists into a single projects is when we are running a large-scale film production project. Film is a wonderful mixture of art in all
of its forms: Photography, costume design, prop design, music, sound design, performance... the list goes on. Through multimedia projects, we are able to engage artists across a range of practises on a single production.
Obviously group projects do not appeal to all of our artists, and nobody is pressured to participate in something that doesn't appeal to them. But involvement is offered to everyone as a means of developing their experience and trying something new!
Commitment & Exposure
The primary goal of ArtWorks is to enrich the lives of the people who attend our service through exploring creativity. But it's also important that the voices of our artists get out into the world. An important factor in how we commit to projects is recognising whether the project in question has the scope to sufficiently amplify our artists' creative voices.
The question is: Will the work we produce for this project reach a large receptive audience?
Community engagement is fundamental to the ethos of ArtWorks. We want to ensure that our artists are given the opportunities and the tools to play an active role in their community. To achieve this, many of our projects see us collaborating with external organisations and working with community enterprises. The level to which a project allows for external engagement massively impacts whether it is something we will choose to commit to.
Our artists are no stranger to producing works for exhibitions, museums, festivals, and businesses, so many of our projects have an intended audience built in.
Considering the level of exposure a project will bring to our artists helps us establish how much we are able to commit to the project.
No two members of ArtWorks are the same.
Every one of our artists possesses their own creative voice and artistic temperament. As such, the best projects we take on are the ones that allow our artists freedom to explore their own creative sensibilities. We will also strive to ensure this is at the forefront of our projects.
Over the past two years the pursuit of large scale projects has become a much bigger part of what we do at ArtWorks. We find that it helps keeps our community united, and gives a wider breadth of experience for our artists.
2022 has seen a great number of projects come and go already! Work is always updated on our social media pages. So keep a look out for our exhibition for our current residency at Yorkshire Art Space in Sheffield City Centre.
Our artists are visiting the studio on a daily basis producing new and exciting work with a number of local artists. The work will be open to the public for viewing so keep and eye out for announcements soon!
That's all for now!