Since 1949 we have consistently supported contemporary visual artists to successfully transition from education into professional practice, primarily by means of an annual, nationally touring exhibition.
We continue to be unique in the level of support that we offer emerging artists through our open call and associated programmes, and remain responsive to change in the art world and the needs of emerging practitioners.
A panel comprising influential art world figures including curators, writers, and artists select participants for our annual touring exhibition. Often, our selectors have been a part of previous New Contemporaries exhibitions giving them a unique insight on the experience. Selection is a rigorous two-part process, there is no pre-selection and applicants details are not seen by the panel.
Our exhibition is accompanied by a programme of educational activity that provides insight into emerging practice and the key issues affecting artists.
New Contemporaries acknowledges that it is increasingly difficult for emerging artists to operate in the UK, as the cost of living, studios and further education all continue to rise. Since 2014, we have actively worked to address this and have put new mechanisms in place that are intended to support emerging practitioners. These include opening up our annual call to artists participating on non-degree awarding programmes, introducing exhibition fees, and creating mentoring, studio bursary and residency opportunities.
In partnership with Artquest, we deliver one-to-one and peer mentoring offered to all selected artists to help make the most of being included in New Contemporaries.
We offer studio bursaries and residencies across the UK and Internationally to recent alumni. These include opportunities with SPACE and Sarabande, London, Hospitalfield, Arbroath and One Thoresby Street, Nottingham. Our residency and bursary programme is intended to further support our alumni artists with the aim to make their practices sustainable in the long-term.
We also pay exhibition and performance fees for artists we work with, in addition to the reimbursement of travel expenses and the covering of accommodation costs for both the launch of the show and its subsequent tour.