Selectors announced and applications are open for Jerwood Art Fund Makers


JERWOOD ARTS and Art Fund are relaunching the prestigious biennial artist development, commissioning and national touring award as Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open.

The award,now in its eighth edition, gives five outstanding early-career UK-based artists and makers the opportunity to develop ambitious new works, to be presented in London at Jerwood Space in June 2021 followed by a three-venue national tour through to 2022 including Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The selectors, announced this week, for The Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 are: Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts at Jerwood Arts; Yinka Ilori, artistand designer; Junko Mori, artist maker in metal; Dame Magdalene Odundo, potter; and Christine Rew, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Manager.

The panel is chaired by Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts.Applications are now open for the awardwhichoffers a supported, high profile national platform for artists and makers with between one and ten years of professional practice to take riskswith their materials and processes.

The five awardees will receive £8,000 each plus curatorial and production support from the Jerwood Arts team to enable the making of new work over a six month period.

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, In The Dead Of Night (2015). Commissioned for Jerwood Makers Open 2015, supported by Jerwood Arts. Image Sylvain Deleu

The Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open will champion outstanding early-career artists and makers across the UK at a pivotal point in their practice, and encourage critical debate, visibility and dialogue around contemporary craft and applied arts within UK public collections.

It is committed to strengthening the profile and importance of making, craft and applied arts presented within a visual arts context. For the first time, the Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open will engage with a lead regional museum partner –for this edition, Aberdeen Art Gallery -to create a new curatorial opportunity.

The role will work with the team at Jerwood Arts on the curation and development of the award, working closely with the artists and national tour venues, and is based at Aberdeen Art Gallery with regular periods at Jerwood Arts.

Aberdeen Art Gallery is a significant public collection with an important collection of craft and applied art, committed to acquiring, commissioning and exhibiting new works that challenge the traditional classifications of fine art and making practice.

Dame Magdalene Odundo

Proposals are invited from individuals, collaborations and collectives, for bold new work(s) using all forms of making and material experimentation. Artists working in all materials and progressive practicesincluding but not limited to: ceramics, glass, jewellery, metal, paper, textiles, wood, textiles, and sculpture are invited to apply. Jerwood Arts is keen to see an increase in applications from artists whose background and/or identity is under-represented in the awards and is working with partners to take actions to encourage this.

This includes additional access support for people to apply.Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts, said: “The launch of Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open marks a significant milestone in over two decades of support for material and making practices in the visual arts at Jerwood.

“With our current exhibition of Jerwood Makers Open 2019 set to re-open at Manchester Art Gallery shortly, we are delighted to be able to launchthe next call for entries at this critical time for artists and the cultural sector.

“Working closely with our new partners Art Fund and Aberdeen Art Gallery will allow us to strengthen the support available to artists and makers. Together, we will deepen the curatorial expertise, networks and knowledge we know is vital to grow and sustain the next generation and bring their works to audiences across the UK.

“I would like to thank this year’s panellists for sharing the challenge and privilege of selecting five outstanding proposals this autumn. My team and I look forward to supporting artists and makers with bold ideas to apply to us before 26 August.”


Christine Rew, Art Gallery & Museums Manager at Aberdeen City Council, said: “Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to an outstanding collection of contemporary craft.

“It ranks amongst the finest UK public collections. With the redevelopment of the Gallery, completed in November 2019, for the first time we are able to display many of these treasures to their best advantage, highlighting for our visitors the diverse creative practices of artist makers.

“Since our beginnings over 130 years ago we have commissioned and acquired works by artists and makers in the early stages of their careers. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vitally important that we do what we can to support the wealth of emerging talent in the UK. It is a great honour for Aberdeen Art Gallery to be represented on the selection panel of the Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open.”

Marcin Rusak, Nature of Things

Jenny Waldman, Directorof Art Fund, said: “Artists at an early stage in their careers face a particularly challenging time due to Covid-19 and the lack of work opportunities.

“Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open will give five UK-based artists and makers an opportunity to create ambitious new work and tohave their work exhibited in London, Aberdeen and on tour.

“It will also give a young curator an opportunity to work with major museums and practicing artists and makers. We hope the Award will encourage museums to present and collect works by artists practicing in crafts and applied arts.”

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