Open Call Work and Art: How Artists Make A Living [working title]

Open Call Work and Art: How Artists Make A Living [working title]

Work and Art: How Artists Make A Living is a symposium questioning and examining the multiple ways in which artists, curators and writers sustain themselves economically. Very few artists work solely as artists and this symposium will focus on the variety of ways in which artists supplement their incomes, looking at the relationship between economic activity and creative output. The symposium provides a space for considering the backstage aspects of being an artist/arts practitioner, considering the various ways in which artists earn money or labour (as non-artists) to support their artistic careers, and what it means for artists to occupy these multiple roles in society. The event is organised by Collaborative Research Group, a post-academic programme supported by CRATE Studio and Project Space in Margate and University for the Creative Arts Canterbury, focusing on the practicalities and pluralities of contemporary visual arts practice.

Collaborative Research Group are seeking contributions for the symposium in the form of papers, presentations, art-works, videos/screenings, demonstrations, workshops, performances and interventions that address the practical, ethical, social and/or political dimensions of different strategies currently used by arts practitioners to make money. We are seeking contributions from artists, curators, directors, writers, researchers, organisers, tutors, teachers and other people involved in contemporary visual art. Whether you make a living working in the arts or elsewhere, we’d like to hear from you...

We are looking for a range of challenging and creative responses, which sample the breadth of current artistic economic activity, and which suggest innovative approaches to the question of how to survive as an arts practitioner. We welcome ideas which make use of both the Cragg Lecture Theatre space at UCA, as well as other potential spaces in the university (such as studios, canteen, library). We will also be running a lunchtime marketplace, where participants will be offered a free pitch in order to sell/trade their goods. This applies to those people who already do this in order to make a living, and the things you sell to be considered NOT your main artistic practice.

The symposium will be a full-day event on Thursday 26th March 2015 at UCA in Canterbury. You will be paid for your contribution to the symposium if selected. This will be decided upon when we know how many contributors will be taking part. If you are awarded a free pitch in the lunchtime marketplace, you will not be offered a fee for your contribution. Return travel to Canterbury will be reimbursed for all contributors. More information on Collaborative Research Group and our programme can be found at:

How to apply

To apply, please send us a single word or pdf document containing the following information: 1. Your name 2. Info (are you a Postgraduate Student, Curator, Artist, Lecturer etc) 3. Contact information (email, phone number) 4. Title of proposed contribution (if applicable) 5. Your abstract/proposal/outline (250 words maximum). Please indicate clearly the format (i.e. performance, paper, demonstration etc), timings, and technical requirements as part of this. 6. A 150 word bio. 7. Supporting information (web links/up to 3 embedded images.)

Please email this to by 5pm on Friday 23rd January 2015 with subject heading SYMPOSIUM. If you are interested in getting hold of a free pitch at our lunchtime marketplace, please title your email PITCH. Contributions for the symposium will be selected by Collaborative Research Group. We will notify applicants of our decisions by early February 2015 at the latest.

This project is funded by European Inter-regional Culture-led Regeneration and Kent County Council, with support from CRATE Studio and Project Space and University for the Creative Arts.

Image: Sarah Jones, 'At Risk of Falling', 2015