hotel generation is a UK wide, young artist development programme mentoring four shortlisted participants from outside of London through an open call, culminating in a solo exhibition for one of the artists selected by a panel of esteemed judges and the public.
The need for an artist professional development programme
A recent survey by a-n The Artists Information Company in 2012 highlighted the value of support during the critical and unproven early stages of establishing a career in the visual arts. Young artists need skills-focused programmes that include personalised development planning and business support as well as critique of their work.
hotel generation is a continuation of hotel generation ‘17 which was set up at arebyte LASER, arebyte’s sister space in our Clerkenwell studio site. Running from March until September 2017, hotel generation ‘17 aimed to provide a platform for emerging artists to engage with experimental projects and ideas. Well acclaimed by the participating artists and the audience, the initiative was listed in the Artist Led Hot 100 2017, as well as exhibition reviews in online magazines.
Throughout the programme, it became clear that there was a need for development, mentoring sessions and guidance. This demand from the exhibiting artists initiated the change in the programme format: from a series of fast-paced two-week exhibitions including 11 emerging artists from UK cities, hotel generation moved into a long development programme giving us the time and the resources to professionally advise the participants.
hotel generation gives recent graduates the opportunity of first hand experience of exhibiting in a funded solo exhibition in an established gallery and equips them with the skills to manage sustainable careers. It allows non-London university graduates a sense of place in the Capital art scene which can be notoriously difficult to infiltrate.
The development programme
The four shortlisted artists will each receive a stipend to begin the development stage of their proposal. Working closely with the arebyte team, the artists will receive studio visits, professional guidance, critical feedback and assistance to develop their initial proposals. They will be given help with all aspects of exhibiting including proposal writing, making and progressing work and ideas, as well as budgeting, fundraising and running a marketing campaign. .
The winning participant will then be selected by a judging panel, with each of the four judges having one vote. Each year we invite various leading figures in the art sector with varying expertise in fields such as technology and curation.
The artist selected for a solo exhibition will then receive further funds as well as continued support from the gallery team to produce work. The exhibition will run for four weeks at the end of the year and will be accompanied by a publication documenting the exhibition and the proposal from the three other participants, with commissioned texts from guest writers.
What we want to achieve
We aim to look outside of the Capital to draw in young regional voices which aren't given enough precedence in London. By tapping into these sub-networks, new dialogues will be initiated whereby conversations between different areas of the country are formed and developed as the programme continues yearly.
We expect participants to gain the skills to professionally manage sustainable careers, from approaching a public gallery to develop a proposal, producing works against a timeline and budget, and realising their ideas in a concise manner, to writing an artist statement, learning how to successfully promote their own work and ways to generate new interest around their practice. By exposing them to new audiences in London, we hope to help them in expanding their network and foster new opportunities of collaborations in the future.
The selection of the participants
In spring each year, the arebyte curatorial team will shortlist four participants to the programme from a callout for projects open to young UK-based artists from outside of London. Each applicant will submit an initial proposal conceived around arebyte’s yearly theme for its programme of exhibitions.
The scheme looks for artists who work across emerging and digital media who do not yet have a proven track record but show great promise, are likely to benefit from the programme, and have a commitment to develop their practice.
The criteria for submissions is as follows:
- be aged 26 or under
- make work using emerging and digital media
- be a maximum of two years from graduating a UK University located outside of
London (BA, MA or equivalent)
- be living in the UK but outside of London (at the time of application)