hotel generation is a UK wide, young digital artist development programme run every year by arebyte Gallery, mentoring four shortlisted participants from outside of London through an open call and culminating in a solo exhibition for one of the artists selected by a panel of esteemed judges.
The need for an artist professional development programme
A 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 was initiated in 2017 and aimed to provide a platform for emerging artists to engage with experimental projects and ideas. Now in its third iteration, the programme continues to support young artists during the critical and unproven early stages of establishing a career in the arts.
hotel generation gives recent digital art graduates the opportunity of first hand experience of exhibiting in a funded solo exhibition and equips them with the skills to manage sustainable careers. The skills-focused programme includes personalised development planning and business support as well as critique of their work. We expect participants to gain the professional ability to approach a public gallery to develop a proposal, produce works against a timeline and budget, realise their ideas in a concise manner, learn how to successfully promote their own work and generate new interest around their practice through events and outreach.
The programme gives non-London university graduates a sense of place in the Capital art scene which can be notoriously difficult to infiltrate. By exposing the artists to new audiences in London, we hope to help them in expanding their network and foster new opportunities and collaborations in the future. Tapping into these sub-networks allows new dialogues to be initiated between young, regional voices and where conversations between different areas of the country are formed and developed as the programme continues yearly.
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 throughout May, June and July, the flexible programme offers each artist a studio visit, professional guidance, critical feedback and assistance to develop their initial proposals. They will also be given help with all aspects of exhibiting including proposal writing, making and progressing work and ideas, as well as budgeting, fundraising and strategies of running a marketing campaign. All four candidates will also be asked to think about including a series of related events within their exhibition timeframe.
In early August, after having further developed their initial proposal for three months with support from arebyte, the four projects will be presented to a judging panel who will vote and select one of the four artists to realise their proposal. Each year we invite various leading figures in the digital art sector with varying expertise in fields such as technology and curation.
The artist selected will receive further funds as well as continued support from the gallery team to produce the exhibition. This year, the programme will strengthen links between the four candidates by including a daylong curatorial intensive taking place in London.
The exhibition will run for three weeks in December and will be accompanied by a publication documenting the exhibition and the proposal from the three other participants, with commissioned texts from guest writers.
The selection of the participants
In spring each year, the arebyte curatorial team shortlists four participants from the annual open call, aimed specifically at young UK-based artists from outside of London. Each applicant is asked to 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)