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OPEN CALL! The Collective Studio 2022-23

Posted: 22 June 2022

Do you want to have interesting, fun, creative experiences as part of a collective? Do you want to build confidence, make friends, have new thoughts and think longer-term about your creative practice?
The Collective Studio is for you!

THE COLLECTIVE STUDIO

11-month Development Programme

FOR ALL EARLY-CAREER PRACTITIONERS

OCTOBER 2022 – SEPTEMBER 2023

Do you want to have interesting, fun, creative experiences as part of a collective?

Do you want to build confidence, make friends, have new thoughts and think longer-term about your creative practice?

The Collective Studio is for you!

The Collective Studio is a development programme for early-career artists and/or recent graduates, and is open to creative practitioners in any discipline.

The Collective Studio provides care, support, guidance and space to test out ideas within a nurturing and critically engaged community at The NewBridge Project.

The Collective Studio provides affordable studios and workspace, and a programme of training, events, mentoring, socials and opportunities to exhibit work tailored to each cohort and open to a very diverse range of practices (see Who Is It For? below).

Perhaps you’ve just left university or finished a masters; you might not have been to university, but are searching for like-minded people; maybe you are returning to a creative endeavor after life got in the way for a while?

The Collective Studio uses a very broad definition of art and artistic practice.

The Collective Studio has a flexible approach and evolves year on year.

The structure and content of the programme is shaped by and for its members with support from The NewBridge Project’s Artist Development Programmer and other staff. It is set against the backdrop of our evolving public programme, which explores big topics like climate change, who our cities are for and methods for collective solidarity that can help us imagine and live new futures.

The Collective Studio is run by The NewBridge Project in partnership with Newcastle University.

The Collective Studio is supported by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle University.

11 Month Programme

11 month events programme and subsidised studio provision between October 2022 – September 2023.

You will be inducted in the building from early October 2022, before the first intensive 2-dayer, and your membership of the Collective Studio will end in the middle of September 2023.

3x Intensive 2-day workshops on:

– 12th & 13th October 

– 15th & 16th February

– 14th & 15th June 

(Wednesday and Thursday, 12 noon–6pm plus evening socials)

Programmed events every month:

– Wednesday November 16th 1pm

– Thursday December 15th 6pm

– Wednesday January 11th 1pm

– Thursday March 16th 6pm

– Wednesday April 12th 1pm

– Thursday May 18th 6pm

(Wednesday afternoon / Thursday evening)

(It is recommended you put these dates in your diary now as attendance will give you the fullest experience of the Collective Studio).

July/August/September form the soft fade-out of the Collective and feature no formally planned activity but peer-led events, activities and support continue.

The Collective Studio is about much more than subsidised studio space. It includes:

  • Crits, events & workshops
  • Invited local and national workshop leaders
  • Socials
  • Access to production and project spaces (including wood workshop, darkroom, print studio, ceramic studio)
  • Works-in-progress exhibitions
  • Field trips
  • Mentoring
  • Studio & workspace
  • Budget allocated for the cohort to collectively use, providing the opportunity to exhibit work and/or programme events.
  • Peer-led activity

If you are interested in a studio space and not the programme, then have a look at applying for a studio on the Become a Member page on our Website.

How does it work?

The Collective Studio operates through an 11-month  membership model providing different types of space membership including:

  • shared studios (£35 per month – 2 people sharing a 5m2 space with own desk); 
  • coworking and hot desking (£25 per month);
  • associate membership for Non North-East based practitioners only (£60 per year / £5 per month – most activity accessible virtually).

Through this membership you also have access to a broader range of events and development opportunities through NewBridge’s ongoing artistic programme and Practice Makes Practice (our wider member-led development programme).

Along with studio and workspace, Collective Studio members will gain access to a regular and flexible curriculum of support, including events, socials and mentoring. The structure will be shaped around three 2-day workshops in October, February and June, monthly events with invited guest practitioners and regular socials and peer-led activity. The Collective Studio is based at The NewBridge Project in Shieldfield, Newcastle.

Who is it for?

The NewBridge Project is looking for any early-career practitioners and creative graduates to be part of The Collective Studio cohort from mid-October 2022 to September 2023.

The Collective Studio is open to all creative disciplines including (but not limited to):

Visual artists, curators, filmmakers, photographers, performers, writers, architects, sound artists, designers, creative producers/organisers, musicians, activists, ceramicists, sculptors, conceptual artists, socially engaged practitioners, poets, directors, actors and researchers. 

Get in touch if you aren’t sure as it’s highly likely your discipline is accepted!

The Collective Studio is for:

  • Those who have not undertaken a formal education course but can demonstrate a developing creative practice.
  • Those who have completed an alternative or non-formal education programme in the last 3 years.
  • Those who have graduated from any university/art school/college in the last 3 years from an arts-based or related, creative course (BA and Master level welcome).
  • The Collective Studio 2022-23 is not open to those who have previously completed a graduate/Collective Studio programme at The NewBridge Project, or for people currently enrolled in Higher Education – just wait ‘til you’ve finished.

A wide range of disciplines and experiences is incredibly important for the structure and the creative environment of the Collective Studio.

Applying

We have a number of different ways to apply for The Collective Studio:

  • Through a single PDF document containing the following information.
  • Through a video or sound file containing the following information.
  • If there is another way you wish to apply then get in touch and let us know.

Please send your application to applications@thenewbridgeproject.com with ‘YOUR NAME_The Collective Studio Application’ in the subject line.

(Save the file as Your_Name_Collective_Studio_Application)

  1. Statement (Max. half page of A4 / 2-3 minutes via video or audio). This is the most important part of the application, and the following prompts will help you to complete your statement:
  • Put your name at the top of your statement
  • Why would you like to be part of The Collective Studio 2022-2023 at The NewBridge Project and what appeals to you about the collective experience it offers?
  • How might it benefit your personal, creative, and professional development?
  • What will you contribute to the collective experience?
  • Do you have any suggestions for activities or people you’d like to invite as part of the programme? (This isn’t compulsory!)
  • We are most interested in your enthusiasm and personality coming across in this bit – please be yourself! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a big track-record to show us.
  1. Bio/Artist Statement (Max. half page of A4 / 2-3 minutes video or audio), including information about who you are (the bio), what your creative practice is and why you do it (artist statement). Don’t worry if you aren’t happy with this. That’s a common feeling and we will be developing this as part of the programme.
  1. Brief CV (Max. 1 page A4 / 2-3 minutes video or audio) focussing on your practice and any relevant experience (include an up-to-date address, contact phone number and email address (non-university). You won’t be selected based on your CV but it helps with background info.
  2. We welcome applications from people who haven’t undertaken a formal degree course, so this isn’t mandatory, but if you have been to university, please state which subject course you have completed, the year of graduation and what institution you attended, or provide equivalent information.
  3. Weblinks or images of recent work (up to 3 items). This is to give us an indication of your work, it’s subject matter and medium – which will help us to plan the programme. We don’t select based on this.
  4. Please include what type of space membership you would like to apply for (shared, hot-desk, associate), and let us know your first and second choice for this.
  5. Equality and Diversity monitoring form

Deadline Thursday 28th July, 12 noon

Successful applicants will be notified by Thursday 11th August.

Bursaries

We want The Collective Studio to be open and accessible to everybody, and as such are offering a number of bursaries for free membership to support people who would otherwise be unable to participate. 

We are offering 2x Shared Studio, 2 x Associate Membership bursaries and 2 x Hot-desk bursaries for Collective Studio membership for those who face barriers associated with race, disability, age, gender identity, sexuality and/or class.

Please see FAQs for more details on access. Please state in your application if you would like to be considered for one of these bursaries, and under what circumstances.

Open days

If you’d like to find out more about The Collective Studio and chat to NewBridge staff members – please come along to one of our open days –

Thursday 14th July open day (IN PERSON/ONLINE) – 1pm – 3pm

Thursday 21st July open day (IN-PERSON/ONLINE) – 10am –12pm

This will be an opportunity to see the space and chat to staff and past Collective Studio members. Book here.

*Please note we will continue to be responsive to government guidelines in relation to Covid 19, making adaptations to the programme if necessary.

We highly recommend contacting Dan Russell, Artist Development Programmer on dan@thenewbridgeproject.com if you have any questions about The Collective Studio, the application process or would like to chat more about the opportunity to see if it is right for you.

 

 

Top Application Tips, FAQs and general advice

Have a think and make a list of what you might like to get out of it and why you want to do it. This can help form the backbone of your application. Over time we’ve come to prioritise the pastoral care, personal development, and creative evolution of Collective Studio members, with the idea that if these are in good health then career and professional opportunities are more likely to open up to you, so maybe think about looking at this question through these lenses.

Try to give us an extra layer of information about yourself and your interest in joining The Collective Studio. We often get applications that repeat back information in the call-out but don’t offer extra context. The more detail, description, and explanation you can add to your sentences the better, as this tells us more about you and what you’ll get out of the programme. For example, don’t just say “I’m interested in being part of a creative community through The Collective Studio”, tell us why this is of interest, and how this relates to you and your practice. Don’t be afraid of writing in your own voice and letting your enthusiasm, interests, personality and ideas come though!

Don’t assume we know everything you’re thinking about, so make sure you spell things out and fill in the blanks for us.

When writing your application – strike the balance between what you will get out of the opportunity and what you will bring to the experience. A good way to think about this is by imagining the Collective Studio as a series of communal, collaborative experiences where you temporarily park your individual practice, immerse yourself in the group activity, then see what filters back into your creative imagination after.

We receive a lot of applications, so it’s wonderful to see a bit more depth about why you want to be part of The Collective Studio, and the whole community based at The NewBridge Project – this is likely to elevate applications from the ‘maybe’ to the ‘definitely’ pile. Have a look at our website and find out more about what we do – NewBridge has an extensive programme of exhibitions and events that explore contemporary art and the world around us. This might inspire your approach to The Collective Studio and help you write your application. 

You might not have much idea what the future holds, and you might be struggling for direction. This is very normal. In fact, this is a good reason for applying to The Collective Studio! Within your application, we’re not asking you to map out exactly what you hope to get out of the programme, but some ideas of the kinds of things you are thinking about, what you are interested in and how you can see yourself getting involved in all of this. The Collective Studio is about the process of developing so you don’t need to have everything all worked out in advance (and it’s also ok if you do! And if it changes along the way!). But explain and describe this to us in your application. For example – you might write “I’m interested in collaboration, but I’m not sure what this will look like yet, but hope to explore this with other members of the Collective over the 11 months.”

 

The Collective Studio offers space, a programme of events, and the opportunity to be part of a supportive creative community. Make sure you mention all these different aspects of the programme, and why they are of interest to you. For example: don’t just say “I want affordable space” and not mention all the other things the programme has to offer (and if this is the only bit you’re interested in, then take a look at our studio membership instead!).

Here’s a very handy guide by Jiggle N Juice Collective to writing a Bio or statement. Remember, this doesn’t need to be perfect, so don’t worry if you’re not 100% happy with it or if you’ve not written something like this before, but it helps to have one that we can improve as part of The Collective Studio programme! https://www.jigglenjuicecollective.com/support/how-to-statements-and-bios

Please remember to follow the application guidelines, naming all your files with Your_Name at the start of them – this means your application won’t get mixed up with anyone else’s and saves us lots of time too!

The Collective Studio is an eleven-month programme for people at the start of their artistic journey, and focusses on personal, creative, and professional development. The programme puts communal activity, learning from each other and inviting guests to lead activity and workshops at the forefront. The Collective Studio is run by the NewBridge Project in partnership with Newcastle University and their Institute for Creative Arts Practice.

There are a number of different types of membership, which provide options to suit different types of practice, budget and location. Here’s a break-down of what they are: 

Memberships with space The Collective Studio has a dedicated space at our new building, the Shieldfield Centre. The space has a number of small spaces to be shared, and a lovely hot desk area with lots of natural light that can be used for working, socialising and hosting events. You can visit this space on our in person open day! The space has 24-hour access. 

  • Shared space – this gives you a 5m2 space that you will share with another Collective Studio member, and is open on the the connecting corridor 
  • Hot desk membership – this gives you access to The Collective Studios dedicated hot desk area, as well as NewBridge’s other co-work spaces 
  • Associate membership – Perfect for those based outside the North East but who want to join the Collective Studio / NewBridge community, and take part in the 11 month programme of events and opportunities! You can attend events online, or come to Newcastle to attend (often we can offer bursary support towards travel).

If you are very keen to be on The Collective Studio, attend all the events and be part of the community, but are after a bigger or more private space, then do let us know in your application as we can sometimes accommodate this. However, we have recently moved to a new building at full capacity so it is unlikely on this occasion that we will have the right space for you. 

No, the ‘Collective’ element is about collective learning, collectively shaping a programme, and doing it together as a group. It doesn’t mean you are forming an ‘artist collective’ by joining the programme (though you may join as a collective and may start working this way during or after the programme!). Collectivity in this context means leaving your own practice at the door, entering into communal, collaborative experiences and seeing what you can feed back into your individual practice after.

The Collective Studio is a time-bound programme of eleven months, with a fixed cohort of people, a focus on communal activity and is specifically for early-career creatives. Collective Studio events and opportunities aren’t open to the public or other NewBridge members, they are just for that year’s cohort. The structure for the eleven months is informed by what’s worked for past cohorts, and the ideas for activities come from the current members, and all members are supported by NewBridge’s Artist Development Programmer. However, you do automatically become a NewBridge member when you join The Collective Studio, which gives you access to Practice Makes Practice (a broader artist development programme for all NewBridge members, and open to the wider creative community through one-off ticket sales), and lets you apply for all member-only opportunities

This varies depending on circumstance. The first cohort had twenty people in a big, shared space. Since then, we’ve become more flexible and offered individual and shared smaller studios, associate memberships for people who live further away and co-work/hot-desk membership, with around 30- people on the most recent cohorts. We have recently moved to a new building, so spaces will be a bit different to those that were in Gateshead, and we expect there will be around 25 people on The Collective Studio this year across different types of membership.

We’d like to reiterate that our definition of art is very, very broad and we are interested in all forms of creative expression. Not being able to pin-point your practice is fine – in fact flexibility, openness to change and a broadminded approach to art-making are encouraged. The Collective Studio sometimes helps people to (re)define what they are interested in, and sometimes opens-up new questions and possible avenues of exploration. 

 

In the past we’ve mainly done things in real life, but over the last year have run an entirely online programme. Our intention for the 2021-23 Collective Studio is to make sure that as many activities as possible are accessible both online and in real life.

We have great relationships with many artists and creative practitioners in lots of different fields and disciplines, as well as other arts organisations who we work with to produce an exciting and varied programme as part of The Collective Studio and beyond. We make the most of the rich art scene of the North East, as well as connecting with national and international artists and organisations. Often, Collective Studio members mention the kind of thing they are interested in, and we invite someone suitable to lead an event or workshop on the subject.

We know that life can be unpredictable, but we’ve found that the more Collective Studio members get involved, the better their experience is. The monthly activity and 2-day intensives provide time and space to get to know each other, so aiming to attend all of these should be a minimum requirement. There is more informal peer-led activity in between the programmed activity, too. With The Collective Studio – you do get out what you put in! We know it’s a bit of a cliche, but if you show up and get involved in activity, you’ll have a richer experience and you’ll make the collective stronger. We know life often throws up surprises and there might be things that you have to opt out of (and we like to foster a pressure-free environment) but the people who have got the most out of past Collective Studios tend to have been those that really threw themselves into it. So, if you think that using the studio/co-work space, attending events and activity (in real life and online) and getting involved in the collective experience is going to be a bit of a squeeze with other commitments, perhaps consider applying next time.

Absolutely not! The Collective Studio is a space for you to be as productive or as unproductive as you feel. Sometimes having permission not to indulge in the constant churn of making and doing is very welcome, and plenty of people get a lot out of taking part without necessarily producing anything. The ideas, sparks of imagination and friends you make will inform future you’s practice in ways you don’t know yet so the idea is to take the pressure off if that’s what you require. Conversely, if you want deadlines, structure and impetus to make new work, that can be arranged, too!

People often find the best thing about The Collective Studio is the group of people involved – your fellow members of the cohort, and the supporting cast of NewBridge staff, members and invited guests. The relationships you foster and friends you make can help you bounce ideas around, work together on things, give encouragement, critique and support, and spark your imagination in new and unexpected ways. They often provide the support structure for your continued development beyond the 10 months, too. Not all the benefits of the Collective Studio are immediate. Some things will become apparent further down the line, after the 10-month programme has ended. There might be a collaboration that comes to fruition in 2034; someone you meet at a Collective Studio event writes about your work for Corridor8 in 18 months’ time, or when you are thinking about studio space beyond the end of the programme, you might have a studio mate you wouldn’t have met without the cohort. The immediate benefits are: 

– A bespoke programme of events aimed at supporting the early-stages of your career and practice, and shaped by the group. 

– Joining a community of like-minded folk at the same stage of their artistic journey. 

– Opportunities for exhibiting and presenting work 

– Affordable, 24-hour access studio / workspace within an active creative community 

– Access to resources and workshops (such as dark room, ceramics studio, wood workshop, print studio). 

– Discounted prices for bookable project space at NewBridge (for making, exhibiting, hosting). 

– Access to other member-only events and opportunities (such as Practice makes Practice) 

– 10% discount in NewBridge books

The Collective Studio isn’t like school, college or university programmes – there’s no fixed curriculum (apart from the given dates), modules, assessment or qualification at the end of the programme. 

 

Probably not. The best thing about The Collective Studio is the collective activity we do together, the things we learn by doing stuff in a communal setting, the mix of people and the practices being shared. If you just want a studio that’s fine – you can apply to be a studio member at NewBridge here: https://thenewbridgeproject.com/become-a-member/

Absolutely. If you aren’t sure if it’s the right fit for you now, or you know you won’t have a lot of time over the 11-month programme, then you can always apply next year! We usually release the annual call out in May or June.

The Collective Studio space at the Shieldfield Centre is located on the second floor of the building, and activities and events may take place on other floors. All these areas of the building can be accessed via a lift, and there is an accessible toilet on each floor. There is a fire evac chair on the first and second floors, however, these need to be operated by 2 trained members of staff, which may affect the 24-hour access to your space should you be unable to evacuate the building in case of emergency without support. If you have any questions about this then do get in touch and we can discuss this further, and/or arrange a site visit with you.

Collective Studio Open Call

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