Applications open for Art Fund Collect 2013

Calling all contemporary craft curators – applications are now open for your final chance to be awarded 100% grants through the Art Fund's Collect scheme.

2013 will be the sixth and final year of Art Fund Collect. Launched in 2008, the scheme aims to champion contemporary craft and challenge curators to acquire significant works of applied and decorative art by artists from around the world at COLLECT, the annual fair in Europe for international contemporary craft of museum quality organised by the Crafts Council. COLLECT 2013 will take place at the Saatchi Gallery from 10-13 May.

Why get involved?

The Art Fund has allocated up to £75,000 towards the scheme, and 100% grants are offered for examples of outstanding contemporary craft, allowing curators to concentrate on finding significant pieces to develop their museum’s collections.

‘Art Fund Collect provided the national Museum of Scotland with its first acquisition of Japanese bamboo art,' said Rosina Buckland of the National Museum of Scotland. 'Since joining the institution two years ago I have been keen to continue collecting contemporary Japanese studio crafts, and this was the first addition for three years.’

What to expect

Following an open application process a shortlist of curators will be selected by the Art Fund Collect committee, who will then be invited to select a single work for their museum’s collection.

In a change to previous years, curators will gain access to the fair on the evening of the 9 May and then have until 1.00pm at the fair the following day to make their selection and put their chosen item on reserve. We have revised the deadline for selections in 2013 as we feel it is important to give curators the time to consider a variety of possible works before selecting the one most appropriate for their collections. Final selections are then submitted and presented to the Art Fund Collect committee, who decides which curators should win a share of the £75,000 funding pot.

In addition to helping curators to acquire works that are imaginative and ambitious to support and strengthen their museum’s collections, we want to encourage curators to view Art Fund Collect as an opportunity for professional development. The shortlisted curators will make a short presentation and discuss their chosen work with the committee who will then make the final selection. This reflects the Art Fund and Crafts Council’s aim to put curators and objects centre stage, and to develop curatorial expertise through the experience of Art Fund Collect.

‘The need to express my curatorial approach and vision for collecting made me think really hard about my priorities as a curator', said Lucy Cooper from Museums Sheffield. 'As a curator working without a budget to acquire new work, collecting is often ad hoc and driven by what is offered to us. It was great to change approach and think positively about the best way of developing the collection.'

Next st​eps

Art Fund Collect 2013 encourages applicants to explore new areas of interest, make new connections and to be ambitious in their objectives regarding the future of their collections.

Joint applications will also be welcomed from younger curators in partnership with a more experienced colleague, or curators whose interests span different collections or specialisms.

For inspiration, please have a look at these case studies.

For details on how to apply and the criteria for Art Fund Collect 2013, click here.

Please download the Application Form here.

Click here for a list of galleries exhibiting at COLLECT 2013.

The deadline for entries is 12pm on Monday 25 March.

Previous winners of Art Fund Collect include:

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