professional development programme

A key component of the support offered to emerging artists participating in the initiative is our professional development programme.  This unique programme has been designed by artists, for artists – providing crucial and practical information on topics relating the business of being an artist – areas rarely addressed in art schools.

Our Lead Tutor, Rebecca Byrne, has devised the current programme, comprising studio tours and talks from professional artists, a mentoring scheme and professional development workshops. The programme also provides the participating artists with opportunities to network and collaborate.

The mentoring scheme allows the artists to receive more one-to-one advice and guidance on specific issues they may be facing with an opportunity to follow up with the mentors several months later. This year, our mentors are CJ Mahony, Tim Shaw, Niamh White, and Reece Jones. They covered several topics including Nourishing Practice Within / Without and Beyond Commercial Representation, How to Price Artworks, and Potential Sources of Funding for Artists in addition to providing one-to-one tutorials.

With the start of the global pandemic we took our programme online with virtual workshops held on Zoom, enabling us also to connect with our alumni artists who situated nationwide.

Below are a selection of the talks and workshops we hosted during last year’s professional development programme for recently graduated artists:

  • ‘Paul Bayley on Funding Applications’

Paul Bayley, the former Director of The Florence Trust and a trustee at the Fenton Arts Trust, talked to our artists about finding funding and writing a successful funding application.

  • ‘Art walk with Paul Carey-Kent’

Writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent led us on a whirlwind tour of eleven contemporary galleries in central London.

  • ‘Contract Law with Jon Sharples’

Art & intellectual property lawyer and collector Jon Sharples gave a talk on Intellectual Property rights, focusing on copyright followed by a Q&A on consignment agreements.

  • ‘Writing skills workshop with Liz Elton’

Our artists were offered the opportunity to sign up for one-to-one tutorials with artist and curator Liz Elton. Held at the House of St. Barnabas, Liz Elton provided feedback on individual applications and artists statements.

  • ‘How to Maximise your Instagram Profile’

Victoria Wilson, deputy director of digital and social media at Pelham Communications, gave a workshop on Instagram specifically geared towards artists.

  • ‘Exploring Careers in the Arts’

Irene Sartorio, art recruiter for Lacey West International, presented a talk on alternative careers and income streams for artists.

  • ‘Personal Branding with Penny Harris’

Penny Harris, one half of Parker Harris the contemporary visual arts consultants, gave a workshop on personal branding for artists.

To mark the conclusion of the most recent professional development programme, we initiated the NPA Lab | 2020: Established x Emerging: sustaining practices. This project paired up emerging NPA artists with established professional artists, curators and arts writers to facilitate dialogues on the future of the art world. To visit the Lab, please go here.

Once There Was A Time No 1, Alison Griffin

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Not For Love Nor Money, Conall McAteer; Clyde & Co Blank Canvas Commission 2012

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