Barbara Tong, ‘Have a Good Day’

professional development programme


We are currently accepting applications for our 2024 Professional Development Programme. If you would like to apply please visit our Zealous Portal. The deadline is 23rd April.


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. Our contributors include CJ Mahony, Tim Shaw, Niamh White, and Jon Sharples. They covered topics such as Nourishing Practice Within / Without and Beyond Commercial Representation, How to Price Artworks, Fund Writing for Artists, as well as Artist Contracts and Copyright Law, 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 are living and working nationwide.

Here is a selection of the talks and workshops we regularly host:

  • Fund Writing

Co-founder of Hospital Rooms and curator Niamh White presents a thorough workshop on how to write a successful funding application, including the pitfalls to avoid and top tips for the points to be sure to make.

  • Contract Law

Art & intellectual property lawyer and collector Jon Sharples provides two workshops, one is a talk on Intellectual Property rights, focusing on copyright, and the other is Artist Contracts.  Both are followed by a Q&A period for the artists to ask specific questions.

  • Writing Skills

Our artists have been offered the opportunity to sign up for one-to-one tutorials with artist and curator Liz Elton, artist, curator and NPA Lead Tutor Rebecca Byrne or artist and NPA Artist Community Coordinator Phoebe Corker-Marin. The feedback provided ranges from assistance on writing applications for grants and opportunities to artists’ statements.

To mark the conclusion of the professional development programme, we initiated the NPA Lab in 2020.

The NPA Lab is an opportunity for the artists to spend time working in small groups with a specific theme that is designed to foster experimentation.  Whether working with an established artist paired with an NPA artist or working in Peer to Peer mentoring, the purpose of the Lab changes each year but the outcome is the same: to provide a platform for an artist-led project that facilitates connections between the artists and provides an opportunity for them to see a shift in their practice.

To visit the Labs, please go here.