Own Art Scheme – Gallery Membership Reopens

Own Art – Arts Council England’s interest free loan scheme – gallery membership reopens

The Own Art scheme is able to accept applications from new galleries for membership to the scheme with effect from 1 April this year.

The Own Art scheme is designed to make it easy and affordable for everyone to buy contemporary works of art, craft and design. Your customers will be able to purchase or commission work with an interest free loan from £100 up to £2,000. Loans are then paid back over 10 monthly equal installments.

Own Art is operated through Arts Council England’s trading arm, ArtCo Trading Ltd.

The scheme is an innovative way of directly supporting the income of artists, encouraging greater public engagement with the visual arts, and strengthening the visual arts economy. Over 270 member galleries are currently participating in the scheme across England and Scotland. For more information on Own Art, please see our website www.ownart.org.uk

There will be two opportunities for galleries to apply to Own Art during 2008/9, with application rounds as follows:
– application round 1 is open from 1 April with a deadline for submission of noon on Friday 30 May
– application round 2 is open from 3 November with a deadline for submission of noon on Friday 9 January 2009

Applications will not be accepted between 1 June and 2 November 2008.

The Own Art application pack is available to download on the Own Art website; information for galleries. Hard copy information packs may also be requested by emailing ownart@artscouncil.org.uk or telephoning Gail Scott, Assistant Officer, Art Loans T: 0191 255 8521.

Please note, 30 May, noon, is the deadline for galleries applying to the scheme in the first round. Galleries will be notified on the 4 August of decisions as to whether their application has been successful.

All businesses applying for membership of the scheme will need to meet the following criteria:
· a minimum 12 months trading
· audited accounts for the previous financial year
· a positive net worth
These are in addition to the assessment criteria set by Arts Council England for membership of the scheme.

Online galleries are now eligible to join the scheme.

Full information about how to apply to the scheme (application form, guidelines and criteria, scheme rules, costs, details of how to obtain a Consumer Credit License etc.) can be found on the Own Art website. There is also a useful fact sheet included on the website www.ownart.org.uk

If you have any application or membership queries please email ownart@artscouncil.org.uk or telephone Gail Scott, Assistant Officer, Art Loans T: 0191 255 8521.

We also produce a monthly Own Art e bulletin to promote the scheme widely and to provide updates on the contemporary art market. To subscribe to the bulletin go to http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/ownart/bulletin.html