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Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC), Artists’ Residencies

Deadline: Friday 8 January 2016.

Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) is inviting visual artists to apply for twelve-month residencies at Highgreen in rural Northumberland. The Trust is hoping to appoint two artists from applications submitted; one artist to hold the residency starting October2016 and another artist to hold the residency starting September 2017.

VARC’s primary aims are to offer:
•Opportunities to professional artists from all backgrounds and diversity to develop new work in response to the remote rural landscape and its community and

•Benefit to the residents of all ages in the local community and to visiting groups – especially those disadvantaged or marginalised and from urban parts of the region – in engagement with art through contact and activities with artists.

•Benefit to young people with special needs, particularly those with an autism spectrum condition through creative projects with artists.

VARC is looking for:

Artists who feel that 12 months spent living in an isolated rural location will significantly benefit their practice. Although the Trust feels that artists who might most benefit are those who have lived in an urban or city environment, artists will be considered regardless of their current location as long as they can explain how this would benefit their practice. The length of the residency is one year. This enables the artist to experience the full cycle of seasons as well as time for the rural community and the artist to get to know each other, and the environment to have an impact on the work. However in exceptional circumstances six month residencies are not ruled out. The aim is to give the artist a unique opportunity to concentrate on his/her practice in a remote setting, away from the constraints of city life. It is hoped that this experience will have a lasting effect on the artist.

Artists who want to be part of a community and who enjoy contact with people. The resident artist is expected to spend a minimum of forty days during the year working on engagement with the public and on projects with community groups (including planning time). What form this would take would depend on the artist and the nature of his or her work but will include projects with specific groups, open studio days, practical sessions, talks and participation as Artist in Residence in local events. VARC also seeks to deliver creative projects for children with special needs, particularly those autistic spectrum disorders. Any involvement of the Artist in Residence in this work will be remunerated in addition to the residency fee.

£9,000 per annum artist’s fee and materials.
Materials and expenses for community projects will be paid for separately by VARC.
A catalogue will be produced.
Reasonable costs associated with the exhibition (transport, presentation of work) will be paid

Up to two days’ worth of mentoring if wished (with a mentor decided by prior agreement between the artist and VARC)

Accommodation (flat and studio) worth £6,000 per annum.


To find out more and apply, visit the website.