New project to give thousands of pounds to Leeds artists struggling during the pandemic

Artists in Leeds will be able to apply for bursaries between £1,000 to £5,000 through a new network in the city.
Don't Look So Sad (2020) by Nicola Singh, who is one of the advisers on the steering groupDon't Look So Sad (2020) by Nicola Singh, who is one of the advisers on the steering group
Don't Look So Sad (2020) by Nicola Singh, who is one of the advisers on the steering group

Promoting an Artist Network in the Crisis (PANIC!) will support artists in making new contemporary visual artwork.

This can take any form of art and artists are encouraged to address the new psychological, social and cultural conditions faced in the pandemic.

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Led by artists, curators and organisations in Leeds, PANIC! will create an artists' network in Leeds.

Artist Bijan Amini-Alavijeh joins the steering groupArtist Bijan Amini-Alavijeh joins the steering group
Artist Bijan Amini-Alavijeh joins the steering group

The project has been brought together by The Tetley in partnership with art historian Griselda Pollock, together with a steering group of three advisors, Kerry Harker, Simeon Barclay and Nicola Singh, and seven artists based in the region.

The artists joining the steering group are Bijan Amini-Alavijeh, Claye Bowler, Kevin Chege, Charlotte Cullen, Lucy Cunningham, Ian Jackson and Sam Metz

The network will provide bursaries of between £1,000 and £5,000 for artists, as well as hosting a digital events programme with the opportunity for talks, blogs and podcasts.

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Artists will also benefit from individual mentoring and studio visits with external artists, curators and practitioners.

Lucy Cunningham, one of the steering group artists, said: "Being selected for PANIC! is an incredibly exciting moment in my artistic career.

"Helping to develop a network that offers support for selected artists is rewarding, in that it will enable individuals to thrive creatively, with assurance that they will be financially and pastorally assisted, in such challenging times.

"Graduating only a few years ago, I’m drawn to the potential of inspiring students to persist in the arts beyond graduation, and continue in the evolving community that makes Leeds. Guidance and funding is imperative for artists today - for both graduates and those who haven’t accessed Higher Education.

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"I see PANIC as a programme that artists are welcomed into, enthusing the next generation of creatives in Leeds, to sustain Yorkshire’s visual landscape.”

Georgia Taylor Aguilar, artist development curator at The Tetley, said: "This is such a generous opportunity for the PANIC! Steering group to question, challenge and make provocations about how artists and networks are practicing and on what terms.

"I’m really excited for bursaries, mentoring, research and learning to be shared with all artists who want to be involved in the PANIC! Network. This will be a kind and equitable platform – ultimately a useful resource for artists”

Art historian Griselda Pollock said: “The response to our call out confirmed the range and wealth of amazing artists in our region.

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"Choosing was difficult but we feel we have a remarkable and skilled team of thoughtful and committed artists to help steer this project, reach into many communities, and take forward our commitment to developing support structures for artists, sites of exchange, learning and mentoring and demonstrating our active commitment to inclusion and diversity.

"I know we are all looking forward to working with these artists and the artist advisors.”

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