The Loewe Foundation has this week announced an exciting new collaboration with Studio Voltaire. Loewe's cultural institution and the studio - one of the UK’s leading not-for-profit arts organisations - have teamed up to launch the LoeweFoundation/Studio Voltaire Award, an innovative programme which will support seven artists with two years of rent, free studio space, professional development opportunities and a bursary.
The second phase of the award - announced later this year - will create a new year-long residency for an international artist to be based at Studio Voltaire and will coincide with the reopening of Studio Voltaire in October 2021, after a vast redevelopment project.
The Loewe Foundation was originally created by Enrique Loewe, a fourth-generation member of Loewe’s founding family, in 1988. It was imagined as a way for the fashion house to promote creativity and protect cultural heritage in the fields of craft, art, design, photography, poetry and dance. This latest programme is a testament to the continuation of that aim, as well as a direct response to the events of the past year.
"Supporting creativity is at the heart of all Loewe does and it is therefore a great privilege for the Loewe Foundation to support this vital new initiative, especially in light of the impact Covid-19 has had on the artistic community," says Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe. " I have long admired Studio Voltaire and the work it does and am delighted we can be a part of it."
The programme has, indeed, come at a pivotal moment for the arts, especially in the capital, where studio spaces have decreased and rents have skyrocketed. The pandemic has only added to the state of emergency within the creative community; with countless artists suffering from reduced opportunities, losses in income and isolation.
"This special programme is even more urgent given Covid–19’s effects on artists," says Joe Scotland, director of Studio Voltaire, "London has lost significant numbers of studio spaces in the last three years and it’s estimated that more than a third of existing studio spaces will vanish by 2024. 2021 is going to be an extremely important year for our organisation and through this award we will increase accessibility and opportunities for artists, specifically those with limited financial means or experiencing barriers within their careers."
The Loewe Foundation/Studio Voltaire Award has been established to celebrate talent and innovative flair within contemporary art practice. The award will be available to any artists at any stage of their careers and will particularly aim to help those who are marginalised or experience intersecting forms of discrimination. Award winers will receive rent-free workspace, a bursary of £2,000, an individualised mentorship programme, and access to local and international audiences via the studio's public events programming.
Applications will be received through an open call and via a group of selected nominators. Nominators include: Sheryll Catto, co–director of ActionSpace; Languid Hands, an artistic and curatorial collaboration between Rabz Lansiquot and Imani Robinson; writer and filmmaker Juliet Jacques; Dr Mark Sealy, director of Autograph ABP; and Linsey Young.
Awarded artists will be then be selected by a panel of leading curators and artists: Sepake Angiama, artistic director of Iniva; Andrew Bonacina, chief curator of The Hepworth Wakefield; artists Anthea Hamilton and Elizabeth Price; and Studio Voltaire’s curator of Studios and Residencies, Maggie Matić and director, Joe Scotland.
Applications are now open at studiovoltaire.org
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