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7 exciting opportunities for artists this September

By in Opportunities


Young woman working on a watercolour painting outdoors
Photo by

As Summer draws to a close, why not take advantage of the ‘back-to-school’ energy in the air by getting your art out there! September is the perfect time for refreshing your practise, gaining momentum and seeking new opportunities. This month, ArtWeb has curated a specially selected listing of the most exciting residencies, commissions and competitions open to artists in the UK and beyond.

Estuary 2021

Deadline: 11th September

This large-scale arts festival celebrating the lives, landscapes and histories of the Thames Estuary is looking to co-commission a new public realm artwork for Lesnes Abbey Woods. Now in its second edition, this is a fantastic opportunity for artists/collectives with a history of working in the public realm, or those with socially engaged practises. In collaboration with Metal and London Borough of Bexley, the selected artwork will be installed and retained permanently on site. Estuary 2021 have created an informative and detailed artist brief, to which they invite artists to respond. The selected artist will join an artistic peer exchange network, and receive one-to-one support from the Metal creative team, as well as a total artist fee and production budget of £12,000.

Apply here

Creative Spark Residency Programme

Deadline: 14th September

Based in County Louth, Ireland, Creative Spark is offering a 2–3 month residency for up to five creative practitioners to develop their work and research. Open to artists of any medium, this residency is suitable for both emerging and established artists of any nationality, though preference is given to those working in printmaking. Selected artists will receive a private studio space, technical support, and access to a fully equipped print studio and kiln room for the duration of their stay, as well as a small material stipend. The programme values community participation, requiring artists to facilitate talks about their work, and culminating in an annual residency exhibition.

Apply Here

VIA Arts Prize 2020

Deadline: 27th September 2020

Submissions are now open for the UK’S only Ibero-American arts prize. Open to artists of any nationality residing in the UK and working in the media of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography or printmaking, artists are invited to submit original artworks inspired by Ibero-American culture. This year, in light of Covid-19, the 30 shortlisted entries will be exhibited online at the VIA Arts Prize official website from November 2020. First, second and third place will be compensated with cash prizes of £2000, whilst a generous £1000 will also be granted to the winner of the ‘People’s Choice Award’. The four winners will be asked to participate in a group show at the Embassy of Brazil in central London in 2021.

Apply here

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

Deadline: 24th September

Are you a wizard of watercolours? Adept at acrylics? This could be your time to shine! Back for its 33rd year, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, open to both UK-based and international artists, is the most prestigious competition for water-based media. The judges are looking for original and imaginative uses of this traditional medium. First prize is a bountiful £3000 plus £1000 worth of gift vouchers to spend in Cass Art stores, with additional prizes for runners up. Shortlisted artists will be invited to participate in a touring exhibition to take place later on in the year at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke before moving on to Mall Galleries, London in 2021.

Apply here


Deadline: 30th September

Transient is an Instagram-based residency programme that supports creatives interested in exploring the relationship between art and technology. The virtual environment allows selected artists to forge connections with fellow creatives and potential buyers from all over the world. Each residency lasts five days, with a limit of two posts per day. This is a great opportunity to consolidate your practise and gather a new following of like-minded individuals in the process. Additionally, residents will have the chance to feature one piece of work, alongside an artist statement and social links, on Transient’s beautiful new website.

Apply here

Artists For Fresh Air Sculpture 2021

Deadline: 30th September

Set in the luscious gardens of The Old Rectory in Quenington, Fresh Air Sculpture is an outdoor selling exhibition that takes place bi-yearly in the Gloucestershire countryside. This opening invites entries from artists of any age or nationality working in sculpture, however, submissions must be of large scale and suited to withstand the British weather long-term. With artist bursaries of £250 to £1000 available, this is a unique opportunity for the nature lovers amongst us.

Apply here

In Production: Open Call (ICA)

Deadline: 5th October

If digital media is more your thing, The Institute of Contemporary Art, London, is on the lookout for a diverse group of London-based artists under 30 to create new audio, video and interactive works. Part of the New Creatives scheme developed by BBC Arts and Arts Council England, In Production is open to emerging artists working across sound and moving image. Shortlisted applicants will receive the opportunity to develop new work with the support of industry professionals, with the final pieces to be broadcast on the BBC. The application portal will be open from 25th August.

Apply here

About The Author

Stephanie Gavan

Stephanie is a writer and visual artist from Liverpool, UK. She graduated from Goldsmiths College, London in 2014, where she studied Fine Art and History of Art. Previously, she worked as a Communications Assistant for Liverpool Biennial and co-edited feminist zine Queen of the Track. After two years of studying and teaching languages in Venice, Italy, she is currently undertaking an MA in Writing at the Royal College of Art.

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