Flight 2024: Lancaster Arts and Art Beats open commission call

Posted on 19th Feb, 2024

Lancaster Arts is partnering with Art Beats Festival to commission new work exploring the theme of Flight for inclusion in the 2024 Art Beats festival, taking place at Lancaster University, on 23-25 August 2024. This is an exciting opportunity to create new work as part of an emerging international arts festival between Lancaster University and Sunway University in Malaysia. 

Proposals will engage with any aspect or interpretation of the theme of flight, from the literal to the metaphorical. This commission forms part of Lancaster Arts’ annual programme exploring the theme (for more information about annual themes and how we are thinking about Flight, see here), and will be supported by the Lancaster Arts team including curators, producers and technicians. Alongside creating new work for sharing in the Peter Scott Gallery during the festival, the commissioned artist will deliver an in-person masterclass in Lancaster for students from Lancaster University and Sunway University in the week prior to the festival’s opening. 

Lancaster Arts is a contemporary combined arts organisation and part of the National Portfolio of Arts Council England. We welcome artists working across a range of art forms – and frequently the artists we work with will have a practice that does not fit neatly into one art form or another. Much of our programme involves artists working with people to inform the development of work, for example in this project by José García Oliva. Our commitment to social and environmental justice threads throughout our programme in many different ways.   

For this commission, we are looking at work that could be shared in a gallery space (approx. 140m2) over the duration of the 3-day festival. Applications are welcomed from individuals or collectives. 

The deadline for proposals is midnight on Sunday 17 March 2024.  

There is an overall budget of £3,500 for this commission, to include artist fee (for the commission and the masterclass), production costs and logistical expenses. 

Criteria for commission:  

  • a track record of making contemporary art (in any discipline) for at least 5 years 

  • an exciting idea for new work engaging with the theme of Flight that could be shared in a gallery setting 

  • an articulation of how this commission might extend or deepen your practice in some way 

  • an interest in collaborating with us at Lancaster Arts and Art Beats in the development of the work, including engaging with students participating in the Art Beats festival 

  • We will prioritise artists of the global majority and/or those whose work is primarily based in the north of England (Cumbria, Northumbria, Lancashire, County Durham, Sunderland, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside, Yorkshire). 

Project timeline:  

Midnight 17 March 2024: submission deadline  
26-27 March 2024: interviews for shortlisted artists via zoom 
28 March 2024: selected artist(s) informed  
April - July 2024: commission development including meetings with and support from Lancaster Arts Team; and planning for masterclass  
21-23 August 2024: artist visit to deliver masterclass and install artwork  
23-25 August 2024: Art Beats festival  
Early September 2024: reflection session  

Application process 

Please complete the application form: Application Form

In order to find out who our opportunities are reaching, we require all applicants to complete a demographic monitoring form. This forms no part of the selection process: Demographic Monitoring Form

Selection process 

Each application will be measured against the criteria above. 

Applicants will be notified by 22 March and interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place over Zoom on Tues 26 or Wednesday 27 March

We are excited to hear your ideas! Please get in touch with us with any questions at producers@lancasterarts.org