Frequently asked questions and Eligibility

    1. Am I eligible?
    2. What do you mean by a transformative step-change in career?
    3. How much does the assistant get paid?
    4. How much does the artist have to put in?
    5. How art artists and assistants matched?
    6. What are my responsibilities if I am selected?
    7. How do you know it will work?
    8. Can I register for self-employment, and apply while this is pending?
    9. Why do you ask for my education level – can I apply without having been to art school?
    10. How do I apply?
    11. What if I have more questions?

1. Am I eligible?

This project is intended to address the under-representation of artists from working class and minority ethnic backgrounds while supporting other artists at a potentially transformative moment in their practice. To be involved:

artist-employers must

artists-assistants must

  • Have been practicing as an artist for at least three years, or have graduated from a visual arts degree at least three years ago and wish to pursue a career in the arts. We assume that artist-assistants will have experienced significant financial pressure and may not have an active arts practice at the moment they apply, but will be looking to get back into working as an artist
  • Currently live and work in one of the 32 London boroughs (or the City of London) 
  • Not have worked as an artist assistant for more than one day a week, continuously, for more than 4 months
  • Be from a working class and / or minority ethnic background, as measured by data collected on the application form
  • Have a Unique Taxpayer reference or have recently registered as self employed

Please do not apply if you are ineligible so we can use our limited resources in the most effective way. Applicants who are awarded a bursary, or employed as an assistant, who are later found to be ineligible, will have to return any monies paid to Artquest.

 

2. What do you mean by transformative / pivotal / step-change in an artist’s career?

Assist intends to support artists at a transformative stage in their career, such as receiving a major commission, a first solo exhibition at a publicly-funded gallery, or another large-scale project outside their previous experience. Such an opportunity will be likely to come with a budget – either one the artist has applied for, or from a commissioner / gallery etc, and we are asking for a contribution to help support assistant fees.

In exceptional circumstances Artquest may consider paying 100% of the assistant fee, and there is place on the application form to describe your need and why you are unable to pay any contribution.

See the next question for information on how much the assistant gets paid, and later for artist contribution.

 

3. How much does the assistant get paid?

There are two rates of pay for artist-assistants depending on the complexity of the role they will be doing. Artquest will fund the majority of fees, with a top-up contribution from the artist-employer.

Level 1 role: £12.50 per hour (Artquest pays £11 per hour, artist-employer pays £1.50 per hour)
A level 1 role involves the assistant following an artist employer’s instructions on simple tasks or general administrative duties such as:

  • Arranging meetings
  • Day-to-day management of social media
  • Internet research
  • Obtaining quotes from suppliers
  • Ordering materials
  • Issuing invoices
  • Arranging deliveries
  • Simple tasks in relation to preparation or production or an artist’s work

This is not a complete list, only some examples of what a level 1 role might include.

Level 2 role £14.50 per hour (Artquest pays £11 per hour, artist-employer pays £3.50 per hour)
A level 2 role would involve the assistant having more in-depth knowledge of a process or technical aspect of production and/or more responsibility and input. The role might include:

  • Using specialist equipment tools or computer programmes
  • More complex processes to assist the artist in making work
  • Writing a funding application
  • Leading on a social media campaign for a project
  • Negotiating with project partners on behalf of artist

This is not a complete list, only some examples of what a level 2 role might include.

Over a period of 48 days, 7 hours a day, this is a total of:

  • £4,200 for a level 1 role (£3,700 from Artquest, £500 from artist)
  • £4,872 for a level 2 role (£3,700 from Artquest, £1,172 from artist)

 

4. How much does the artist have to put in?

A level 1 role will pay £12.50 per hour (Artquest pays £11 per hour, artist-employer pays £1.50 per hour), and a level 2 role £14.50 per hour (Artquest pays £11 per hour, artist-employer pays £3.50 per hour). Over a period of 48 days, 7 hours a day, this is a total of:

  • £4,200 for a level 1 role (£3,700 from Artquest, £500 from artist)
  • £4,872 for a level 2 role (£3,700 from Artquest, £1,172 from artist)

We assume that artists at a pivotal moment in their career will not be working speculatively on their regular studio practice, and therefore will be in receipt of some money, in process of making a funding application, or in discussion with a venue or commissioner on a project budget. We ask for a contribution from the artist to reflect the value their assistant will bring to the project, to ensure a project line for assistant pay in any budget, and so that Artquest’s contribution can be used during negotiation with a funder, commissioner or venue.

Not all potential artist-employers will be in receipt of funds, reflective of the culture of low pay in the arts. If you are applying to employ an assistant and are unable to contribute any money for fees, in exceptional circumstances Artquest may consider paying 100% of the assistant fee. You can explain on the application form why you are unable to contribute, but please bear in mind that funding for this project will be highly oversubscribed.

 

5. How art artists and assistants matched?

Artist-employers and artist-assistants are invited to make a brief online application (deadline 10am, Tuesday 28 May). The form, which is mostly checkboxes, asks what skills you have or need, eligibility questions, contact details, areas of interest in the visual arts, current work or other commitments, and requires a brief CV to be uploaded.

Artist-employers will also be asked to explain their need for an artist-assistant, identify the forthcoming step-change in their practice, and describe the role that they seek to fill in more detail.
Artquest will shortlist from these applications and invite up to six artists and assistants to meet each other on Wednesday 19 June and decide which, if any, of the artists or assistants they would like to work with. Artists and assistants will be shortlisted on the basis of eligibility, and the match between skills and role requirements.

We will invite artist-employers and artist-assistants to a matching event held on 19 June 2019, 7–9pm. The event will bring together shortlisted artist-assistants and artist-employers to informally talk more about the roles they have to offer or are looking for. Applications from shortlisted artist-assistants and artist-employers will be shared in advance of the event with all attendees.
After the event, attendees will indicate who they wish to work with. Artquest will select three pairs of candidates for the award. Artquest will broker introductions and help in negotiating terms and conditions of the role between the assistant and artist where necessary, and can part-fund fees for up to three assistants only.

For this pilot project we want to work with a range of roles, media and practices in order to learn as much as possible for future versions. Artists and assistants who are not selected for the Assist bursary may, of course, decide to work together on their own.

 

6. What are my responsibilities if I am selected?

Artist-assistants and artist-employers are expected to:

  • Attend the matching event on 19 June
  • Liaise with each other to agree working times
  • Negotiating terms of agreement for the role, including timing, working pattern, location of work etc
  • Participate in the evaluation and cases studies for the project
  • Be registered as self-employed and responsible for paying their own tax

Artist-employers are expected to:

  • Pay their assistant from the Artquest bursary and top this up with their own funds
  • Be responsible for health & safety and insurance in their studio
  • Include their assistant in other meetings with partners and venues where possible

Artquest will:

  • Pay the artist-employer a contribution to their assistant’s fees
  • Support negotiation of the working agreement where invited to do so
  • Regularly contact participants to check progress and working conditions
  • Evaluate the project

 

7. How do you know it will work?
In short – we don’t for sure, and this pilot project is being used to trial our processes for future planned versions of this project.

Artquest has developed Assist through 18 months of research, focus groups and reflecting on our project management experience. As we have found no similar project during this research period, and there are no models for us to emulate, Assist comes with a low but real risk of failure. We are seeking artists who can be flexible, work with us collaboratively, and feed back to us about how the project is progressing in an open manner. We do not know how many applications we might get, and therefore the exact timing of the process, but will work with potential artist-employers and artist-assistants openly and professionally at all times.

Findings from this pilot programme will feed into a report about the needs of artists at a key moment in their careers and strengthen understanding of alternative, non-academic routes into the arts specifically for artists under-represented in the art world. Should the project prove successful, we intend to continue and improve it in future years.

 

8. Can I register for self-employment, and apply while this is pending?
Yes. Payment will be on a freelance basis, both for the artist-employer from Artquest, and for the artist-assistant by the artist. You may apply for Assist and for self-employed status at the same time but the award can only be paid to you once you have received your Unique Tax Reference from HRMC. Visit our page on registering as self-employed for more information.

 

9. Why do you ask for my education level – can I apply without having been to art school?
It is not necessary to have done an art (or any other) degree to take part in this project, either as an artist-employer or artist-assistant. We ask for this information only to monitor accessibility and eligibility.

We ask that artist-employers consider assistants who have no formal arts education, but who have the skills and experience that they need for their roles.

Around 10-15% of artists we work with each year report not having attended higher education before embarking on a career as an artist.

 

10. How do I apply?
Applications for this opportunity are now closed.

Key dates:

  • Deadline for online expressions of interest are now closed
  • Shortlisted artists selected: week of 3 June
  • Matching event: Wednesday 19 June 7pm – 9pm
  • Selection of artist-employers and artists-assistants: by Monday 8 July

 

11. What if I have more questions?
If you have further questions please email us by Tuesday 28th May so we can respond in time before the application deadline.

0


Comments