Eligibility and frequently asked questions
This page explains our eligibility criteria and provides answers to the questions we are asked about the Peer Forum programme
To be eligible to apply for this opportunity you must be:
- A London-based artist
- Over half of the proposed members of your peer mentoring group must be London-based, and all must be UK-based
- Neither you nor any of your proposed members can be undertaking any course of study during the programme: this includes foundation courses, BA and MA courses
This programme is open to professional visual artists working in any medium at any stage in their careers. You need not have attended art school, or any particular art school, in order to apply.
Some of our partners have specific criteria for their applications: check the main Peer Forum project page for any particular criteria, and email Nick Kaplony if you have any queries about your eligibility at least two weeks before the deadline. Artquest staff work part-time and may not be able to respond to late queries.
General application guidance
Peer Forum aims to support artists find the time and space to give each other feedback on their practice and provide informal pastoral support in their wider careers. It supports individuals in either building new peer mentoring groups or significantly developing existing relationships they might already have with other artists.
Peer Forum cannot:
- Support public programming, such as exhibitions, talks or workshops
- Support organisations other than our partners in delivering peer mentoring for artists
- Supporting ongoing, established peer mentoring
We are looking for proposals that:
- Prioritise structured and quality feedback on participant’s practices
- Build on and develop the existing networks of participants
- Articulate a connection between the practices of the proposed members of the group
Lead artists who are awarded Peer Forum will be expected to co-ordinate all aspects of their peer mentoring sessions, liaising with host organisations and their participating artists.
Artquest has a number of resources to give background on peer mentoring including:
- Our guide to peer mentoring groups to help with your application and for tips on how to run your own sessions. Particularly useful if you are new to peer mentoring.
- An audio case study of an Artquest supported peer mentoring group from artist Will Clifford
- An interview with photographer Lewis Bush who was awarded the Peer Forum grant at The Photographers’ Gallery in 2016.
Frequently asked questions
- What artists practices are eligible?
- What do you mean by ‘London based’?
- Who should the application come from?
- If I am the lead artist should I still be getting feedback on my practice from the group?
- Do I need to have participating members of my group confirmed by the time I submit I application?
- When do the sessions need to take place?
- Where do the sessions need to take place?
- How long do sessions need to be?
- What public outcomes do there need to be?
- What should be in the budget?
- Can I apply as an individual artist to join a group that you select?
A: Artists working in painting, drawing, sculpture, performance art, photography, video/film/moving image, installation, text, craft/maker, sound art, comics, book art, new media/online, socially engaged practice, printmaking, interdisciplinary or any combination of the above.
Our definitions, set by our funding agreements, do not include dance, theatre, poetry, graphics, fashion or product design.
Note that some partners have additional criteria for Peer Forum, and you should check the main Peer Forum page before applying.
A: We appreciate that working as an artist means you may live in one place and work in others. You do not have to be living and working in London full-time to count as London-based. To qualify you should spend at least half of the week working on projects in London at the time of making your application, and have an address for correspondence.
There is a no budget available for travel to attend interview as all applicants will be London-based.
Artquest is funded by the London office of Arts Council England, so the activity that we support should be for the benefit of London-based artists.
A: The application should come from the lead artist who will take responsibility for co-ordinating the group. This artist will have a contractual relationship with Artquest to be responsible for the budget and to deliver the programme.
A: Yes. The lead artist participates in the group like any other member, but also co-ordinates meetings and is in contact with the host gallery.
A: No. For the purposes of application it’s fine to suggest artists. Artist members should, however, be confirmed in time for interview should you be shortlisted.
A: All of the sessions need to take place within 6 months at whatever frequency works for you, the host gallery, and your members – this could be weekly, monthly, or irregularly.
A: Usually all of the sessions take place at the host gallery, with a minimum of four sessions taking place there.
A: Sessions can take as long as required. On average a session might last around 3 hours, with recent evaluation showing a high of five hours and a low of two hours. There is no requirement for a particular length of time for sessions, which will depend on how many artists are presenting work, if there are guest presenters, or other topics discussed. What is important is that whoever is presenting has enough time to present and get feedback.
A: The primary aim of Peer Forum is for members to discuss and get feedback on their projects and practice. There may be incidental outcomes such as online blogs, websites etc that it might be appropriate to share more widely, but public output is not a goal of the programme, and you should consider carefully before committing to additional work for which there are no resources to pay you.
Peer mentoring sessions are not intended to be public events. Some host galleries stipulate that artists should coordinate and participate in an additional public facing event at the end of the 6-month period. A small additional budget will be provided by the host organisation if this is the case.
A: We anticipate a significant amount, if not all, of the budget will be spent on the lead artists fee for coordinating and administrating the sessions, and applications that do not include such a fee will not be considered. Some previous projects have used part of the budget for speaker fees, refreshments, equipment hire, or travel costs, and you are free to use the budget for any purpose to support the group.
Applications that include exhibition costs, fees for members to attend, or equipment purchase, will not be considered.
A: No. Peer Forum is only for artists to meet regularly with a proposed group. We do not have capacity to match individual artists with groups supported through peer forum. In our experience, peer mentoring groups work better if developed artists rather than built externally by an organisation.