Applications for small grants scheme launched

Artist Elaine Reid used the funding to develop ideas for book objects.
Artist Elaine Reid used the funding to develop ideas for book objects.

Artists and craft makers in Aberdeenshire who would like to develop their skills are being encouraged to apply for funding through an established grants scheme.

This autumn is the launch of the 2017 call to artists to apply for Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards (VACMA), a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council’s Cultural Services and Creative Scotland now in its 14th year.

Awards of between £500 and £1,500 are available and can help towards activities integral to the artist’s personal and professional development such as the costs of researching, creating and presenting new work or advancing skills, technical ability and ideas.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday, October 4.

Launch events for anyone interested are taking place to give an introduction to the scheme and chances for an informal discussion with arts development officers are taking place at: 7pm on Tuesday, September 19 at Woodend Barn, Banchory and 6pm on Thursday, September 21 at Huntly Library, Huntly (preceded by a drop-in session from 3-5pm).

Cllr Gillian Owen, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “In the 14 years the scheme has been running it has had a significant impact on a number of local artists, enabling them to improve techniques, advance their skills and develop their professional practice in terms of scale and national recognition.

“It also shows the commitment of the council’s Cultural Services to supporting the work of Aberdeenshire’s resident artists and encouraging innovative professional practice in contemporary arts and crafts.

“Applicants can include visual artists working in the fields of drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, moving image and film making.

“We are also interested in contemporary creative work designed and made in media such as ceramics, furniture and wood, glass, jewellery and metalwork, lettering, musical instruments, textiles and basket-making.

“If you work in the creative industries, are living in Aberdeenshire and are looking to develop your skills then these awards are for you.”

Anne Petrie, visual arts officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support the awards which is a national scheme that offers a valuable opportunity for artists and craft makers.”