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‘AA2A Plus’ (Artists Access to Art Colleges) - pilot scheme

The first pilot scheme is currently running at York Art Gallery and York College. AA2A Plus aims to provide enhanced placements for some of the 90+ visual artists and designer makers on AA2A schemes in Higher and Further Education institutions across England. AA2A currently has 21 institutions, each providing four artists’ placements. In the last 15 years, AA2A has managed over 1,600 placements allowing artists to undertaken a period of research or realise a project using HEI facilities. This pilot offers the opportunity for museums, galleries and other ‘3rd party organisations’ to be involved as partners with HEIs by enhancing one or more of their placements.

Expressions of interest from museums, galleries, arts centres etc. interested in hosting AA2A Plus placements from Oct 2015 - April 2016 are currently being collected.

For a full list and map of schemes nationally see here.

Last year 21% of the artists described themselves as having a disability, 10% were from a non UK background and this year six of the schemes are in areas of low engagement. 

If you want any more information on AA2A nationally or in your region, please get in touch or visit the website.

York’s ‘AA2A Plus’ pilot scheme

York Museums Trust and York College signed up for the first ‘AA2A Plus’ pilot, which aimed to enhance two of the four AA2A artists’ placements, which were advertised to artists and makers who wanted to work with the Trust‘s ‘Collection of Contemporary Ceramics’ as their inspiration. These placements have the financial incentive of paid work from YMT.  The standard of applications was extremely high and two well established artists were selected :

Karen Thompson  -  a ceramic artist whose work often takes the form of social comment, frequently using historical models as reference and combining this with contemporary influences

Ian Kirkpatrick  - a Canadian artist and graphic designer who builds consumer packaging from cardboard, plastic and Styrofoam, creating intricate sculptural forms that explore Western consumer culture

Benefits to 3rd party organisations e.g. museums and galleries

It is likely that there will be a demand to host ‘AA2A Plus’ placements as organisations increasingly lack the funds and the time necessary, to properly advertise, manage and support residencies.  There are also real benefits from being involved in a well respected, national project, whilst developing closer links with a local HEI and artists locally and nationally.

Basic outline of the AA2A Plus scheme

The majority of the artists’ time is spent at the HEI who will provide workshops, equipment etc.
The 3rd party organisation will provide artists with at least 5 days work each, at £150 a day
The 3rd party organisation will pay AA2A between £500 - £750 (depending on the number of placements) to cover the extra administration, advertising and brokering involved
The HEI will lead the selection process with significant input from the 3rd party organisation, who will lead the negotiations with the artists as to how best to use the paid days
The paid days could be for artists’ talks, demonstrations or workshops (for students and the public) or the commissioning of a pieces/s of artwork.

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