Ages 18 – 25

Dates: 18 September – 15 December 2017

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 23 August


RWA, in collaboration with Creative Youth Network, are offering two young artists the opportunity to take part in a three month professional development placement, which will also include some paid, freelance work.

During the placement you will gain an insight into how a busy public gallery functions and shadow a curator, as well as the chance to develop and exhibit your own art work, created in response to the gallery’s historic permanent collection and archives.

Who we are

About RWA:

An inspiring space where art is both made and displayed…

In 2018 the Royal West of England Academy (RWA), Bristol’s first art gallery, celebrates its 160th anniversary. Through its programme of exhibitions, events, creative workshops, talks and lectures, it is committed to providing great art for everybody, and to promoting the understanding and enjoyment of art for the widest possible audience.

About Creative Youth Network:

Every young person should have the opportunity to enter adulthood able to reach their own potential, irrespective of their background or circumstances. Creative Youth Network helps young people to remove or overcome the barriers that they face.

What’s on offer

The RWA professional development placements will provide two young artists with the following, over three months:

  • Access to RWA’s historic archive and collection – providing the stimulus for creative work
  • Studio space within RWA’s Drawing School (October Half-Term 2017)
  • Financial support to make new art work
  • Exhibition space at RWA (December 2017)
  • Artistic and professional development support by RWA and Creative Youth Network staff, among others
  • Receive professional mentoring from a curator
  • Peer to peer support from young artists working at Creative Youth Network
  • Help in setting yourself up as a freelance practitioner
  • Paid opportunity as a freelancer (see separate job description below for more information)


We expect you to spend approximately 24 hours a week on the project, 8 of which you will be contracted and paid as a Freelancer. You will be working on the placement for 13 weeks.

As a freelancer you will be supporting the following activities:

  • Assisting with hand-in days, install/de-install and stewarding of RWA’s 165 Annual Open Exhibition, October – December 2017
  • Devising and delivering family/young peoples’ workshops at RWA (eg Big Draw, October)
  • Leading on Kids in Museums Takeover Day activities (November)
  • Supporting Creative Youth Network with the planning of their 2018 exhibition programme
  • Coordinating young people’s consultation sessions at RWA (developing a young people’s panel/network)
  • In conjunction with the RWA Volunteer Coordinator, exploring and coordinating  possible volunteering roles for young people
  • Helping with routine gallery tasks and general office administration at RWA

Freelance work will be paid at £7.50 per hour (an 8 hour daily rate of £60).

What we are looking for

Committed people at the start of their creative careers, who have a drive and passion for creating new visual art, together with an interest and desire to develop new skills within gallery education, curation, marketing, exhibition installation and arts administration.

We encourage applications from artists keen to learn more about RWA’s long history, and to use this as inspiration for the development of their own visual art work.

We know that taking the first steps on a creative, professional pathway can be daunting and challenging, and we welcome applications from young artists who might not have otherwise found an opportunity to gain related work experience and to develop their creative practice.

We are looking for candidates with a genuine interest in working with young people, the community and the arts. Good communication and time keeping skills are an essential requirement of the role.


How to apply

Please send a written application which includes the following:

  • Introduce yourself - tell us your name, where you live and what age you are.
  • Tell us about your creativity – what art form do you work in? What artists to do you admire and why?
  • Why would you like to be part of this project?
  • What do you feel your strengths are, and how might they help you on the placement?
  • What might you find most challenging about taking part in the placement?
  • Which areas do you think the placement can help you the most?
  • In what ways might this placement help you in your career?
  • What could you bring to the Freelance roles (referred to above)?
  • Examples of your work.

If you have a CV then you are welcome to include this with your application.

Applications must be sent to [email protected] by 5pm on Wednesday 23 August 2017.

Interview Date

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview on Wednesday 30 August at Creative Youth Network’s offices - The Station, Silver Street, Bristol.

Where the project is taking place

The project will mainly be based at the RWA, Clifton, Bristol, but will include opportunities to work at The Station, and in other organisations and creative spaces in Bristol, subject to confirmation. Hours can be worked flexibly over the week with agreement from your line manager.

Further Information/Terms and Conditions:

  • The post holder will work under the supervision of their line manager
  • The post holder will adhere to all RWA’s workplace, health and safety and equal opportunities policies
  • The post is subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • The post holder has no direct line management or budget management responsibilities
  • The job requires occasional physical effort on an ad-hoc basis
  • The job requires a regular level of mental effort
  • The post holder will be required to register as self-employed and set up public liability insurance (support and advice to do so will be provided by the line manager)
  • The post holder is responsible for keeping a record of hours worked and providing invoices (at times to be agreed)
  • The post holder is required to have basic IT/Computer literacy skills

Contact information

To find out more information please contact Joel Edwards, RWA Learning and Participation Manager at [email protected]

This project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Young Roots initiative.

Booking for this event has now closed.

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