Artists' Space

Photo Susan Davis

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards: Fife and Perth & Kinross

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award (VACMA) offers small grants to visual artists and craft makers for their creative development at all stages of their career.

These awards are supported by Creative Scotland through funding from the National Lottery in partnership with Fife Contemporary and Fife Cultural Trust.

In place of usual VACMA awards, this year fixed bursaries are available in recognition of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on individual artists and makers. The VACMA scheme offers two levels of bursaries:

  • Bursaries of £750
  • Bursaries of £500 for New Graduates / Emerging Artists. Applicants must have less than 5 years’ experience outside of education or training or to have graduated in 2015 or later.

The fund is open to Visual Artists /Craft Makers who can demonstrate a commitment to developing their creative practice and are living or working or maintaining a studio space within the Local Authority area to which you are applying.

The next deadline will be Tuesday 2 February 2021 at 5pm.

* VACMA Information Session: join the 2nd live presentation with Q&A on Tuesday 27 October 2020, 10am-11am.
Booking essential.*

To apply:
1    Download & read the Guidance document.
2    Download & read the application form.
3    Contact Fife Contemporary to check your project is eligible and if you have any questions.
4    Complete the application form.
5    Download & complete the Equalities’ Monitoring Form.
6    Download & read the Artist Checklist to make sure your application is ready to go!
7    Email the completed application form  & Equalities’ Monitoring Form, plus other requested information/material to Susan Davis at Fife Contemporary by the above deadline. You may also use Dropbox or WeTransfer.

If successful, you will also be asked to complete an End of Project Monitoring Form (once you’ve completed your project) which you will be able to download here shortly.

Artists’ News & Opportunities’ Newsflash

If you have not already done so, you may well find it useful to sign up to our Artists’ mailing list to receive an opportunities & news Newsflash every 2 weeks.

See below for comments from previous years’ VACMA grant-holders:

Carolyn Scott, photographer & filmmaker: “Applying for a #VACMAScotland grant is straightforward and not onerous. Staff at Fife Contemporary are available, encouraging and very happy to guide and advise. Applying for a grant helps the artist to focus, question and justify the project in mind. Receiving a grant is reassuring, gives confidence and relieves some of the financial pressure. Accounting for the grant is straightforward and not challenging. ”

Marion Smith, sculptor:

Ceramicist Camilla Garrett-Jones of Culross Pottery : “I am going to Japan as part of a Scottish Potters Association trip to visit various pottery areas and museums in the country.  I have been awarded a VACMA grant towards my trip in October as I will be staying on to visit and work with a renowned potter and national treasure.  This would not have been possible without the funding. The planning for this trip has taken a year to happen, therefore there has been much to organise, including the grant which was applied for last Spring.  There is a multitude of ways to use VACMA’s funding, though it’s important to leave plenty of time to apply if you are keen to be considered. ”

Textile artist, Claire Heminsley gave us 3 short sound clips about why she found a VACMA grant useful:

Photographer Scott Hunter: “Having reached a crossover point in my work, I was keen to explore new printing techniques to help refine my practice.  Applying for a VACMA project grant provided me with a clearer focus and helped to streamline my proposal and look at my work more objectively. Being successful gave me confidence and really kickstarted the project which has culminated in a 6 month travelling solo show and an opportunity to exhibit in Japan. The grant helped cushion the cost of materials and enabled me to explore alternative processes such as the Cyanotype prints that were included in the recent shows in Fife.”

Textile artist Claire Christie:

Visual artist Caroline McGonigal: “My experience with the VACMA grant application has been an extremely positive one. Most artists I know dislike writing about their practice and completing forms, however most artists I know, myself included, benefit greatly from receiving funding. My advice is not to be put off by funding applications! They are only daunting initially and I personally found it helpful to have to summarise my thoughts and intentions concisely and the Fife Contemporary team are always on hand if you need advice. The grant I received helped me to experiment and develop techniques such as printmaking and video and this allowed me to move my work forward in a new direction. Receiving the funding gave me the impetus I needed to work towards a solo exhibition and I am now looking forward to an exhibition in Kyoto, Japan this October.  Please don’t deliberate, just apply and good luck!”

To view a series of short films about other past recipients of the Fife artists’ grants, please go to our YouTube channel, or click on the links below:

Jeanette Sendler – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZ-OkAuIqY
Lindsay Brown – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JR1zsHQ_fA
Lorraine Smith – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sOjr_pM374
Sheena Watson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afcWRTx4r8k
Steve Ratomski – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGMx9Sl9kRs

Further Opportunities

  • Pollok-Krasner Foundation Grants

    The Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s dual criteria for grants are recognizable artistic merit and demonstrable financial need, whether professional, personal or both. Applications are welcome from visual artists who are painters, sculptors and artists who work on paper, including printmakers.

  • Creative Scotland

    Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.