If you’re the kind of artist who believes art shouldn’t sit inside heavy gold frames in very, very quiet spaces – or maybe you’re simply someone with a big, arty idea – then you probably already know all about Canberra’s Art, Not Apart festival.
Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Art, Not Apart is all about fading boundaries and lighting up ideas and people whose voices (and art) might not fit the mainstream. The next event is being held at New Acton in March 2020, but before that, festival organisers have $60,000 available to support the development and presentation of artistic projects.
And if that sounds like an exciting opportunity but one you’re not entirely sure how to grasp, there’s a free artist application workshop this weekend that gives you the chance to meet the curators, talk ideas and hatch a plan.
“We really feel like we’ve gotten there with the 10th anniversary,” says organiser Michael Liu. “We’ve done so much emerging, I think we’ve finally found our place in the cultural landscape!
“We decided that we wanted to support artists more through the application process, so we’re holding a workshop with room for about 50-60 people. It’s going to be really casual, a way for people to meet the curators and demystify what the theme could mean.
Liu says they’ll do some “speed friending” with the artists and then let people roam and grill the curators. There will be free food and drink at grazing tables, and lots of chances to talk and explore ideas.
“Art, Not Apart is not just for artists but also artistic projects. If you’ve got a good idea, we’ll help you to develop it, whether you’re an academic or a scientist,” he says. There’s no commitment attached to attending the workshop, just an opportunity to see whether your idea might work.
The focus for the tenth anniversary of Art, Not Apart is on Canberra and 50 per cent of the festival’s funding will go towards supporting Canberra region artists. Organisers are hoping that people who have presented before come back and apply to participate again as more established artists.
The 2020 festival theme is ‘Today I, tomorrow you’. The idea comes from Eric Fromm, the German psychologist and sociologist who was writing about love.
“It can be about relationships and the inwards and outwards looking gaze, or maybe today’s narcissism versus the greater alternative of altruism, helping and sharing,” Michael says.
“For our 10th anniversary, something broad about change and growth seemed right.”
You can download the Information for Artists pack from the website to read the theme provocation and for details about funding, curation, venues and more. Register for the artist application workshop on the Art Not Apart Facebook page (it’s free), or apply for Art, Not Apart 2020 here.
Applications close at 11.59 pm on Thursday, 31 October.