Aberdeen Visual Artists Award Scheme

Support to artists of all ages, who are resident in Aberdeen City, to encourage innovative professional practice in contemporary visual arts.

Awards available from £500 up to maximum of £1,500.

Whilst applications can be for the full amount, the panel may offer an amount less than that requested, dependant on how well the application meets key criteria, value for money and in context of demand for funds from other applicants.

Selected artists will:

  • be profiled through the council’s culture promotions;
  • where appropriate be matched up with city centre cultural organisations for additional support and mentoring.

Before You Start

Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with Creative Scotland has established the Aberdeen Visual Artists Awards Scheme.

The Council is committed to supporting the work of its resident artists and encouraging innovative professional practice.  The Visual Artists Award Scheme has, therefore, been established as a means of assisting individual artists with the immediate costs of researching, creating and presenting new work or advancing skills, technical ability and ideas.


The following exclusions apply:

  • Artists undertaking full time study.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline date.
  • Applications for projects already started or planned to start before the notification dates. Awards cannot be funded retrospectively.
  • Previous recipients of this scheme in 2014 or 2015 unless one calendar year has passed since completing their original award and all conditions of that award have been fully met.
  • Artists that are not currently resident in Aberdeen City.
  • Applications for plant equipment or business start-up costs.
  • Applications for framing costs or exhibition costs for existing work.
  • Original artwork will not be accepted in support of an application.
  • Artists time, loss of earnings or studio rent on a pre-existing lease.
  • Anyone directly or closely involved in the Awards administration or selection process is excluded from applying to the scheme.
  • Previous recipients who have had two or more awards from the scheme.

What You Need To Know

Key Criteria

The Visual Artists Awards Scheme is aimed at practitioners in Aberdeen City in the fields of drawing, painting, sculpture, print making, photography, moving image and filmmaking.

Artists working in contemporary visual arts that are residents of Aberdeen City can apply. The award scheme is intended to support practitioners who can demonstrate significant progression and development of practice and an ongoing commitment to their work.

Applications will be assessed against the following:

  • The expected impact of support on the applicant’s creative development.
  • A level of commitment to developing skills and ideas and achieving a body of work out with formal education.
  • The clarity of purpose behind the submission and the reasons given for applying for an award.
  • The quality of information and material supplied in support of the application.

Given the high demand for the limited sums available, applicants should ensure that their submissions include a detailed budget and a clearly presented case for an Award.

As a condition of accepting an award, successful applicants will be expected to:

  • provide a detailed report on completion of the project, including visuals and marketing material (if applicable), such as catalogue, poster or media exposure;
  • credit the scheme and its funders on any print or online publicity produced in support of the work; and
  • participate in any award scheme publicity.

Awards may be withheld or recalled for the following reasons:

  • The application form is subsequently found to contain false or misleading information.
  • The project cannot proceed, be completed or is cancelled prior to completion.
  • If any of the conditions in the guidelines are not met.

Match Funding

Artists are encouraged to request the appropriate funds required for their project and will not automatically be awarded the maximum grant available. They will, therefore, be required to provide the remainder of any costs from alternative sources

Eligible Expenditure

Funds can help towards activities that are integral to the practitioner’s personal and professional development, such as the immediate costs of researching, creating and presenting new work or advancing skills, technical ability and ideas.

How To Apply

The next deadline for this scheme will be 20 February 2017, before 5pm.

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. The supporting five images of visual material should be provided as either:

  • Quality digital images or PowerPoint saved as Jpeg files, no more than 800kb per image. These should include titles.
  • A DVD lasting in total no more than eight minutes, which may include edited pieces covering a variety of works.
  • Catalogues and other print material should only be sent if absolutely necessary to demonstrate track record or illustrate specific artworks or installations. These should arrive by the submission deadline addressed as:
    • City Awards Scheme – Support Material
      Vibrant Aberdeen
      Education, Culture and Sport
      Aberdeen City Council
      Business Hub 13
      Second Floor North
      Marischal College
      Broad Street
      AB10 1AB

Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland cannot accept responsibility for the delivery of submissions, or the potential damage or loss of submitted material by post.