Frequently asked questions
How long is a Fellowship?
- Fellowship lasts for up to five years. Fellowship includes a well lit, warm studio in one of our studio locations with kitchen and toilet facilities.
How do you select Fellows?
- Fellows are selected on the basis of need, their work, and their value to the community they join.
- Fellows are typically committed artists and craftsmen often University educated with the ambition to emerge as professionals and masters of their craft and the need for Fellowship with Digswell Arts to achieve this.
- Potential Fellows who already work in the local community and therefore support the Trust’s second object will be at an advantage in the selection process.
How do I apply to be a Fellow or Print Member?
- Applicants complete an application form, stating their preferred location and an interview is arranged soon after. Applicants are asked to present their work in a short, friendly interview with a selection panel made up of existing Fellows and Trustees. The selection criteria emphasise originality of work, commitment to becoming a professional artist and likelihood to benefit from becoming a Digswell Fellow (or Print Member).
What is expected of a Fellow?
- Fellows are expected to play a full part in the ‘life of the studio’ especially in events organised as part of our obligations to the local community.
- Fellowship is only given to emerging artists who value the opportunity to work with others and are prepared to ‘pull their weight’ in running the studio, this includes taking on at least one Rep Role during their fellowship such as web rep, events rep, maintenance rep etc.
- Fellows must follow the studio rules and health and safety policies of the Trust.
- Fellows must promote the Trust through their activities whilst a Fellow and exemplify the values of the Trust externally.
- Fellows will attend reviews at intervals determined by the trust, which will be used as a means for the trust to see the commitment made by the fellow to the Digswell Arts Trust including participation in the running of the studios and open events. Reviews may also be used to determine continuation or termination of fellowship.
- See Summary of Core Fellowship Requirements for full details.
What is the cost of Fellowship or becoming a Print Member?
- Most Fellows pay their ‘Fellowship contribution’ of £90 per month rising by £10 per month each year up to a maximum of £120 in the 4th & 5th year by standing order. This very low rate can only be maintained providing all Fellows pay on time by standing order. The Trust makes no profits and all surpluses are reinvested to the benefit of its objects. Fellows who fail to pay their contributions are asked to leave.
- Print Members (who are not fellows and do not have a studio) pay £20 per month for one day a week open access to the print room. They must also attend an induction (to be paid for) before using the print facilities.
Can I take a break from fellowship?
- Sabbaticals are granted should the Fellow wish to take time out for personal reasons.
How is fellowship terminated?
- When you have been accepted as a Fellow you will be issued with a contract to sign, which will outline the legal requirements of becoming a Fellow including details of when the Trust might terminate the contract and how a Fellow can terminate the contract (usually with three months written notice). Termination by the trust may be applied if there is a breach of the contract, or lack of use of the studio.
Other than a studio what other benefit might I get as a Fellow?
- Fellows experience a collaborative and supportive environment that offers for a five year period, the space to experiment and innovate within a creative community of other Fellows, that are developing both their art practice and their wider commercial skills.
- As an incubation platform for emerging artists the Trust also support the communities we serve offering workshops and exhibitions to the public, with particular specialisms in printmaking and ceramics.
- There are occasional activities made available to Fellows to support their development. These include social activities, an annual Development day, open studios, external mentoring and funding opportunities.
- Fellows have the opportunity to run classes and workshops from our buildings, with prior agreement from the Trust.
- As a fellow, our print facility at Digswell and our ceramics facility at Letchworth may be used after relevant inductions and with prior arrangements with the Trust.
What is the benefit of becoming a Print Member?
- Print members apply and are interviewed in the same way as Fellows.
- Print members are not offered a studio but membership entitles artists to work independently in the Print workshop for a day each week and store equipment/materials on site in a lockable cupboard and plan chest drawer. Members are also invited to take part in Digswell Arts events such as Open Studios, group exhibitions, art critiques and meetings.
- A print member will need to be proficient in their chosen discipline and adopt good studio practice, as members share responsibility for the care and maintenance of the print workshop and equipment.
- Prospective print members, new to the studio, would need to attend an open access sessions to undertake an induction into the workshop procedures and facilities before commencing their Print Membership.
How does Digswell Trust operate?
- Digswell Arts is a registered charity with studios in Digswell and Letchworth Garden City.
- It has no staff either part or full time.
- It is managed by its Fellows under a Board of Trustees who meet quarterly and as required.
- All Trustees have specific areas of responsibility – Chairman, legal, governance, health and safety, treasury, Fellows support, interviews, academic support. Trustees give their time freely and are a mix of working and retired professionals. A few are also ex Fellows.
- It manages its own financial resources, is not grant aided, but is supported with low rents and rates from the borough councils within which it operates and to whom it has obligations
- These obligations, as a registered charity, are its objects: a) The assistance of persons who intend to or have become artists or craftsmen b) The promotion of education and training in art and allied subjects. c) The promotion of the appreciation of art.
- The Fellows manage the studios, all playing their part. Some specific roles such as Fellows Representative, Web Representative and Facilities, H & S Representative receive a small reduction to their ‘Fellows contribution’.
- The Trust has a 60 year history of achievement in the Arts with several major world class artists amongst its Fellows and many others serving in the arts and in educational establishments nationwide.
- The Trust encompasses the Fellows, Print Members and Trustees working together.
What is a Digswell Arts Trust Fellow?
How to become a Fellow