Middlesbrough Art Weekender

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North East open call to Artists

From 30th September – 3rd October 2021 Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW) returns with work by artists around the theme of Infra-structure – visible and invisible, above and below, hard and soft.

Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW) and MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, are seeking applications for work by artists based in the North East or who have a connection to the area for an exhibition that forms part of MAW21. The selected artists will display their work in a group show or in appropriate interventions across Middlesbrough. The selection will be made by curators from MAW and MIMA and previously selected artists Penelope Payne and David Reynolds.

What to submit

  • A short description of the work, alongside a brief artist bio and contact details.
  • For 2D and 3D work, up to 5 still images (links or images). For video and sound work, performance, documentation etc please provide links to work online.
  • For large scale works and extensive installations please contact us prior to applying. If you are submitting work for a specific intervention, additional contextual information can 

also be submitted.

  • Applications can be made via video & audio. If you would like to apply with an alternative format then please contact us before doing so. 
  • Access statement if required.

What we offer selected artists

  • Exhibition: A group exhibition that forms part of MAW’s core programme
  • Artist Fee: £500
  • Professional Development: Virtual studio visit with Elinor Morgan, Head of Programme (MIMA), and a group crit with Elinor Morgan, Chris Clarke, Senior Curator (The Glucksman Museum, Ireland) and MAW curatorial team.

Who’s involved in selecting the artists?

Elinor Morgan is Head of Programme at MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Since 2008 she has curated residencies, exhibitions, public education programmes across the UK and has led and supported public art projects and developed freelance projects. She co-edited ‘The Constituent Museum’ (Valiz, 2018), a reader on how arts institutions might work differently with their publics. Elinor enjoys writing and editing essays, articles and reviews.

Helen Welford is Assistant Curator at MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. She specialises in the management of the Middlesbrough Collection held at MIMA and on the development and production of large-scale exhibitions. Helen’s research interest include feminist practice and representations of queer identities.

Penny Payne is an artist working on the North East coast, through sculpture and installation her practice considers and brings attention to overlooked women’s histories. Penny has shown work at M.A.W in 2018/19 and is currently showing her sculpture ”Unwoven” at Cheeseburn Sculpture Garden. She will also be presenting new work that combines research and traditional practice as part of the exhibition  ‘Sonia Boyce: In The Castle Of My Skin’ at MIMA in 2021.

David Reynolds is an artist and researcher based in Newcastle upon Tyne who’s practice is concerned with world building and queer futures

The Middlesbrough Art Weekender selectors are Liam Slevin, MAW festival Director and co-founder of The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough,  and Kypros Kyprianou, MAW curator, artist, filmmaker and tinkerer.

What happens if you aren’t selected for the North East Open Call?

Whilst we can only fund a small amount of artists with this particular opportunity, we are

always keen to hear from artists for potential future partnerships. Please indicate if you are

also happy for us to keep your contact details on file for future opportunities from both

MIMA and The Auxiliary.

How to apply

All applications to be made via email to

info@middlesbroughartweekender.com with the subject header: NE Open Call 2021

Deadline for applications: June 28th (midnight)

There is no application fee.

Timeline for North East Open Call

  • 17th May: Open for applications
  • 28th June: Open call closes
  • 30th June: Longlisting of applicants
  • 5th July: Shortlisting and artists selection made by MIMA, MAW, Penny Payne and David Reynolds
  • 11th July: All artists notified
  • July/August: Professional Development: Virtual studio visits with Elinor Morgan, Head of Programme, & Helen Welford, Assistant Curator, MIMA
  • 13th September: work at the venue in Middlesbrough (TBC. Please note, all artists are responsible for the shipping/transport of work to and from MAW21).
  • During the festival (date TBC): Group social with Elinor Morgan, Chris Clarke and MAW curatorial team.

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