BAMS: British Art Medal Society
[British Arts Medal Society]

BRITISH ART MEDAL SOCIETY 'NEW MEDALLIST' SCHEME

Applications are invited for the British Art Medal Society 'New Medallist' scheme, an initiative about to enter its tenth year. This scheme is intended to provide a framework by which artists based in Britain and Ireland who are relatively new to medal-making can develop their interest in the medal as a vehicle of artistic expression. Its aim is to deepen and broaden the selected artists' knowledge of the medal and expand their awareness of the medium's possibilities.

The scheme is administered by the British Art Medal Society (BAMS) and is funded principally by the Brian Mercer Charitable Trust. It is supported by the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Mint. For more about BAMS, consult www.bams.org.uk.

Previous 'New Medallists' have gone on to receive medal commissions, win awards for their medals, and participate in art medal events in the UK and abroad.

Each year one artist is selected for the scheme. Artists eligible for the scheme:

  • will have left art college (at whatever level) within 3.5 years of the commencement of their participation in the scheme (that is, since February 2011) or be about to leave college before September 2014.
  • will generally have shown an interest in medal-making and had some experience of it while at college. (This may have been through the BAMS Student Medal Project or in some other way.)

The selected artist will receive:

  • a grant of £3,500 (see below for conditions)
  • a place in a medal-making course at a college abroad or an international medal workshop (to be selected by BAMS), allowing the artist to participate for at least three weeks in a contemporary medal-making environment and thereby gain a greater understanding of contemporary thinking on medals
  • mentoring sessions with an experienced UK-based medal-maker appointed by BAMS (a minimum of three sessions and, if more are needed, the number to be agreed between the mentor and the artist)
  • one week's work experience in the engraving department of the Royal Mint, where s/he will work alongside experienced medal-makers and be given the opportunity to experiment with various techniques including the use of computer-aided graphics, plus reasonable expenses for that week
  • access for one week to the medal collections of the British Museum and/or Victoria and Albert Museum under the supervision of a curator of medals, enabling him/her to gain a greater understanding of the medallic tradition by studying historical medals from the Italian Renaissance to the twenty-first century
  • free membership of BAMS for one year
  • free attendance at a BAMS conference

Within twelve months (beginning in September 2014) the artist will be expected to devote not less than nine weeks to medal-related activities. (These nine weeks are not necessarily to be taken in one block but may be split over the twelve-month period, as agreed between the artist and BAMS.) Within these nine weeks the artist is expected:

  • to attend a medal-making course at a college abroad or an international medal workshop (for at least three weeks), to gain work experience in the engraving department of the Royal Mint (one week), and to study the British Museum and/or Victoria and Albert Museum medal collections (one week), all as mentioned above.
  • to devote a further four weeks to building up a portfolio of medallic ideas.
  • to attend mentoring sessions (for which s/he will be expected to prepare effectively).
  • to attend a BAMS conference.
  • to attend BAMS lectures whenever possible.
  • to produce a visual record of research and finished work resulting from participation in the scheme.
  • to produce at least one medal, for which all costs will be met by the artist. (One of these works may go on to become a medal issued by BAMS and at least one will be featured in The Medal, the society's journal.)
  • to produce a report of about 500 words on his/her experience of the scheme, for retention by BAMS.

The principal expenses of the artist, which s/he is expected to meet from the £3,500 grant, are:

  • travel to and accommodation in another country for at least three weeks while attending a course or workshop. (The course is arranged and paid for by the scheme, but the responsibility for making the practical arrangements regarding travel and accommodation rests with the artist.)
  • expenses in London for one week while visiting the British Museum and/or Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • living expenses for a further four weeks, including travel to a BAMS conference.
  • travel to mentoring sessions with a UK-based medal-maker.
  • production of at least one medal.

Moreover, the artist will be expected to retain his/her membership of BAMS (currently £35 per annum) for a further three years after the conclusion of the twelve-month period, thereby maintaining close involvement with the medal world.

Applications from artists wishing to be considered for the scheme should consist of:

  • a letter explaining why the artist is interested in the scheme and what s/he hopes to get out of it.
  • an idea for a medal that s/he would like to make. (This should indicate an ability to think in terms of medallic art and may include sketches and text concerning the ideas behind the medal.)
  • a curriculum vitae.
  • the name, position and contact details of a referee who may be contacted by BAMS.
  • printed images (not transparencies or a disk) of six works by the artist.

Applications should be received by the 31 May 2014. They should be sent by post or delivered by hand. E-mail applications are not accepted. A decision will be made in June. All applicants will be informed of the outcome. The scheme will run from September 2014 through to August 2015.

Applications should be sent to:

Janet Larkin, Secretary
British Art Medal Society
c/o Dept of Coins and Medals
The British Museum
London WC1B 3DG

E-mail enquiries should be addressed to jlarkin@thebritishmuseum.ac.uk.

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