Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 12:00
People standing outside a gallery

GMCA & Castlefield Gallery

Open to contemporary visual artists* living in Greater Manchester

Are you a contemporary visual artist over 50 years of age living in Greater Manchester?

Do you have a track record of recent professional activity as a visual artist?

Do you want an injection of critical and professional support to move your practice on to the next level?


bOlder and Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Castlefield Gallery announces bOlder, a talent development programme for contemporary visual artists aged 50+, commissioned by GMCA as part of Great Place GM. Great Place GM is an action research programme led by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England with the aim of achieving recognition for the essential role of culture in the lives of Greater Manchester residents.


About Castlefield Gallery

Established in 1984, Castlefield Gallery is dedicated to the advancement of contemporary visual art and artists. The gallery runs a year round gallery programme and curates, commissions and produces work off-site, and in the public realm. Castlefield Gallery also runs pop-up project and production spaces and supports over 200-artist, curator and writer members. During its 35 years of working with artists the gallery has developed an integrated approach to artist development, providing professional experience alongside skills, knowledge and networking opportunities.

*We welcome applications from artists working across mediums in the visual arts including, but not limited to: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation, artists film and film & video, sound, live art, public art, socially engaged practices, design, craft.



This programme is aimed at artists aged 50+ living in Greater Manchester. It is for artists working at any career stage with a practice that demonstrates an engagement with contemporary visual arts. Up to one artist from each Greater Manchester borough/city, will be selected to take part in a programme of individual and collective development. Each artist will receive a £600 bursary* towards their costs, 1-to-1 sessions with Castlefield Gallery Director Helen Wewiora and Castlefield Gallery Curator Matthew Pendergast, coaching sessions with a qualified artist coach, professional development workshops and research trips to visit art organisations, artists and scenes in other cities.

*NB. If you have personal circumstances that mean receiving a cash bursary would be problematic, (e.g. for those on benefits), Castlefield Gallery can organise purchases or vouchers to support travel, subsistence, arts materials, etc, for the equivalent amount of the bursary.


What we are looking for

We are looking for contemporary visual artists aged 50+ with a demonstrable professional practice, and who will benefit from an intense period of professional and artistic development support. The artist must be able to commit to the programme for six months (on a part time basis). 


What we expect

Successful candidates are expected to:

  1. Sign an agreement committing to participate actively in the programme for six months from 1st December 2019 to 30th May 2020.
  2. Take part in a minimum of 75% of the professional development programme.
  3. Communicate regularly with the programme co-ordinator.


Application Process

The bOlder Greater Manchester Visual Artist Talent Programme for Artists 50+ is only open to artists living in Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

Application deadline: 12 noon, Tuesday 19 November 2019.


How to apply

Please send your application to Jane Lawson, Castlefield Gallery Artist Development Co-ordinator by email to Please put bOlder Application in the email header. 

You can also apply by post (postal address below), to arrive by 12 noon, Tuesday 19 November.

Your application should include:

  1. Your application form (with your full name saved in in the file name, e.g. Janet_Smith_bOlder_Application) including images and/or video/sound files of your work (maximum 6 items). 
    -Please submit video or sound files as links in the application form or via WeTransfer
    -Please title any images, video and sound files with your full name, the title of the work and the year of production, eg Janet_Smith_Still Life in Blue (2017)_bOlder_Application).
  2. Your up-to-date CV including links to relevant websites (in 1 pdf file, with your full name in the title e.g. Janet_Smith_CV).
  3. A completed diversity monitoring form (in 1 pdf file, with your full name in the title e.g. Janet_Smith_DMform).

Postal address: Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester M15 4GB.

Please note that we cannot accept late or incomplete applications.

If you have access needs that could be a barrier to applying or taking part in this programme, please contact Jane Lawson at or on 0161 832 8034. Please note Castlefield Gallery office hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm. Castlefield Gallery offices are closed on Mondays.


Talent programme aims are to:
Promote creativity in later life.
Support vibrant and diverse cultural activity in Greater Manchester.
Support the creation of high quality contemporary art in Greater Manchester.
Foster greater cultural participation in Greater Manchester.

Contemporary visual artists aged 50+, living in Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

Artists will be selected against the following criteria:
Demonstrating how participating in the programme will be valuable to their artistic and professional development, taking into account the aims of the programme.

Exclusions and requirements
We will not consider applications from those currently engaged in full-time education.
Applicants must be available to participate over the full period of the programme.
Any incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline of 12 noon on Tuesday 19 November 2019 will be ineligible.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Tuesday 19 November 2019
Applicants notified: by Tuesday 26 November
Induction session: Monday 9 December, 4.30-5.30pm or 6.30-7.30pm 
1-2-1 session with Castlefield Gallery Director Helen Wewiora and Artist Talent Co-ordinator Jane Lawson: 12 December or week beginning 16 December
First coaching session: 12 December or week beginning 16 December

Selection will be made based on the strength of applications in the context of the programme aims and selection criteria; we will not be carrying out interviews.
The selection panel will be made up of Castlefield Gallery and GMCA Great Place staff as follows:
Julie McCarthy, Project Manager, GMCA Great Place
Helen Wewiora, Director, Castlefield Gallery
Matthew Pendergast, Curator, Castlefield Gallery
Jane Lawson, Artist Development Co-ordinator, Castlefield Gallery

The decision to award places on the programme or not, is at the discretion of Castlefield Gallery and GMCA. Outcomes of the decision-making process will be final and will be based on a scoring and balancing process.
We aim to select one artist from each of the Greater Manchester boroughs. In the event that there are no suitable applicants from a borough, the place will transfer to the next shortlisted artist independent of which borough they are from.

In submitting an application, you confirm you meet the eligibility criteria.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide support to develop applications, other than for those with access needs, or give feedback on unsuccessful applications.

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