Professional development

Artist Associate schemes

Inter­est­ed in join­ing an artist asso­ciate scheme? Find out about these region­al & nation­al ini­tia­tives — what they cost, what’s on offer & how to join


The following Artist Associate schemes have been chosen to highlight professional development activity for artists based within the South West. These schemes either serve a specific area in the South West, or are national opportunities which anyone can join and offer online provision. If we have missed a great initiative please get in touch and let us know so we can update this resource!

Rosemary Mayer2022 Lisa Whiting Photography 30 1


What: Contemporary Art Membership (CAMP) CIC is a member-led network for the creative and visual arts community in Devon and Cornwall, including artists, producers, curators and arts writers. CAMP delivers a rich programme of professional development activity including workshops, residencies, exhibitions; mentoring and peer-to-peer skill sharing.

Where: Covering Devon & Cornwall
Cost: £33 for a 6 month membership (£5.50 per month)
How to join: See:

Who: Spike Island Associates

What: Spike Island Associates is a dynamic network of artists, curators, designers, writers and producers at all stages of their careers. Members span multiple disciplines and share a common interest in collaboration, experimentation and a desire to learn new skills and have new experiences. They programme a year-round calendar of events that are accessible and open to all members, including: One-to-one meetings with artists, curators, writers, critics from across the UK and beyond; Reading and discussion groups; Skills workshops; Group crits; Talks; and Away days. Spike Island Associates also have access to a dedicated workspace open 24/7 in Spike Island’s bustling building.

Where: Open to all (national)
Cost: Standard £12 per month / Discounted memberships available
How to join:

Somerset Art Works

What: SAW’s Artist Development Programme offers a wide range of opportunities for artists in different stages of their career. Membership benefits include: opportunities to take part in Somerset Open Studios and Festival Events, projects, commissions, workshops, bursaries, networking, training and peer support.

Where: Covering Somerset
Cost: Artist and Maker Membership £40 / Concession Membership £25 / Arts Organisation and Galleries Membership £60
How to join:

Who: Weston Artspace

What: A hub for Weston-Super-Mare’s creative community. Anyone can become a member and use their space for free to create, rehearse, work and meet.

Where: Weston-Super-Mare
Cost: Membership is a one off payment of £20
How to join: Email: /

Lotte Scott Project Development Bursary Somerset Art Weeks 2019 Photo by Jim Wileman

Who: a space arts

What: ‘a space’ supports artists, artist groups and art workers based in the SO postcode area at all career stages and from all backgrounds to develop their practice/careers. They offer a number of free, developmental programmes and resources which provide opportunities for practical and peer-led support, shared learning, experimental and testing spaces, and community building in the Southampton area and beyond.

Where: Covering those living and working in the greater Southampton area and the New Forest.
Cost: Free
How to join: Get in touch to find out more

IW Creative Network

What: The IW Creative Network supports Artists and Creatives on the Isle of Wight through business support, networking, resources and profiling. It aims to nurture and inspire, allowing Creatives to thrive and become more sustainable. A bespoke Development Programme is available for individuals joining the Network, these include online creative training sessions, 1-2-1 creative business mentoring, 1-2-1 portfolio & funding advisory sessions, photo shoots, bursaries and networking events on and off the Island at cultural and creative spaces.

Where: Isle of Wight
Cost: £30 per year
How to join:

Southampton away day with IWCN members at Southampton City Art Gallery

Who: EOP (Extra Ordinary People)

What: EOP is Eastside Projects’ artist development scheme. EOP supports artists, curators and writers to develop work, ideas, careers and community through a responsive programme of events, opportunities and projects. Eastside Projects and EOP members work together to collectively imagine a dynamic programme of activity for artists, artist-writers and artist-curators at all stages of their careers. As well as free entry to talks and events, you can attend their members-only programme of toolkits, crits, workshops, wellbeing sessions and Away Days. You can also apply for opportunities like the annual member’s exhibition, residencies, The Exchange, and Summer Camp. You can also book in for 1-2-1 chats with Eastside Projects staff.

Where: Open to all (national)
Cost: £5 per month / Membership is free if you are a Black person, an Asian person or from a Global Majority background, or if you are a Disabled, Crip, long term ill, or D/deaf person.
How to join:

a-n (The Artists Information Company)

What: a-n is the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK with over 29,000 members. They support artists and those who work with them in many practical ways, acting on behalf of the membership and the visual arts sector to improve artists’ livelihoods. They have a reputation for providing compelling insights and playing a catalytic role in influencing and informing cultural policy.

Artists membership includes: Legal and tax helpline; opportunities to share blogs, reviews and events; resources including guides, profiles and toolkits; Jobs and opportunity listings; bursaries; workshops, talks and networking events; and £10m Public and Products Liability (PPL) insurance and £5m Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance.

Where: Open to all (national)
Cost: Artists & Arts Organisers £38 / Join artist & arts organiser £48 / Students £16
How to join:

Writing Workshop with Rose Higham Stainton