Art print sales fund #CIRCAECONOMY Scholarship Programme

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Digital art and culture platform CIRCA and Goldsmiths, University of London have launched the #CIRCAECONOMY Scholarship Programme, funded by the sale of limited edition prints by artists including Ai Weiwei, Patti Smith and David Hockney.

Image shows a large electronic billboard displaying the words INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF ART AND CULTURE

CIRCA announced the launch of the #CIRCAECONOMY Scholarship Programme on the Piccadilly Lights, London. All photos © Circa

Two scholarships worth a total of £30,000 will be awarded to Goldsmiths students, one completing the MA Art and Ecology and one the MFA Curating degree programmes.

CIRCA’s scholarships have been launched in recognition that many practitioners without traditional academic qualifications face barriers when it comes to postgraduate study. 

The #CIRCAECONOMY Scholarship Programme will prioritise applicants who come from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in higher education. 

The aim is to help validate alternative forms of self-education and development by opening up the application process for postgraduate study in the arts. 

CIRCA announced the launch of the initiative on the iconic Piccadilly Lights in Piccadilly Circus, Central London, on Monday 17 January.  

Josef O’Connor, Artistic Director, CIRCA, said: “Our new scholarship programme defines everything that CIRCA set out to achieve as a platform with purpose. We’re grateful to all of our previous artists for supporting the #CIRCAECONOMY and everyone who purchased a print. 

“This ongoing partnership with Goldsmiths will support the next generation at this difficult time and we’re especially grateful to Richard Noble and Andrew Renton for supporting our mission in making the arts more accessible to everyone.” 

Professor Richard Noble, Head of the Department of Art at Goldsmiths, said: “Goldsmiths Department of Art is delighted to be working with CIRCA - one of the most dynamic and innovative companies currently working in the field of contemporary art - to offer two new scholarships to students on our MFA Curating and MA Art and Ecology, starting in the academic year 2022/23. 

“These scholarships are aimed at people who've taken non-traditional routes to the study of art and curating. They provide both generous financial support and mentoring by CIRCA, and will empower students who might otherwise not have the chance to study at a world-leading art school the opportunity to develop an influential and sustainable practice.” 

The MA Art and Ecology at Goldsmiths is a 15-month studio-based postgraduate programme for emerging artists who want to engage in meaningful and transformative ways with the most pressing ecological questions of our time. 

The MA invites artists to develop innovative art projects grounded in rigorous artistic research and a profound understanding of how ecological challenges such as climate breakdown, pollution, and biodiversity loss are inseparable from questions of social justice. A successful candidate will receive stipendiary payments of £7,500 a year for two years. 

MFA Curating is designed for students who wish to take up the challenge of contemporary curating as an artistic, social and critical undertaking, and who wish to develop their professional practice in this area.

The programme is designed to provide a practice-led research context for students at any stage of their professional practice and is aimed at curators, artists and those with relevant academic and practical experience. A successful candidate will receive a total grant of £15,000 over 15 months. 

Candidates for a #CIRCAECONOMY Scholarship will be able to apply once they have been offered a place on a programme. 


Since launching in October 2020, the #CIRCAECONOMY initiative has circulated over £180,000 into supporting its free public art programme, appearing daily in London’s Piccadilly Circus, Seoul, Tokyo, Milan, Melbourne, New York and LA, while nurturing a more diverse cultural industry that supports emerging creative potential through a series of cash grants and awards. 

Funds are generated through the sale of limited edition artists’ prints sales, with CIRCA commissioning new work from rising and established artists including Ai Weiwei, Cauleen Smith, Eddie Peake, Anne Imhof, Patti Smith, Tony Cokes, Emma Talbot, Vivienne Westwood, James Barnor, David Hockney, and more.