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Press release: CIRCA x Goldsmiths Scholarship Programme



Press Release | For Immediate Release
CIRCA, Piccadilly Circus, W1

Announced last night on the iconic Piccadilly Lights, CIRCA is proud to launch the #CIRCAECONOMY Scholarship Programme, circulating £30,000 – generated entirely from the sale of limited edition prints by artists including Ai Weiwei, Patti Smith and David Hockney – into supporting the future of art and culture.

Launched in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, two scholarships worth a total of £30,000 will be awarded to students to complete the MA Art & Ecology and MFA Curating degree programmes. The scholarships recognise that many practitioners without traditional academic qualifications face barriers when it comes to postgraduate studies with these CIRCA scholarships looking to recognise and validate alternative forms of self-education and development by opening up the application process.

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] whilst also nurturing a more diverse cultural industry that supports emerging creative potential through a series of cash grants and awards.

Josef O’Connor, Artistic Director, CIRCA, comments:
“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 & Ecology is a fifteen-month studio-based post-graduate 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. Successful candidates will receive stipendiary payments of £7,500 a year for two years.

The MFA Curatorial programme 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. Successful candidates will receive a total grant of £15,000 over 15 months.



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For press enquiries please contact: 

Reece Prince Watson | E: reece@circa.art 

Goldsmiths, University of London:
Sarah Elizabeth Cox | E: s.cox@gold.ac.uk

Notes To Editors

Webpage: https://circa.art/goldsmiths

Application process:
Candidates will be able to apply for the scholarships once they have been offered a place on the programme.

All applications will be considered by the panel. A shortlist will be established and the shortlisted candidates interviewed in September 2022.

Applicants should provide a CV and a statement of no more than 500 words outlining their reasons for doing the course, their professional ambitions and how the CIRCA Scholarships will help them achieve their ambitions.

 The Selection Panel will consist of academic staff from the two programmes, the Head of Department and a member appointed by CIRCA.

Scholarship criteria
The scholarships will be awarded to students who qualify for Home Fees in British universities.

Their applications will be judged on their potential as artists and curators and their capacity to benefit from the courses on offer.

Goldsmiths will prioritise widening participation markers, i.e. evidence that students are members of communities that are traditionally under-represented in higher education, such as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, being care-experienced or estranged from their families, coming from a non-selective state school, coming from a home where neither parent/carer has been to university, and other markers.

Goldsmiths, University of London
Founded in 1891, Goldsmiths, University of London is an institution with a rich academic history, known for its creative approach. Its 10,000 students are based on campus in the heart of south east London’s New Cross community, studying undergraduate, postgraduate, teacher training and return-to-study courses in the arts and humanities, social sciences, law, cultural studies, computing, and entrepreneurial business and management.

Goldsmiths research shapes the future, changes lives and is at the forefront of creative practice, with almost three-quarters of research rated internationally excellent or world-leading by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Eight winners of the Turner Prize – and almost a quarter of those shortlisted for the award since it began – have been Goldsmiths graduates or staff, while others have gone on to receive Oscars, Mercury Music prizes, Ivor Novellos and BAFTAS.

CIRCA is a digital art and culture platform with purpose. We stop the clock on global media spaces every evening at 20:22 and mobilise the world’s greatest creative minds to broadcast unique works that consider our world today, circa now. The funds we generate from artist print sales drive the #CIRCAECONOMY – a circular model that supports our free public art programme and creates life-changing opportunities for the art & culture community.

 Since launching in October 2020 on London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights, CIRCA has commissioned 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.

CIRCA has been made possible by Landsec, landlord of Piccadilly Lights, who have kindly donated media space, as a helpful boost to the cultural scene in London’s West End.

We are grateful to Piccadilly Lights, Ocean Outdoor, Yunika Vision, CJ Powercast, Luxottica, Fed Square and Pendry West Hollywood for their support this month in supporting our free public art programme.