Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Funding for Individuals
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Open Submission Scheme

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us

Arts Council of Northern Ireland recognises the importance of purchasing contemporary work as a vital support mechanism for artists.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s specific objectives with respect to acquisitions are to

  • support individual artists;
  • contribute to the development of visual arts practice in Northern Ireland;
  • develop a culture in which visual art is respected and appreciated;
  • foster knowledge and research;
  • ensure that contemporary visual arts are showcased; and,
  • stimulate the art market in Northern Ireland.


Who can apply?

Artists of all disciplines and in all types of working practice, who have made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.

Artists from Northern Ireland who are living elsewhere will also be considered. In exceptional circumstances, artists who are not from Northern Ireland but who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Northern Ireland may be considered.

Who Cannot Apply?

Applicants who have had an artwork purchased or commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland within the previous 12 months.

Applicants who have broken the conditions of previous grant awards within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer).

How to apply?

The submission process will consist of an initial online application stage where artists can submit an application form and details of their work, including images or a digital video clip sample of the work to be considered. No original artworks should be submitted at the application stage.

An application can only be made via the online application system -

No applications will be accepted by post or by email. In addition to completing the online application form, applicants will be required to upload and attach a History of Artistic Practice document, an Artist Statement document, and images or a video clip of the artwork, prior to submission of the online application.

Only one artwork from each artist will be considered for acquisition, and artists should only submit details of one artwork. The Acquisition Panel will select works for follow up that meet the acquisition criteria based upon the information submitted. However, please note that no commitment to purchase will be made without the original artwork having been viewed in person by a member of the Acquisition Panel.

Guidance notes
Sample application