We are now launching our new Artist Development Programme with the following two strands:

Development Opportunities: Bursaries, advisory & mentoring. (open for application now)
Networking & Events: Artists talks, symposiums & workshops. (will be announced in September)


(Please click the title of each opportunity for details. Artists who apply please be aware we are in the pilot stage of the programme. We are seeking to work with artists that provide critical and constructive feedback at this stage to help to create a clear framework for the future programme.)

Artist Mentoring Scheme

Number of places: 4
Bursary amount: up to £250
Deadline: Apply before Friday 31 August. Application takes 4 weeks to process.

Project Development Bursary for Artist

Number of places: 4
Bursary Amount: £500
Deadline: Tuesday 31 July 2018 for expression of interest

Artist-led Workshops & Co-learning Event

Number of places: 3
Amount: £400
Deadline of Application: Friday 31 August 2018

Artist development planning session

Number of places: 10
First come first served until March 2019

Please check the eligibility of each of the opportunity. Artists who apply please be aware we are in the pilot stage of the programme. We are seeking to work with artists that provide critical and constructive feedback at this stage to help to create a clear framework for the future programme.


A one-day symposium exploring directions and territories for artists’ practice
Date: Thursday 1 November 2018
Time: 10am-5pm
Venue: University Centre Somerset, Taunton
Artists’ practices are characterised by persistence. Continuous research and development is punctuated and energised by creative interaction, provoked and inspired through multiple communications and dialogues, all the time gathering the momentum which drives and sustains them over a life-time. This symposium for artists in Somerset and the South West offers new conversations, skills, insight and resources, providing space for independent and collective reflection and learning and exposing fresh ideas about collaboration and activism.
Contributors include Lydia Catterall on being resilient, Rebecca Chesney on working across boundaries, Anna Francis on interventions for social change, Nicola Naismith 2017/18 Clore Leadership Programme Visual Artist Fellow on the autonomous artist and Laura Robertson co-founder of online magazine Double Negative on writing about art.
Symposium developed through a collaboration between arts researcher Susan Jones and Anna Best, artist and initiator of Prospectus. Produced & organised by Somerset Art Works, working in partnership with Visual Arts South West and University Centre Somerset. Supported by Arts Council England.
Ticket: £20 (early bird, book by 30 September) £30 (Full price) plus online booking fee CLICK HERE TO BOOK
*A number of bursaries are available, please contact us for more details.
Please also contact us if you have special access needs in order to support you to fully participate in the event. 
Contact: Zoe Li, Programme Associate zoe.li@somersetartworks.org.uk


Somerset Art Works is an arts development agency evolved from the ‘Art Weeks’ event, established in 1994. This artist-led organisation first set out to provide showcase opportunities for artists, attracting more than 350 artist members in 2007 and it has continued to grow in recent years to include other organisations, groups, schools and businesses. With a growing number of artists in Somerset, we recognised the need to develop and profile high quality work for its audiences, in order to sustain a viable artistic economy in the county.

In 2010, Creative Pathways (somersetartworks.org.uk/creativepathways), a bursary programme for professional development, was launched with the support from Friends of SAW and Arts Council England Lottery Funding. Each selected artist received the benefit of free membership, free entry to the Art Weeks event and a bursary to cover mentoring, materials, traveling and showcasing new works at the Art Weeks events. 30 artists have been involved in the Creative Pathways programme so far.

We delivered the Prospectus (prospectus.somersetartworks.org.uk), a pilot programme to look at learning for artists. Together with the Artists Development Day, which gathers feedback from more than 30 artist members (Please see Artist development day note), we are now able to provide a number of development opportunities for our artist members in different levels in the next 4 years as part of our commitment as a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.


The ’Artist Development Programme’ is managed by Zoe Li, Programme Associate of Somerset Art Works, supported by Creative Director Carol Carey and Trustee Tim Martin. For all enquiries in relation to the programme, please contact Zoe by email zoe.li@somersetartworks.org.uk

Zoe has more than 15 years’ experience in working with artists to develop new commissions at off-site locations and art spaces. She joined SAW in 2007 and delivered our Art Weeks and Open Studios events between 2007–2015, as well as developed our website and delivered several of our contemporary arts commissioning programmes, such as Abundances (2013), Momentum Open Call (2015) and Prospectus (2017). She is now responsible for the Artist Development Programme and supports the development of Art Weeks Festival 2019. Zoe graduated from MA Cultural Management & Curating from Goldsmiths College and worked in several different roles at Arts Council England (South West) between 2003 – 2015, alongside with freelance and her own curatorial projects in Hong Kong and the UK. She works with artists across different disciplines, such as moving-image, sound, performance and installation and has established curatorial interests in cross-disciplinary practice and collaboration. She co-founded Eastville Project Space in Yeovil in 2015 and has served as Trustee at Take A Part CIC since 2017. She is current steering group member of Visual Arts South West.