LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire Award

A new programme benefitting seven artists with two years of support through rent–free studio space, professional development opportunities and a bursary. 

The award has been developed in direct response to the urgent need for affordable and secure workspace for artists in London, the availability of which has decreased significantly in recent years. The Covid–19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on artists’ lives, with many experiencing reduced opportunities, losses in income and isolation. The LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire Award aims to cultivate spaces where artists can connect in a supportive studio environment that facilitates creative possibilities, risk–taking, experimentation and exchange.

The LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire Award has been established to celebrate talent, individuality and original thinking within contemporary art practice. The award will support artists at all stages of their careers including emerging and under–represented practices, particularly those who are marginalised or experience intersecting forms of discrimination. The programme aims to increase and strengthen equitable representation and access, and amplify artistic voices across class, race, gender, sexuality and disability to fully reflect the diversity of London’s population.

The two–year programme will provide a range of support including:

Studio Space

  • Each awardee receives a rent–free workspace at Studio Voltaire (London SW4 7JR), for a period of two years, starting in August 2021
  • All studio spaces have 24–hour access, and are fully accessible
  • Awardees will have use of all general studio facilities, including a shared social space, kitchen and events space
  • Other facilities, including a production workshop and project studio, are available on a bookable basis


  • Each awardee receives a bursary of £1,000 per year (£2,000 in total) towards materials, production costs, equipment or living expenses

Professional Development

  • Each awardee will receive an individualised programme of mentoring and professional development opportunities co–devised with Studio Voltaire, taking advantage of Studio Voltaire’s network of peers, collaborators and supporters
  • Curatorial and pastoral support will be provided by a dedicated Curator
  • Open studios and a programme of public events will provide access to local and international arts audiences

Awards will be allocated based on talent and need. Applications will be received through an open call and via a group of selected nominators. Awardees will be selected by a panel of artists and curators.


2021 Nominators:

Sheryll Catto (ActionSpace)
Teresa Cisneros (Independent curator, writer and cultural producer)
Alice Cretney (Turf Projects)
David Hevey (Shape Arts)
Zaiba Jabbar (Hervisions)
Juliet Jacques (filmmaker, critic and writer)
Eliel Jones (Independent curator)
Rabz Lansiquot & Imani Robinson (Languid Hands)
Emily Pope (Artist & Montez Press)
Gaby Sahhar (Queer Direct)
Dr Mark Sealy MBE (Autograph ABP)
Bolanle Tajudeen (Black Blossoms)
Linsey Young (Tate Britain)
Abbas Zahedi (Artist)
Rehana Zaman (Artist)

2021 Selection Panel:

Sepake Angiama (Iniva)
Andrew Bonacina (The Hepworth Wakefield)
Anthea Hamilton (Artist)
Maggie Matić (Studio Voltaire)
Elizabeth Price (Artist)
Joe Scotland (Studio Voltaire)

Applications for the award are now closed. Many thanks to all our nominators and applicants. We will be sharing outcomes over the coming weeks.


In partnership with

Workspace at Studio Voltaire
  • Location: Studio Voltaire 1A Nelsons Row, London SW4 7JR UK
  • Our newly developed studio building provides a range of high–quality, light–filled workspaces. All spaces have heating and the majority have direct natural light. We are also introducing a number of individual studios within a large communal space, aimed at those who do not want or need a traditional studio. 
  • All studios are wheelchair accessible with step–free access, and benefit from 24–hour access.
  • The studio building includes a new dedicated social and events space, equipped with a kitchen, audio visual equipment and flexible seating. 
  • The site also includes a new bookable production workshop
  • Award recipients will work at Studio Voltaire, alongside our permanent studio holders, and other visiting artists.
  • Professional development and networking opportunities (including mentoring, peer–to–peer crits, talks on funding, tax advice etc) will be open to all artists
  • Occasional public talks, workshops, studio tours and open studios will bring audiences into direct dialogue with a thriving community of artists, and will provide opportunities to engage with the process of production
Frequently asked questions

Q: How do you define someone working within contemporary art practice?

A: Contemporary art practice can encompass a wide range of practices and contexts including painting, sculpture, installation, writing, moving image, film, performance, participation, collaborative social practices, and sound, and may be cross/multi–disciplinary. Applications will not be considered from those primarily working within the fields of music, dance, architecture, theatre, craft or design.


Q: I didn’t go to art school, can I still apply?

A: Yes. You do not need to have any formal education or qualifications to apply. We welcome artists who may be self–trained, those who have not followed a conventional route into art, those who have had an alternative pathway or training, as well as individuals from peer organised and non–accredited programmes.  


Q: I’m represented by an established commercial gallery and able to sustain my practice via sales of my work, is this award intended for me?

A: The award is intended for artists who currently have limited opportunities or face particular barriers to contemporary art practice. If you are already receiving substantial support from elsewhere, it is very unlikely your application will be successful. However, you may want to consider renting a studio from us. Please see here for more information. 


Q: I will be enrolled in full/part–time education for an undergraduate, postgraduate or equivalent programme during the award period, can I still apply?

A: You should no longer be in education at the time of submitting the application. We expect artists to be able to use their studio as much as possible.


Q: I’m based outside of London, can I still apply?

A: Yes you can apply, however, the award does not support travel or accommodation costs. Artists are required to be primarily based in London for the duration of the award and must have the relevant visas to be able to be based in the UK. 


Q: I have been a practising artist for over 30 years, can I still apply?

A: Yes. We welcome applications from artists of any age and career stage. However, this support needs to come at an important point in your practice. For example, an artist might have an established practice but has had very limited outside support, taken a career break or not received any opportunities in recent years.


Q: I’m part of a collective/collaborative duo. Can we apply together?

A:  Yes. We accept applications from duo/collectives. However, the benefits of the award will remain the same, so you should indicate in your application how you would share the studio and bursary.


Q: Should I be working towards a specific outcome at the end of/during the award? For example, a specific exhibition or project?

A: No, the award is not necessarily aimed at producing specific outcomes. However, your application should tell us how you want to use your time, and how the award will help you develop your practice. 


Q: What is the selection process?

A:  Applications from the Open Call will be shortlisted by Studio Voltaire, with additional nominations submitted by invitation from a wider committee of selected arts professionals and community partners. All shortlisted candidates are then reviewed by the selection panel. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview, either in person or digitally. Only applicants who are shortlisted for interview will be given feedback on their applications.


Q: How are applications accessed?

A: The selection panel wants to see compelling and exciting applications, and practices which show strong individuality, original thinking and relevance to contemporary culture and life. Practices might already be quite established but need additional support, a step–change, or may be less established but show potential for development. We will also consider the applicant’s need for this award, and how the applicant will make use of the award.


 Q: I might need some additional help with making my application, is this okay? 

A: Some people may require some further support with making the application and attending an interview if shortlisted. We accept applications written on your behalf, and those presented in alternative formats including video, sound or non–digital formats. Please contact us to discuss this further, studios@studiovoltaire.org. 


Q: I have additional support and access needs, are you able to offer additional support if I am selected for the award?

A: We know that some people may require further support to be able to fully participate in the programme. We will make every effort to meet your needs. Please contact us to discuss this further, studios@studiovoltaire.org. 


Q: Can I get advice or feedback about my application before I submit?

A: Excepting enquiries relating to access requirements, we are unable to provide any further individual guidance or feedback related to your application. 


The LOEWE FOUNDATION was established as a private cultural foundation in 1988 by Enrique Loewe, a fourth–generation member of LOEWE’s founding family. Today, the Foundation continues to promote creativity, organise educational programmes and protect cultural heritage in the fields of craft, design, photography, poetry and dance. The Foundation was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts by the Spanish government in 2002.  

More information:
web | www.loewe.com
blog | www.blogfundacionloewe.es
Instagram | @loewefoundation