In 2003 NUCLEO vzw, in cooperation with Marjoleine Maes, developed a policy for allocating its studios in a transparent and objective manner.
Here it should be immediately mentioned that the allocation of a workspace is always subject to the specific circumstances; too strict criteria are not helpful. The aspects and criteria mentioned have more the character of a guideline in order to make a judgement. In addition an allocation policy is never finalised. It needs to evolve with the growth of the organisation and the number of studios, which are available. Sometimes it can be an option to grant an application, for example, because the spaces are particularly suited for a specific artistic discipline.
The main principles of the allocation policy are given below.
The complete study “Een toewijzingsbeleid voor de atelierorganisatie NUCLEO vzw” is available for reference in the office of NUCLEO vzw.
A neutral advisory panel has been appointed to assess the individual dossiers, which results in the allocation of the studios.
This advisory panel consists of at least three members:
- at least one member of NUCLEO vzw;
- at least one artist;
- at least one external member.
The external member is someone active in a museum, school or art gallery.
In order to apply to rent one of the studios from NUCLEO vzw, you are requested to complete the questionnaire "Workspace needs of artists" and as well as the attached application form. After receipt of this information and a portfolio with any additional information, the allocation panel will consider your request.
The Allocation Committee bases its assessments on 3 criteria: quality of the visual work, professionalism and artist’s motivation.
Quality of visual work
This concernsautonomous contemporary works of art executed in various media and forms and showing great visual quality and contemporary artistic vision.
An important factor in the evaluation is what the work is about, that it has a certain coherence and intrinsic visual power. Also important is the position of the artist in his/her work, how this is translated in form and material, how it relates to the public and its status in contemporary art no matter what its origins are.
The way in which a work communicates with the public takes precedence over technique. The technique selected must endorse the subject of the work.
The following criteria are used to determine the professionalism of the potential tenant:
- a diploma of higher education in the arts;
- recent artistic achievements such as participation in exhibitions, recent work, reviews, grants and so on.
Should an artist not meet either of these criteria, professionalism can be shown on the basis of the following criteria:
- intention and motivation;
- concrete plans with regard to artistic projects yet to be realised.
The following elements are important when submitting a portfolio:
- images of work that has been realised;
- text material as a context for the work;
- artistic CV;
- elucidation regarding the studio (what will the studio be used for, intensity of use, motivation for the application, concrete plans regarding the artistic projects to be realised, etc.).
Cultural organisations are eligible for renting a studio from NUCLEO vzw. These organisations must meet the following criteria:
- have mainly artistic aims;
- offer an added value to NUCLEO vzw and its activities in the form of presentation possibilities for or collaboration with in-residence artists.
Following a positive judgement from the allocation panel you will be put on the waiting list and will be given a number. You then pay a single membership fee of 15 euros; this fee is recovered once a studio is allocated, by reduction of the initial rent to be paid.
In the case a temporary workspace is allocated, the artist keeps his / her number on the waiting list. For permanent workspaces the number is removed from the list.
In general the order of inscriptions is respected. Minor modifications are possible according to the nature of the workspace and the expectations of the artist in this respect. Additionally the aim is to have an interesting mix of disciplines, as well as a ratio of six starting artists with four experienced artists. Changes in the order of allocation are however limited in the sense that an artist cannot be passed over more than three times.
Artists staying in a permanent workspace have the space allocated to them for a period of two years. After one year there is an interim evaluation. When the complete period is ended the artist receives a final evaluation. On the basis of this evaluation it is decided whether the artist may continue for a further two years in the studio. Extensions as a result of positive evaluations are in principle unlimited.
The following criteria are applied:
- frequency of the use of the workspace;
- evolution of the artist;
- quality of the art produced.
The evaluation will be especially of importance for artists who are less often present and with little evidence of artistic activity. In the event a personal discussion provides too little justification to approve a further allocation, the artist will be requested to document his / her recent artistic activity. In the event this is not satisfactory then the rental agreement for the studio in question will not be renewed, and the artist requested to leave the workspace. In case of doubt the artist will not be obliged to leave the workspace.