For our VACMA Spotlight series we will be looking at how artists and craft makers have used their VACMA grants to further develop their practice.

Last year Julie Willmore applied for an Emerging Artist Bursary of £500, Julie has worked with many mediums and is currently working with acrylics layered with saw dust, sand and other materials to create beautiful paintings with a 3D depth.

Julie wanted to develop her work by exploring handmade paper, adding a unique element to her paintings, setting her apart from other artists in her field. The grant allowed her to purchase the correct materials and equipment to make the paper and create high quality distinctive paintings.

‘There is a personal achievement to each piece, knowing I have made each layer of my painting. ‘ - Julie Willmore

Julie's paintings are currently being exhibited at the Shetland Gallery at Sellafirth, Yell – which includes her handmade paper textural examples. With the support of the bursary Julie feels she will be competent exhibiting in Shetland and on the mainland to a very high standard.

The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards (VACMA) are a programme of small grant schemes administered by local authorities and art agencies, offering support to visual artists and craft makers. Previous VACMA recipients have used their bursaries for various purposes, including training, attending courses, production costs, testing new techniques and experimenting with new materials.

Whether you are an established artist or recent graduate, if you are an artist or craft maker looking to further your creative and professional development, consider applying for VACMA.

Shetland Arts, in partnership with Creative Scotland and Shetland Islands Council, invites applications for bursaries of £500 or £750 towards creative and professional development, available twice a year.

The application deadline for the next round of VACMA awards is October 24, 2023. To find out more and apply, please click here.

If you think you would like to apply for VACMA but need help to write you artist statement, explain your creative practise or capture great photos of your work - we are holding a VACMA 23/24 Open Session on Tuesday 17th of October, going over the VACMA application and will answer any questions you may have.

Places are limited so please confirm your attendance to [email protected] by Monday 16th October.

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