East Midlands graduate project 2018

EM18 Call for Subs

Surface Gallery is now accepting submissions for our tenth East Midlands Graduate Project — EM18: Nottingham’s only graduate residency. This opportunity supports Fine Art graduates from across the region by offering a free residency and exhibition in an independent contemporary art space to kick-start the transition from university to professional art world.

Eight artists will be selected to produce a new body of work for the subsequent exhibition. The residency will take place in our open-plan project space, enabling the artists to interact and develop their practice in a stimulating and mutually supportive environment. There will be in-house critical feedback, and several opportunities for formal critique sessions with established artists and curators, including Tristram Aver, Exhibitions Officer at Nottingham Castle.

To apply, simply fill out the form at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at info@surfacegallery.org

About us

Surface Gallery is the local contemporary art gallery of Nottingham.

We operate as a social enterprise, celebrating and supporting talent in our city, and engaging with our immediate community with a view to broadening participation in the arts. We are lead by a co-operative team of early career professionals, who support each other in order to learn more about running a successful independent art gallery.

Located within Nottingham’s burgeoning Creative Quarter, Surface Gallery’s three-storey building welcomes visitors and exhibitors to its two gallery spaces, nine artist studios and open-plan office area.



  • A four-week artist residency at Surface Gallery: a high-quality, large and well-lit working space where artists will have free reign to develop new work.

  • A two-week group exhibition at Surface Gallery following the end of the residency.

  • Support and advice from the Surface Gallery team who will provide artistic and technical assistance throughout the residency.

  • Networking and Q&A opportunities with the active artist community who work in the building.

  • Promotion in Surface Gallery’s newsletter and extensive social media network.

  • 500 flyers distributed across the city to promote the exhibition.

  • A potential small commission to help produce a new body of work during the residency. *

  • Potential inclusion in a catalogue document the project. *

  • Potential travel expenses. *

*Please note we are in the process of seeking funding for this exhibition. Therefore the specific details of what the project will include will depend on the success of our funding bid

photos from EM17


  • Progress meetings – selected artists will discuss the residency’s progress and plan for their exhibition with the support of the Surface Gallery team.

  • Critique sessions – held during the residency period. The selected artists will meet with established artists to receive feedback on their work.

  • Artist talks – taking place during the exhibition and open to the public. Artists can discuss their practice and new work created for exhibition, with the support of Surface Gallery.

  • Workshops – the opportunity to organise and run workshops with the local community

  • Development – opportunities for one-to-one sessions with the Surface Team.

  • Curating – gain invaluable experience by organising a group exhibition.

Project schedule

Below is an outline of a proposed schedule. It is intended to give a useful time-scale of deadlines for the selected artists to work towards. The schedule will be finalised in discussion with the selected artists at the initial project meeting.


29th September  – an opportunity to meet with the other selected artists and the Surface team.


1st October  – the selected artists will be invited to move into the gallery space.


Weeks commencing 1st October, 8th October, 15th October

Final progress meeting and review session: 22nd October


29th October – 1st November


2nd – 17th November


11th November