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Artist in Residence

Call to emerging artists


Residency Opportunities:

July – August 2020

September  – October 2020       


This year The Wilson’s programme focuses on the theme of wellbeing.  Our two exhibitions this year explore the work of two artists whose work is completely different visually but both reflect on the impact the arts play on our everyday lives and affect our emotional wellbeing.

In the spring we are showing the work of contemporary artist Liz West in her touring show Colour Field. This exciting and dynamic exhibition invites visitors to immerse themselves in an installation of colourful sculptural work. In her installations Liz creates vivid environments that use a variety of light sources and fuse mixed luminous colour and radiant light.  These spaces encourage visitors to explore how colour and sensory experiences affect us physically and psychologically.

November will see the opening of ‘Bright Young Things’ a major touring exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery, London. The exhibition celebrates the life of renowned photographer Cecil Beaton.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, his photographs placed his friends and heroes under perceptive, colourful and sympathetic scrutiny.

The exhibition will bring to life this glamorous and creative era of British cultural life of High Society and the avant-garde, artists and writers, socialites and partygoers, all set against the rhythms of the Jazz Age.

Although Beaton is at the heart of this exhibition, there is work by his contemporaries :paintings by Rex Whistler, Henry Lamb, Ambrose McEvoy, Christopher Wood and Augustus John; photographic portraits by Paul Tanqueray, Dorothy Wilding, Hugh Cecil and Curtis Moffat; and archival sources including letters, magazines, invitations and book jackets.


To complement and enrich the content of both exhibitions we would like to offer our second floor gallery space to contemporary artists to take part in our residency programme.

We are planning two residencies:

  • July – August, we’d like this to appeal to a family audience.
  • September- October,  we’d like to focus on developing some of new audiences, in this case the 18-25 years age group. We’d like to hear from you if you are an artist/designer/maker working in any art form (craft, visual, sound, performance, for example).

We’d like to know:

  • What materials would you choose to work with and how you make sure they are appropriate for audience engagement?
  • How would you transform our gallery into an engaging space for visitors?
  • How would you engage with visitors when you are in the space?
  • What would you provide for visitors to do on the days you are not in residence?


There is a £1,000 fee per residency. This covers:

  • 1 day for install
  • 1 day for de install
  • 4 days in residence to engage with visitors (but you are welcome to do more).

We will be able to support the residency with some interpretation and basic technical assistance.

How to apply

Please send a CV and proposal outlining how you would use the space and work with visitors to engage them with your making process. No more than one side of A4.


Please send this to by  Friday 31 January 2020, 5pm. We will inform successful candidates by Monday 17 February 2020.


The Cheltenham Trust is a registered charity, which was incorporated in May 2014 and obtained charitable status on 19 September 2015. The organisation has a clearly defined charitable purpose encompassing cultural provision, community engagement, learning and health & wellbeing for the benefit of residents and visitors to Cheltenham.  The trust measures impact, socially, culturally and economically.

The Wilson

The Wilson was opened to the public on the 5th October 2013 after a major new build costing in the region of £6 million. Designed by architects Berman Guedes Stretton, the award-winning new building offers something for everybody, whether they are local to the area, or coming to Cheltenham for the first time. The Wilson houses an extensive fine art collection, a re-interpreted Arts and Crafts gallery (showing the world-renowned Designated collection), and includes two superb temporary exhibition galleries. In 2016 we secured a grant from the Arts Council Museum Resilience Fund.  The fund is designed to support museums to adapt to the rapid pace of change they currently face and support sustainability for the future. The outcome from this work includes introducing a residency into The Wilsons programme.

The Second Floor Gallery

The gallery space is 137sqm and is a long space (5.9m width). It can either be a blackout or lit space with track lighting and/or daylight.




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