The Artist’s Journey # 3

Unseen Untouchable (2019), courtesy of Manish Harijan

The Head Post Office, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield S1 2AY

As an ongoing commitment to local creative professional development, Mansions of the Future are a proud partner of The Artists Journey #3 and are offering travel expenses for Lincoln based artists who wish to attend this symposium. The two-day conference will feature talks and presentations by artists and researchers on forging a sustainable and fulfilling career in the sector. The event will be hosted by Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with YVANBloc ProjectsNational Association of Fine Art Educators and Mansions of the Future. For more details please contact

Being an artist can take you to places you never thought were possible, but the paths are unclear and the maps complicated. The Artist’s Journey symposium is now is its third year. This year the two-day event will a focus on the practices, interests and groups that operate at the edges or outside of the ‘professional’ and formal structures or economies. 

The event is free and lunch will be provided. An evening social will form part of the programme. Speakers and delegates are warmly invited to attend on both days.

Day 1: Thursday, 13 February 2020

The first day is made up of invited artist presentations. While ‘professionalisation’ suggests the positive, necessary steps to becoming an artist, there are ‘improfessional’ practices that exist at an off-kilter relation to this imperative. Outside of the professional / unprofessional binary, what else do artists do, feel, or think as they build their portfolio, write their grants, or get on with these obvious tasks? And as both a direct or dissonant response to our art-making lives, what modalities of survival and thriving do we develop? How do we – or don’t we – maintain the balance, health, and motivation necessary to keep going as supposed art professionals? 

The presentations will explore these questions in two thematically-based sessions: improfessional organising (morning) and improfessional trajectories (afternoon). The morning session will focus on ways of organising, with contributions from institutional as well as artist-led perspectives. The afternoon session will turn to the different pathways that artists have made for themselves. 

9:30am – 10:00am Registration

10:00am – 10:15am Welcome and introduction

Morning session: Improfessional organising

10:15am – 11:45am Three artist presentations and panel discussion chaired by Sarah Villeneau (artist, Material Voice collective)

11:45am – 12:00pm Break

12:00pm – 1:00pm Longer artist talk with response and chaired discussion

Afternoon session: Improfessional trajectories

2:00pm – 3:30pm Three artist presentations and panel discussion chaired by Dan Russell (artist, The NewBridge Project)

3:30pm – 3:45pm Break

3:45pm – 4:45pm Longer artist talk with response and chaired discussion

Day 2 : Friday, 14 February 2020 

The 2nd day is the result of a new partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and the National Association of Fine Art Educators and consists of a series of presentations selected from an open call by NAFAE (National Association for Fine Art Education) relating to the theme of ‘Improfessional’ practices.

Key speakers, full programme and itinerary to be announced in due course. Register to reserve your place and receive programming announcements.

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