About CG Associates

CG Associates is a membership scheme for artists, writers and independent curators working in contemporary art.  It has been developed by Castlefield Gallery to support members in developing their work and careers by providing information, skills, opportunities, resources, promotion and critical dialogue. The CG Associates scheme acts as a hub, bringing together artists, curators and writers, facilitating critical exchange and engagement with members’ work and strengthening the artistic ecology of the North West. The scheme includes user-generated activities, developed in response to members’ needs and requests.

Annual membership costs £60; you can join here.

Benefits of the scheme include:

  • Opportunities to apply for two or three Launch Pad projects a year at Castlefield Gallery (see below for details of how to apply).
  • Access to temporary spaces via Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces scheme, which offers ‘Pop-up’ project/exhibition spaces for artists and creative practitioners. (for more information about New Art Spaces visit castlefieldgallery.co.uk/newartspaces)
  • An hour’s one-to-one advisory session with a key member of Castlefield Gallery staff.
  • Access to expert professional development training and workshops, for example on pricing, copyright, selling work and web presence.
  • Members’ names and a link to their website/blog listed on Castlefield Gallery website.
  • Monthly CG Associates sessions, e.g. crit sessions with other CG Associates and invited artists.
  • Peer-to-peer critiques.
  • Show and Tell sessions with other CG Associates and invited artists.
  • CG Associates can book the gallery outside of exhibition hours for meetings, crit groups, photography etc.
  • Practical workshops for CG Associates, e.g. on how to make the most of your digital presence.
  • Invitations to Castlefield Gallery exhibition previews and events.
  • 15% discount​ at Blyth’s Art Shop

Events and opportunities to date have included:

  • Trip to artist-led projects in Birmingham, Sheffield and Liverpool
  • MSB2015 residency exchange with Extra Special People and Stryx in Birmingham and Bloc Projects in Sheffield
  • G.O. North West residency at New Art Gallery Walsall
  • Film Open competition with Extra Special People, Transmission (Glasgow) Spike Associates (Bristol) and S1 Artspace (Sheffield), selected by Steven Cairns, ICA Associate Curator of Artists’ Film and Moving Image
  • Crit with painter Iain Andrews
  • Infoshare on writing proposals
  • Infoshare on Arts Council applications
  • Session on art fairs, using The Manchester Contemporary as a case study, with Paulette Terry Brien of The International 3
  • Session on Making Your Own Opportunities, where members met Catharine Braithwaite of Lethal Communications (who gave a presentation on how to get noticed by the press), Jason Simpson, artist and founder member of Neo Artists (who shared his experience of setting up studios, exhibition spaces and local networks), Paulette Terry Brien of The International 3 (who shared her expertise on art markets) and artist Hilary Jack (who shared her experience of creating opportunities to exhibit and developing a career as an artist)
  • Show and Tell sessions
  • Small group crits
  • Session on Web Marketing for Artists by Axisweb
  • Two Web Build training sessions by web developers ohdigital
  • Trip to the Mayfield Depot during Manchester International Festival to see Mette Ingvartsen’s Evaporated Landscapes and Tino Sehgal’s This Variation, with talk from Sehgal’s co-curator and collaborator Asad Raza

Launch Pad at Castlefield Gallery

Launch Pads are short exhibitions/performances/events that punctuate Castlefield Gallery’s main exhibition programme providing artists and curators with the opportunity to use the gallery as a test bed for the production, display and consumption of contemporary art. Launch Pads will feature emerging talent selected from CG Associate members’ submissions (two or three times a year) and the BA and MA contemporary art courses (Interactive Arts and Fine Art) at Manchester School of Art (once a year).

The most recent Launch Pad exhibition was the group show  It Was A Dark and Stormy Night, curated by Jemma Egan and featuring Florent Dubois, Graeme Durant, Jemma Egan, Lindsey Mendick, Suzanne Posthumus and Josh Whitaker (28th August to 6th September 2015 ). The next Launch Pad will take place from 13th to 22nd November 2015 (preview on Thursday 12th November, 6-8 pm) and is a group show/publication, Dancehall 11, curated by Hannah Ellul and featuring work, performances and interventions by Psykick Dancehall, Amelia Bywater & Rebecca Wilcox, Giuseppe Mistretta, Hello Art Magazine with Louise Hobson, Katherine MacBride and Tom White.  The application deadline for the spring 2016 Launch Pad (6th to 15th May 2016) is 18th January 2016. See http://www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/launch-pad/ for a full list of Launch Pad artists and selectors to date. 

Members can apply to exhibit as a solo artist or as a member of a group/collective, or to curate a solo or group project. In the case of group projects, at least one artist or the curator must be a CG Associate. (Nb Castlefield will not curate a group show from individual applications.) Launch Pad projects can run for up to ten days and are part of Castlefield Gallery’s exhibition programme.

Castlefield Gallery will supervise and assist with installing and uninstalling the work; provide curatorial input as agreed prior to starting the project; provide invigilation; publicise the exhibition through the gallery’s e-newsletter, free listings and social media; and organise a preview with refreshments.  The gallery can also provide a budget of up to £1,000 which members can divide as appropriate to cover materials, documentation or travel expenses etc.

We welcome applications for public-facing projects as well as exhibitions, for example an exhibition that changes daily or a series of performances.

Applicants for Launch Pad need to submit:

  • Launch Pad project proposal (500 words max)
  • Artist’s info (250 words per artist max)
  • Images (jpeg or pdf): maximum 4 per artist
  • Breakdown of the proposed budget (the gallery can provide up to £1,000 but artists are welcome to supplement this from other sources.)

At least one exhibiting artist, or the curator, must be a member of CG Associates.