The idea behind ArtULTRA
Supporting early career artists
ArtULTRA was created out of the desire to provide support for artists at a time of great need. it began as blue sky thinking by Alice Black during the first lockdown in 2020, when reflecting on the impact of the Covid crisis on the Arts and on the limited support offered directly to individual artists, she spent time researching this topic, through conversations with a diverse group of early career artists. Thanks to Amanda Fernandez and her artist collective FerArts, who gave their time and voiced honest, insightful opinions about their situation, about 200 artists between the ages of 18 and 34 contributed to this research either via interviews, focus groups or social media.
This research identified that artists need (first and foremost!) financial support to allow them to live while practicing. In order to carry out research, develop new ideas, buy equipment, buy books or visit exhibitions – funding is mission critical. Other needs include having access to space to practice freely; and having somewhere to turn to, in order to receive support on business matters such as contract, IP, networking skills etc. Next, access to a network, mentoring, and short courses to hone in on a specific skill are highly valued. Last, but not least, having greater visibility: either by taking part in exhibitions, knowing how to cut through social media, or being shown in a different type of venue - any opportunity to be seen in a new context and by a varied audience, matters.
This led to the creation of ArtULTRA. In its first stage, ArtULTRA is focusing on identifying existing grants aimed directly at artists as well as studio spaces and residency programmes available to them. Free access to this resource is provided here. In time, ArtULTRA aims to become an accelerator for early career artists, providing exhibition, mentoring, networking, business insights and professional development opportunities.
Meet the team
Business & Product Development / Photographer
Researcher / Artist
Armed with a French business school degree and an early career in finance in NYC, Alice has worked for over 20 years in the cultural Sector in the UK. As Deputy Director then Co Director of the Design Museum, she transformed the museum into the pace setter for design and architecture in the UK. In 2018 the Design Museum was named European Museum of the Year. Alice is an ambassador for the Mayor of London, on the British Library's Advisory Committee and member of the Museum of London New Museum Project Board.
Keen to work on urban development-related topics, Paola graduated from the Urban School of Sciences Po Paris in 2016. Simultaneously, looking to turn her passion for photography into a career, she has recently left her consulting job to professionalize her practice, both as an artist and freelance. Her objective is to carry out assignments for non-profit organizations around the world, and has thus conducted two recent photo reportages in Benin: one with the association Gbobètô, laureate of the Yves Rocher Foundation 2021 Prize "Terre de Femmes"; the other documenting the cult of revenants in the Voodoo religion. She has recently settled in Montreal and roams the streets equipped with her trusted 35mm!
Bea has a BA in English from the University of Cambridge, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, for which she was awarded the 2020 Director’s Prize for her dissertation. She is currently working as a free-lance researcher, journalist and fine artist. Her artistic practice explores narrativity, dream-scenarios and solitude. As an art historian and art journalist, Beatriz is interested in contemporary British art engaging with themes of diaspora and ecology.