The Contemporary Art Society x Katharine Hamnett +Frieze launch 'CHOOSE ART'. - FAD Magazine

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The Contemporary Art Society x Katharine Hamnett +Frieze launch ‘CHOOSE ART’.

CHOOSE ART – courtesy of Katharine Hamnett London and the Contemporary Art Society

The Contemporary Art Society has launched its new annual crowdfunding campaign, CHOOSE ART in partnership with fashion designer and activist Katharine Hamnett to support artists and museums across the UK. CHOOSE ART follows on from the success of the CAS Rapid Response Fund, the Contemporary Art Society’s first crowdfunding campaign last year which raised over £230,000, supporting 16 museums across the UK to buy 106 works.   To donate: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/choose-art

Museums that are members of the Contemporary Art Society are invited to apply to buy art that will support their civic role when they reopen as the UK emerges from lockdown. The campaign is designed to support as many different artists and local museums as possible, based on the understanding that art and museums will play a vital role in helping communities across the nation heal following the Covid-19 pandemic. Money raised will be spent purchasing artworks by British-based artists, providing financial support to artists, technicians and art handlers, many of whom work on a freelance basis and have seen their income streams decimated over the past year.

 “Contemporary Art Society has existed since 1910 to champion the importance of art in our daily lives. We’ve supported artists, galleries and museums across the UK by buying over 12,000 artworks that speak to the times in which they were created. Art reflects the times we live in and now more than ever as we look to recovery, we believe that everyone in the UK should have access to the best art created now to help the nation heal. We want to encourage everyone to CHOOSE ART, donate, visit your local museum when it reopens and share your favourite artworks with friends. We are delighted to be partnering with Katharine Hamnett, capturing her activist spirit to fight for the most important causes of our times.”    

Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society, said:

Due to government restrictions, museums in England are currently closed until May 17 at the earliest with opening dates for museums in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to be confirmed. The CHOOSE ART campaign will ensure that when museums across the UK reopen, they are able to reach out to their communities through new acquisitions, playing a vital role in civic healing and mental wellbeing as well as bringing new life to high streets.

Open to buy work from both fine art and craft practitioners, applications to the fund will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with museums making a case for how a specific artwork will support their engagement with local communities when they reopen.

To date the CAS has raised in excess of £100,000 from founder supporters of the campaign.

 “Art and design are and always have been at the cutting edge not just of culture, but civilisations. Simon Schama says “Man is an art-making animal” and art in the UK is under threat right now. Huge holes in public finances due to Covid and changes in the rules thanks to Brexit are going to mean that art, artists, art education and museums are going to need all the help they can get to survive.
For over 100 years CAS has not only supported artists by buying their work but they have also supported our great museums. These museums are essential repositories and beacons of knowledge. Please help great contemporary art and artists and our wonderful museums by supporting CAS as generously as you can. CHOOSE ART.”

Katharine Hamnett, Designer, Katharine Hamnett,
CHOOSE ART – courtesy of Katharine Hamnett London and the Contemporary Art Society

People who donate £60 will receive a limited-edition CHOOSE ART t-shirt design by Katharine Hamnett London. Donations of £110 will be rewarded with two t-shirts, £200 four t-shirts and smaller donations of £10 will receive a CHOOSE ART badge. The CHOOSE ART campaign will only be live for one month – from today Monday 15th March – Thursday 15th April 2021. crowdfunder.co.uk/choose-art

CHOOSE ART is in collaboration with Frieze, allowing the campaign to reach even more art lovers and collectors, both attendees to the art fairs and readers of the magazines. In 2016, CAS entered into partnership with Frieze purchasing a significant work, or works, at the fair each year for a selected Museum Member.

 “Following last year’s pioneering Rapid Response Fund, which gathered huge support and injected much needed funds into the arts ecosystem, Frieze are delighted to collaborate with the Contemporary Art Society once again. Katharine Hamnett’s contribution to this new exciting campaign for 2021 will encourage an ever-growing community of support and is yet another example of CAS’s continued innovative initiatives that benefit UK museums, artists and galleries.”

Eva Langret, Artistic Director, Frieze London

Applications will be reviewed by the 2021 CAS Acquisitions Advisory Committee, an external panel chaired by Caroline Douglas, Director of the CAS, consisting of leading curators, writers and artists. The first round of purchasing will take place in May and will continue each month as further funds are raised.


Money raised from the CHOOSE ART campaign uses donations to directly fund the acquisition of important works of contemporary art for museum collections. Open to buy work from both fine art and craft practitioners, museums apply by making a case for how a specific artwork will support them in engaging with their local communities when they reopen. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis by the 2020-21 CAS Acquisitions Advisory Committee: Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool; Patricia Bickers, Editor, Art Monthly; Haroon Mirza, Artist; Ben Cooke, Director, LUX; Tanya Harrod, writer and curator; Alison Britton, ceramicist, writer, curator; and Sarah Griffin, Independent curator.



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