3.1 Selection procedure

Through the agreement and writing of a commissioners/partners project summary (2.1) and an artists brief (2.3) clear criteria should have been established that gives an indication of the type of artist, with the most appropriate variety of skills, that is required for the project.These preferences will be clearly outlined in the brief, sent to all potential artists.

Issues will differ between each project, but the selection criteria should consider all of the following - emphasis will be placed on each issue depending on the specialist activity focus:

Artistic quality of submission

Response to specific issues in the brief

Previous experience of working in this field

Quality and link to previous art work

Appropriateness of suggested methodology and its 'durability'

Implications of maintenance or linked site issues

The following are the usual methods of selection to consider - bearing in mind that equal opportunity principles should be adhered to throughout the selection process.


Open competitions

Firstly, the commission should be advertised in the media - art journals, newspapers, websites, e-bulletins and targetted mail-shots to studio groups.Distribution and types of outlet will be dependent on the budget and specialist nature of the commission.Those artists that respond should be sent a copy of the brief and contextual information, and given the opportunity to visit the site.A reasonable response period should be set of at least 3 - 4 weeks from the date of the advert to the submission deadline. The artist should be asked to respond with an artists statement in response to the brief, a CV, and images of recent appropriate work (usually between 6 - 10 digital images, videos or sound files).

A selection panel (see 3.2) will then decide which artist is most appropriate for the project.For smaller projects it may be sufficient for the selection panel to decide through a single stage process assessed and scored on the set criteria.More often, the process is two staged where the artists are shortlisted (usually 3 - 6 artists) and invited to interview.These artists are often asked to work their proposal up to a more detailed stage (sometimes creating a Marquette) and invited to a specific site visit - a design fee and travel cost should be included. Again a reasonable period of time should be allowed to enable artists to properly respond to this second stage.The artists are then called to interview (include travel fees) and the commission is allocated.

The commissioner is responsible for the return of all artists' visuals that are part of the shortlisting process, and all unsuccessful artists should be clearly informed of the decision shortly after the successful artist is notified.


Limited competition

The first open call is omitted from the process and a small number of specifically selected artists are invited to develop and submit proposals in response to the artists brief.These artists may be chosen due to a specific previous project or methodology that relates to the artist brief.In this way, often in association with a curator or lead artist, a shortlist can be chosen that creates a selection of approaches within the parameter of the commission concept.The shortlist selection then works as described previously.


Direct invitation

An artist, or an artist group, is invited to submit a proposal based on the artist brief and an appropriate fee is paid for the research and design stage.This may be appropriate when the timescale for project completion is limited, or when a very specialised response (sometimes linked to a previous working relationship with the commissioner) has been established.However - this method is often seen to be inappropriate for publicly funded projects where an open submission approach is specified.

Note: Commissioners should be very clear if their funders have indicated a selection criterion that needs to be adhered to as part of the funding agreement.