Two Fine Art graduates receive extra ABF Fellowship funding

Emily Hett and Grace Stones were awarded the ABF Fellowships in 2019. The extra six months of funding will enable a return to the University, when it is safe to do so, and continue the studio work that has been interrupted by COVID-19.

The Artists’ Benevolent Fund (ABF) Fellowships are worth £10,000 and each Fellow also receives a package of support from Loughborough University including studio space in Fine Art and artistic, academic and technical guidance.

ABF’s Step Change Programme, first established in 2017, identified a need for emerging artists to have greater support following art school. The programme enables exceptional graduates to launch, sustain and develop their careers.

Emily and Grace made a significant impact in the Fine Art studios. Before the lockdown they were developing their own work and actively supported undergraduates in the Fine Art studios. Their talks on working as an artist, and workshops on making the most of being a finalist were warmly received by the student body. 

Dr Antoinette Burchill, ABF Step Change Programme Manager stated: “The additional funding is testament to the talent of both Fellows. It will enable them to complete the ambitious studio-based projects they began before lockdown.”

Professor Roger Haslam, Associate Dean (Teaching), School of Design and Creative Arts said: “The School is delighted that Emily and Grace’s Fellowship has been extended by ABF. Their presence has been inspiring for our Fine Art students following through. The Fellows are excellent role models as they work to establish their professional practice, really adding to the vibrancy of our studios.”

Emily Hett, ABF Fellow stated: “I am really looking forward to returning to Loughborough for another 6-months. The Fellowship has been an amazing experience and I plan to continue to develop my ceramic practice and exciting exhibition opportunities.”

Grace Stones, ABF Fellow commented: “I was completely shocked when I heard the great news from my mentor, Dr Antoinette Burchill. What an absolute honour, another 6 months support from both the university and ABF. It has been such an amazing experience so far, and it has forced me to develop my practice professionally. Everything is very uncertain right now, and it is a difficult time for anybody looking and searching for new opportunities. Who knows what will happen over the next few months, but knowing that I have the support, funding and encouragement Loughborough University and The ABF I know I will push myself creatively, both theoretically and practically.”

You can find out more about the projects Emily and Grace have been working on through their blogs.

The partnership with ABF has grown out of postdoctoral research by Dr Antoinette Burchill into East Midlands’ visual arts creative economy and cultural infrastructure, and the gap it identified in support for 18- to 34-year-old visual artists. Dr Burchill is also an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art at Loughborough University. 

Further information is available from Dr Antoinette Burchill

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