ARMA is coming to aspex!

engage and the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award are delighted to announce that the 2016 Artist in Residence and commission will be hosted by aspex, Portsmouth.

The Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award (ARMA) was established in memory of the artist Alexandra Reinhardt and is supported by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust. The annual Award enables an artist or artists to undertake a residency working with children and young people to create an artwork in the public realm, and is worth £15,000. engage is the National Association for Gallery Education, and has been working with ARMA on the residency programme since 2012.

Almost fifty organisations and venues applied to host the prestigious residency in 2016. Earlier this year the 2015 commission by Anne Harild, entitled ‘We Approach’, was unveiled at Bluecoat, Liverpool. In 2014 New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester worked with Maria Zahle on ‘Sails and Dogs’, a residency and commission that explored physical play, while Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva’s research into Middlesbrough’s industrial past resulted in the launch of ‘HA[SOFT]RD’ at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in 2013.

The selected artist/s will be resident at aspex for ten weeks from late Spring 2016. Working with Clive Caswell, Curator and Vicky Chapter, Participation and Learning Manager, the artist/s will seek to engage with visitors throughout the residency, in particular family audiences, and create an artwork in response to their time in aspex’s home at the Vulcan Building.

Joanne Bushnell, Director of aspex said: “It is a huge honour for aspex to be selected to host ARMA. Engaging with children, young people and families is at the core of what the gallery stands for, so to be selected to host this prestigious award is hugely exciting.”

Vicky Chapter, Learning and Participation Manager at aspex said: “I am so thrilled that aspex has been selected to host ARMA in 2016. It comes at such a special time for aspex, celebrating our ten-year anniversary in the Vulcan Building and the exciting programme going forwards. We are all really looking forward to welcoming the artist in residence and a new commission for the gallery.”

Veronica Reinhardt, Trustee of the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, said: “ARMA is delighted to be part of aspex’s plans to develop a new learning space in preparation for their tenth anniversary in the Vulcan Building. The residency will offer an emerging artist an exciting opportunity to work with a team that has the promotion of new talent as a key objective, as well as play a central role in the next phase of the gallery’s development.”

Jane Sillis, Director of engage, said: “engage is delighted that aspex has been selected to host the 2016 ARMA residency and commission. aspex have a distinguished history of gallery education and of commissioning artists. Through ARMA children, young people and families will work with a contemporary artist – for many this will be their first encounter with aspex and with contemporary art. The commission will celebrate aspex’s tenth birthday in the beautiful and historic Vulcan Building with a celebration in December 2016.”

Artists will be invited from to apply for the aspex ARMA residency later this month. Full details of the artists brief and how to apply will be available from the engage website.