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Circus’ Graduate Associates is a development programme for emergent visual artists in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. This programme is delivered in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands and supported by XpoNorth and Creative Scotland


Over the course of ten months we will support you to develop the confidence and critical skills needed to thrive within the visual arts, bridging the gap for recent graduates between their visual art training and a freelance career within the sector. Our hopes for this first cohort is to build a supportive community of practice in the face of Covid-19 and increased isolation as well as open up new opportunities for recent graduates across the region. Through regular online training, a peer review summer school as well as different opportunities to show your work (online, print, exhibition), the programme is structured to encourage dialogue with your peers and help you to navigate career pathways during these uncertain times.

2021 Open Call

Circus Artspace was established in March 2019 as an artist-run initiative with graduate support at its core. We want to mentor the next generation of artists and invite you to join our first cohort of 30 Graduate Associates. 

Starting online in March 2021 the programme will run until the end of the year and feature a range of benefits:

  • 7 online professional development workshops: finding opportunities, writing proposals and statements; exhibition planning, installation and presentation; collaborative practices and self-organising projects; the business of being a freelance artist (finances, rates of pay and insurance).

  • Peer review summer school in June - a weekend of discussion in our Inverness space with informal opportunities to share meals together and gain feedback on your work. 

  • Artist's feature in the final Graduate Associates publication.

  • Artist's listing on the Circus Artspace website & Artist's Spotlight week on Instagram.

  • Invites to a series of fun online socials organised by Circus Sideshow.

  • The opportunity to take part in a final group exhibition at Circus Artspace in Inverness during November - December.

  • Regular email opportunities and invitations to get involved in Circus Artspace's events.


Download the full programme here.



This opportunity is open to all contemporary visual artists who graduated in 2018 / 2019 / 2020 from:

  • Any University of the Highlands and Islands BA (hons) undergraduate or MA postgraduate course and are still based in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire.


  • Any Contemporary Art Practice/Fine Art BA (hons) undergraduate or MA postgraduate course from any UK art school and are now based within the Highlands or Moray.

Applications are now closed.

The deadline for applications is Saturday 6th March, midnight

Selection Process

For the first year of the programme we have 30 places available, these will be selected by a panel made up of the Circus collective along with representative from the University of the Highlands and Islands and XpoNorth. We are looking for contemporary work and your images are the most important aspect of your application, so make sure they are high quality and show your work to its best. Your application will also be assessed based on your artistic interests and how you demonstrate that this opportunity will support your specific artistic and professional development needs. Where possible unsuccessful applications will be offered feedback via email.



There is a one-off £30 administration fee to take part in the programme. You can pay this upfront via Paypal or after selection. Your place within the programme is not confirmed until we have received the payment. We want this opportunity to be accessible to everyone and if you are experiencing any issues taking part because of financial barriers please email us to discuss other options. 

Finally we want to promote equal opportunities for all graduates. If you are facing any barriers or have additional access needs which stop you from applying please get in touch, via email, to discuss them before the deadline. For all application queries please email: 

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