Studio Open Call for Johannesburg-based Artists

Deadline for applications EXTENDED: Wednesday 22 April 2020, 11am

The Bag Factory is looking for a Johannesburg-based artist(s) to take up residency in one of our studios and become part of our community of artists. 

Start date for tenancy: 1 June 2020 (please note this date has been adjusted due to the Covid-19 lockdown and may still be postponed further if Covid-19 restrictions continue)

Mimumum period of tenancy: 1 year

For artists based in Johannesburg (or in the process of relocating) - joint applications are also welcome for a maximum of two people

Application Deadline EXTENDED: Wednesday 22 April 2020, 11am

Shortlisted applicants ONLY will be contacted by 7 May 2020 for an informal interview. If you have not heard from us by this date please consider your application unsuccessful.

The artist(s) will be required to sign a License to Occupy Agreement and pay the first month’s rental and a deposit equal to one month’s rental by 24 May 2020.

We are looking for an emerging or mid-career artist to take up a studio on a permanent basis. This studio is being advertised as both tier 1 and tier 2 and will be allocated depending on the applications received.

The rental for tier 1 is R 2 129 (incl VAT)* / 2 artists sharing will pay R 2 796 (incl VAT)*

The rental for tier 2 is R 2 796 (incl VAT)* / 2 artists sharing will pay R 3 327 (incl VAT)*

* Please note: These are 2019-20 rental prices and all studio rentals will increase annually on 1 July.

The rental for tier 1 and tier 2 studios is subsidised by the Bag Factory, considering the affordability of studio rental for emerging and mid-career artists. In return, tier 1 artists are required to provide 54 hours of service to the Bag Factory during year of tenancy; tier 2 artists are required to provide 27 hours of service. These services include assisting with projects, exhibitions or fundraising activities, or supporting visiting artists. Should the artist fail to fulfil their service during the period the artist will be billed pro rata per hour in line with their studio rental.

About the Studio:

One studio measuring approx. 22.55 m² (4.1 m x 5.5 m / 2.4 m wall height)

Studios are strictly non-residential and are accessible 7 days a week.

There is Wi-Fi access and studio artists will have access to all communal facilities in the building including a shared kitchen.

The Bag Factory is a professional studio space, located on the border of the vibrant suburbs of Fordsburg and Newtown. We have been operating for more than 29 years and have a stable community of artists from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The studio space and its community strives for an open, non-hierarchical creative environment that promotes exchange and experimentation. 

Eligibility and Selection:

– Applications are open to emerging and mid-career artists based in Johannesburg (or in the process of relocating)

– An emerging artist is someone who will have specialized training in their field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution), who is at the beginning of their career, and who has created a modest independent body of work. The term emerging artist is often used for young and recently graduated from an art college, but can also apply to someone who has made a career change or recently decided to prioritize their art above everything else.

– A mid-career artist is someone who may have completed a BA and/or MFA degree; and/or has created an independent body of work over a number of years and who has received regional or national recognition through publication or public presentation of his or her work.

The artist must be:

– A full time practising visual artist who will regularly use their studio
– Willing to be involved in the Bag Factory’s projects and events
– Available to attend all artists’ meetings, can interact in a communal setting

The artist will be shorlisted and selected on the basis of their application. Artists will be shortlisted and selected by the Bag Factory.


Application Procedure:

We accept digital applications only.

Your application should include the following in ONE PDF file only:

  1. An artist’s statement describing your practice and areas of interest (up to 250 words)
  2. A minimum of 20 images of recent work, with captions and a short description if necessary
  3. A CV/Resume
  4. Any relevant documentation (e.g. articles or papers about work, exhibitions, publications, etc)
  5. A cover sheet with name, contact address, e-mail and telephone numbers if available, plus confirmation that you will be available to take occupation of the studio from 1 June 2020, if selected.

Please note that there is a 10MB limit on PDF submissions. If your file is not in PDF format or is over 10MB your application will not be reviewed.


Please include in the email subject heading 'Studio Open Call' and whether you are applying for tier 1 or tier 2.

Incomplete and late applications will NOT be reviewed.

Application deadline EXTENDED: Wednesday 22 April 2020, 11am