The Bag Factory is looking for Johannesburg-based contemporary visual artists to take up tenancy in two of our studios and become part of our community of artists. 

Applications are open to artists based in Johannesburg (or in the process of relocating). Joint applications are also welcome for a maximum of two people per studio.

Application Deadline: 22 September, 2023 at 5 pm (SAST)

Start date for tenancy:            October 2023
Maximum period of tenancy:  6 Months

Tier 1: is aimed at emerging artists and will have a 3-year cap

Tier 2: is aimed at mid-career artists and will have a 3-year cap



Please include in the email subject heading 'Studio Open Call' and clearly state which tier you are applying for.

Incomplete and late applications will NOT be reviewed.


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 32 years and have a stable community of artists from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Studio rental including utilities (Tier 1) R 2,494 (incl VAT) for 1 person / or R 3, 275 (incl VAT) for 2 artists sharing.

Studio rental (Tier 2) Rental: R 3, 275 (incl VAT) for 1 person / or R 3,896 (incl VAT) for 2 artists sharing. 

The studio measures approx. 25 square meters.

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

Currently, we are not able to offer studio space to artists whose practice may involve the use of power tools, due to the internal structure of our studios and the noise permeating across spaces.

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

ONLY Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an informal Zoom 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 (with additional terms and conditions) and pay the first month’s rental and a deposit equal to one month’s rental before occupancy begins.

The rental for tier 1 and tier 2 studios are subsidised by the Bag Factory, considering the affordability of studio rental for emerging and mid-career artists. In return, tier 1 artists are each required to provide 54 hours of service to the Bag Factory during each year of tenancy; tier 2 artists are each 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. 


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 practicing 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 shortlisted and selected by the Bag Factory on the basis of their application.


Application Procedure:

We accept digital applications only through the application form.

Your application attachments should each be a ONE PDF file only:

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.

The application form includes the following:

  1. Your name, contact address, e-mail, and telephone numbers.
  2. An artist’s statement describing your practice and areas of interest (up to 250 words)
  3. A minimum of 20 images of recent work, with captions and a short description if necessary
  4. A CV/Resume
  5. Any relevant documentation (e.g. articles or papers about work, exhibitions, publications, etc)
  6. Confirmation that you will be available to take occupation of the studio from 4 September 2023, if selected.

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