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Open Call: August Craft Month Exhibition


August Craft Month 2020


Deadline: Monday 27 July

Taking centre stage in August Craft Month 2020, this exhibition will showcase the work of makers currently practicing in Northern Ireland and NI makers working elsewhere.

Responses to the theme ‘Unlocked’ can relate to work created during the Covid pandemic lockdown; or makers may choose to interpret the theme more widely.

The selected works will be exhibited at the Craft NI Gallery during August and September 2020. To ensure the exhibition reaches the widest possible audience, Craft NI is commissioning a professional film maker to document each piece. This will enable us to present a high quality online version of the exhibition. To accompany this, the selected makers will be asked to submit a short audio clip describing the process of creating their piece. Details of how to do this will be provided.

Selection will be led by Craft NI’s Quality Group, led by Board Member Kim Mawhinney, Senior Curator at National Museums NI.

Winner of a £250 Award will be selected by a guest curator (details to be announced).

DEADLINE: Monday 27 July 2020


  • work ideally created since lockdown, but must be within the last two years (since 2018)
  • responds to the theme UNLOCKED
  • selected makers will be required to make a short (1 min) audio to accompany the online exhibition (Craft NI will provide details)

You will need :

  • up to date CV
  • max 3 high res images (3-5 MB) of the work
  • Description of how the theme relates to your work (100-300 words)

We are delighted to announce that Audrey Whitty will be working with us on our ‘Unlocked’ exhibition. Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections and Learning of the National Museum of Ireland, has agreed to work with our Board Member and exhibition curator Kim Mawhinney to select the prize winner from the August Craft Month exhibition.

Dr Audrey Whitty is Head of Collections and Learning, National Museum of Ireland (NMI) and is responsible for all aspects of the care, preservation and interpretation of the 5 million objects in the collections across the four museum sites. This includes management of the four Curatorial departments (Irish Antiquities, Art & Industry, Natural History, Irish Folklife), Conservation, Registration, Education, Photography, Design, publications and the four Museums’ exhibitions programme.

From 2015-19 Dr Whitty was Keeper of the Art and Industrial Division (Decorative Arts, Design and History), NMI. She was responsible for all collections, exhibitions, and leading the curatorial department and team on the Collins Barracks site. During 2013 and 2014 she was Curator of European and Asian Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, New York where she was responsible for an extensive collection in what is widely regarded as the greatest glass museum in the world. From 2001 to 2013, Dr Whitty was Curator of Ceramics, Glass and Asian collections, Art and Industrial Division, NMI.

Kim Mawhinney Craft NI Board Member: Kim is Senior Curator at National Museums, Northern Ireland, Kim was Curator of Applied Art at the Ulster Museum for 15 years with responsibility for the glass, ceramic and furniture collections. As a member of the Project Board for the redevelopment of the Ulster Museum, Kim currently sits on the main Board for the Art and Architecture Ireland, a cross-border major research publication. Throughout her career she has curated, juried and selected exhibitions, lectured and written about the history and development of museums, accessibility of art collections, glass and ceramics, both nationally and internationally.


Makers should be working in one of the recognised craft disciplines listed below;

All work should be the original design of the Maker and should also be made by the Maker;

All work must evidence the skill of the Maker and must be a unique object, coming from the vision of that Maker.

  • Demonstrate distinctive design and significant accomplishment in product construction and presentation;
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the material with which they are working;
  • Shows high level skill in the techniques used;
  • Demonstrate the individual creative signature of the maker;
  • Demonstrate creativity or create design and innovation in the use of materials;
  • Reflect appropriate standards in the products’ durability, size, weight and materials.


For full list of Recognised Craft Disciplines, please click here.