Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan, PO1 3BF
Monday 01 October 2018 – Thursday 31 October 2019
Launched in May 2014, Artists’ Union England (AUE) is a new trade union for professional visual and applied artists. It is being set up initially by a cross section of artists based across the uk who felt that the visual arts, unlike other cultural professions, lacked the kind of representation and collective voice a trade union could provide, as well as the lobbying and advocacy work they can carry out. Proper elections will be held in Autumn 2014 for the membership to elect an executive committee.
The union, which has over 500 initial members, is an opportunity to create a unique, sustainable and supportive infrastructure, which is built by its members for its members. It held its first meeting on Saturday 19 July and a survey that it carried out with its membership set the agenda for the day. The attendees ratified the initial aims and policy for the union; importantly, the membership fee was set at an initial fee of £30 for annual membership. This compares to £200 for the musicians union and £220 for BECTU, reflecting the fact that these are established unions offering comprehensive packages and cover while AUE is a nascent organisation.
The union aims:
From Friday 1 August, membership includes membership of the General Federation of Trades Unions and discounts to specialist art suppliers. Other benefits such as insurance and legal advice are in the pipeline, but will become easier to negotiate once the union reaches its goal of recruiting 1000 members in its first year, as these are priced on a sliding scale.
Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.
Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network