Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards

Highlands, Moray & Western Isles Na h-Eileanan Siar

The Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards (VACMA) scheme offers small grants to visual artists and craft makers for their creative development at all stages of their career. These awards are supported by Creative Scotland through funding from the National Lottery in partnership with High Life Highland and are open to artists and makers who can demonstrate a commitment to developing their creative practice.

This year we will continue to offer fixed bursaries on individual artists and makers.

The VACMA  scheme offers two levels of bursaries:

  • Bursaries of £750 (for artists who have had a continually active practice for 5 years or more regardless of whether they have had a formal education or not)
  • Early-career bursaries of £500 (For applicants that have less than 5  years’ experience outside of education/training, graduated in 2017  or later, or that have not studied art formally but have been practising as an artist for up to 5 years).

Artists should apply for the bursary that best suits their situation.


The bursaries can support a wide range of activity. We are not being prescriptive about how they are used provided the activity supports your creative development – for example artistic mentoring, masterclasses, residencies or additional support for making new work for an exhibition would all be eligible.

The fund has three main criteria:

  • Commitment to practice –  your application form, C.V.  and examples of work should demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the development of your visual arts or craft practice.
  • Creative development  – your application should clearly describe the opportunity for development and how the bursary will specifically enable you to experiment and develop the critical and technical aspects of your work.
  • Impact on your practice – your application should describe the change that a period of development will bring to your practice and how it will benefit your work now and into the future.

In addition to this we ask that all applicants consider Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability as part of their proposed activity. we do not expect all projects to be designed to address these areas directly but we do expect all applicants to give them genuine consideration.

The bursaries are designed to support artists at all stages of their career, however, please note that it i a priority for the VACMA scheme to support new and diverse voices to become established in their practice.

If you are a D/Deaf BSL user you can get more information from Contact Scotland-BSL programme. Go to BSL VACMA SUMMARY VIDEO – YouTube

Next Deadline: 5pm, 7th February 2023

Who Can Apply?

The scheme is open to Highland, Moray or Western Isles based visual artists/craft makers living, working or maintaining a studio space within the Councils’ regional boundaries. Applicants may be of any age and at any stage of their career, but must be outwith full time education.


The quality of applicant’s work is key. Successful applicants will have demonstrated a level of commitment to their practice, having developed their skills and ideas in achieving a body of work outwith formal education.

How to Apply

Forms and guidelines can be downloaded here .

Please read the guidelines before submitting an application. All applications should be submitted using the application form  and must be sent via email only. For any queries regarding the Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards scheme please contact Cathy Shankland [email protected]