Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce the launch of its 2021/22 CSR Art Programme, produced in partnership with the University of Westminster (UoW) and the Royal College of Art (RCA).
Now in its seventh year, the innovative CSR Art Programme continues to be an integral part of the firm’s award-wining CSR offering and plays a crucial role in engaging, supporting and nurturing local communities and talent.
Supporting its largest cohort to date, this year, Travers Smith took the decision to select the 61 pieces of artwork through an Open Call Initiative, opening the programme up to both final year students at the RCA and UoW, as well as for the first time, all alumni of the Travers Smith CSR Art Programme. In previous years, the firm’s CSR Art Committee would be able to enjoy visiting degree shows at both the RCA and the UoW, when selecting pieces, but due to the ongoing pandemic degree shows have been unable to go ahead.
The pandemic and lockdown have presented innumerable challenges for all of society, and the impact on the arts has been especially acute. Travers Smith, however, remains fully committed to using its own resource and knowledge to continue to support graduate and emerging artists, as they transition from university to professional practice. The firm offers participating artists a range of professional support, including workshops on business skills and pro bono legal advice relevant to being a professional artist. The artworks are also available for purchase, with all proceeds going directly back to the students.
Once again, this year’s Programme features an exciting partnership with the Serpentine, who will be working with the firm in supporting the professional development of participating artists. This partnership will complement Travers Smith's continued offering of professional development opportunities.
Travers Smith's CSR Partner, Donald Lowe said: “The Art Programme sits right at the heart of our award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility work and highlights our commitment to CSR from the moment someone enters our offices. Now in its seventh year, we are delighted not only to be expanding our collection, but also to be able to support a larger cohort of student artists.”
Joseph Constable, Associate Curator at the Serpentine: "Travers Smith’s CSR Art Programme offers artists an exceptional level of support at one of the most significant moments in the development of their practice. The programme stands out for its extended investment in and dedication to the recent graduates involved in the process each year, as well as a deep understanding of the practicalities of working as an artist today.
It has been a pleasure to engage with the work of these emerging practitioners within the context of Travers Smith’s collection, and to encompass exciting new directions that are both challenging and thought provoking. This sentiment is very much in line with the Serpentine’s remit as an open landscape for art and ideas, as we are delighted to continue this meaningful collaboration with Travers Smith."
Raine Smith, Course Leader, BA Fine Art Mixed Media, Westminster School of Art, University of Westminster said: "Students and staff, who have taken part in this year’s scheme, have immensely enjoyed engaging with the Travers Smith team and everyone is excited about the upcoming exhibition of the selected work. The Westminster School of Art feels privileged to have been chosen to participate in this Programme particularly during this challenging time, the opportunity offered to our students is unique and invaluable."
Bella Hall, a graduate from the University of Westminster and previous winner of the Emerging Talent award: "Participating in the Art Programme has given me confidence in my work and reassurance that there is a place for it in a day-to-day setting and not just within a gallery. I have also learnt a lot more about life after university with regards to self-employment and selling artwork."
The firm will also be awarding three cash prizes to winning artists, as chosen by an independent panel of expert judges, and a firm-wide popular vote.