Representing the creative future

ARTSTHREAD 2021: Why and how you can apply to the global graduate showcase

ARTSTHREAD partners with GUCCI for the 2021 Global Design graduate show

Back in 2020, when students and graduates were still in the shock of the pandemic, ARTSTHREAD announced a cross-disciplinary online showcase to support emerging artists and designers whose final shows and exhibitions had gotten cancelled. One year later, life seems to be going back to normal, but the class of 2021 is deeply hit by the COVID-19, struggling without the credit and the attention that the class of 2020 got at the peak of the pandemic. In contrast to their predecessors, this year’s graduates have to step up, leave the educational and emotional gap 2020 left them with, and prepare for a final show (in any form this will take), strong to face a creative industry in flux.

The ARTSTHREAD initiative started as a solution to the cancellation of final shows, giving a platform to graduates from art and design disciplines. After last year’s success, the second edition of the online showcase is supported by GUCCI, a brand that has proven to be passionate about supporting young talent. We looked into how you can apply and asked one of last year’s winners, Sian Fan about her experience!

HOW CAN I TAKE PART?

If you are graduating in the year 2020-21, from any institution around the world (BA or MA level), you can apply by uploading your final year project on the ARTSTHREAD online platform by the 31st of August. A team of independent judges will then choose a shortlist of creatives whose work will be showcased online, and finally, the jury and the public will be able to vote for the winners. We suggest that you scroll through last year’s projects to get an idea of the vast types of work you can submit!

Have a look at the brief and categories here

THE 2020 WINNER’S EXPERIENCE

Central Saint Martins graduate Sian Fan specialises in digital arts and won last year’s ARTSTHREAD showcase with fellow CSM graduate and fashion designer Alex Wolfe.

Why did you decide to take part in ARTSTHREAD ?

As a 2020 graduate, I liked the idea of being part of a global cohort. Especially when graduating at such a unique point in time, it felt right to try to connect as a larger group, beyond the bounds of individual universities. I was also naturally looking for opportunities to share my work, and ARTSTHREAD felt like a good fit for me.

How long did it take you to prepare for the application?

I had most of the material needed for the application already, as part of my own documentation and artistic processes, so it didn’t actually take me very long to complete the application at all!

What did you get as a winner of the 2020 showcase?

As a winner, I was interviewed and featured in i-D magazine, which was a real teenage dream of mine come true!

How did ARTSTHREAD help you at the stage after graduation?

ARTSTHREAD helped to provide me with an important platform to share my work. Normally as a graduate, you would have an actual degree show where you would be able to present your work, network, and celebrate your achievements, but as a 2020 graduate we didn’t have any of this, so it was especially powerful to have an opportunity to present my work to a wider audience. They’ve also been really helpful in providing press opportunities even after the show has finished.

Do you think initiatives like this are important for graduates? Do you have any advice for this year’s applicants?

I think it’s super important for graduates to have opportunities outside of their individual institutions. It helps to prepare you for life after university and is a good primer for being a professional artist. I also think it’s really valuable to see your work as part of a global collective, it gives a more in-depth understanding of where you fit, what’s going on in the world around you, and what makes you unique.

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