TOMA open call for 2019 cohort for artist-run contemporary art education programme 2019/20

  • Deadline:
    Sept. 30, 2019, 12:09 a.m.
  • Location:
    TOMA Project Space, Unit 13, Royals Shopping Centre, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

The Other MA (TOMA) : OPEN CALL 2019/2020
November 2019 to November 2020
Instagram: @theotherma


The Other MA (TOMA) is a 12-month artist-run education model based in Southend-on-Sea. TOMA is currently the only postgraduate level art programme in Essex after all others were stopped by their host Universities. It was set up in 2016 to offer responsive, affordable, accessible art education to artists.

Designed to fit the everyday lives of 21st century artists TOMA was created in response to the hierarchies surrounding accessing higher education. Obstacles which uphold these hierarchies include a lack of mental + physical space to self-invest due to other life commitments, which is often required when taking on further education. Hidden hierarchies such as not having the art specific language needed to access the contemporary art world or a certain art school training which can make a traditional MA feel inaccessible. Other obstacles can take the form of time, cost, age, geography, disability, gender + ethnicity as well as needing to care for family or work commitments.

~ TOMA is open to all + welcomes everyone. We want our programme + the dialogues within it to represent the diverse world we live in.

~ We are not interested in your CV, just the work you make + how you want to interact in the world.

~ TOMA wants to eradicate the pupil teacher hierarchy, choosing instead to put emphasis on learning together, failing together + succeeding as a group.


TOMA is coordinated by a small team who are responsive to the artist group. TOMA wants to encourage independent thought alongside close knit community spirit. It is a non-accredited programme which aims to foster experimentation, responsiveness + collaboration. TOMA artists experience this through self-directed + collaborative study meeting at least three times a month to take part in a variety of activities. These meetings mainly take place at the weekend or in the evening making the programme accessible for those who have weekday work or family commitments.

TOMA provides educational opportunities + support in the form of…
• Tutorials
• Group crits
• Day-long visiting artist / practitioner sessions
• Seminars
• Lectures
• Critical theory sessions
• Practical workshops
• Peer feedback
• Support in the production of projects
• Off-site trips to art spaces
• Collaborative project opportunities
• A residency
• Exhibition + public programme opportunities

*** While TOMA takes on parts of the traditional structure of an art MA, it is also responsive to its artists. ***

For 2019 there are two fully funded spaces available for artists who feel they would not be able to access the programme otherwise, due to cost. TOMA believes in transparency + truthfulness when dealing with finance, in response to this if participants feel they could only access the programme through a supported space please do let us know in your application. Likewise, if artists apply + know they can afford to pay fees please do not ask for a supported space.


Drop in days for interested artists - - - >

>>> 12-8pm, Wednesday 28 August @ The Old Waterworks, North Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 7AB

>>> 12-8pm, Saturday 14 September @ Metal, Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 8NB **join us for an open crit from 12-3pm**

Application > form available online

Application deadline > Midnight Monday 30 September

Interview dates > Friday 11 October, Saturday 12 October

Course cost > Per year £900 / per month £75 \ can work out a payment plan to suit individuals

Supported spaces >There are 2 supported FREE spaces available this year for artists who could otherwise not access the programme.

Programme starts > Saturday 30 November

>>> For more information contact Emma Edmondson on <<<

* TOMA was set up in partnership with Metal in Southend-on-Sea in 2016, working with them for an incubation period before becoming an independent not for profit. TOMA has received funding from Arts Council England as well as private patrons + Paul Robinson Solicitors. TOMA is artist-run+ we believe in lifelong learning + aim to make the possibility of postgraduate style art education accessible to all.