Jack Rooney chosen as artist-in-residence for Studio 13 Residency pilot

  • The Studio 13 Residency is an exciting new opportunity for London-based artists from minority backgrounds who consider social engagement as integral to their studio practice.
  • The residency is intertwined with ACAVA’s children, young people and family programmes in North Kensington, Flourish and Young Artists.
  • Artist studio and pioneering community arts provider ACAVA has chosen Jack Rooney as the first artist to participate in the Studio 13 Residency, a self-funded pilot programme.

The Studio 13 Residency is a career development opportunity aimed at artists from minority backgrounds whose studio practice is based in social engagement. The programme has stemmed from ACAVA’s desire to improve the continuing professional development they offer their artists and the ethnic diversity of their studio holders. In lieu of an artist fee, the residency offers a range of opportunities with a cash value of at least £3,500. Residents will receive a rent-free studio for six-months at our Blechynden Street Studios in North Kensington, London. CPD training will be offered depending on the artist’s individual needs. This might include peer-to-peer support from other ACAVA artist facilitators, advice sessions on fundraising and social media with ACAVA staff members. Photographers from ACAVA Shoots – a paid placement programme for alumni of the Young and Emerging Photographers programme – are also available to document significant events during the residency and the final images will be presented to the artist-in-residence at the end.

The Studio 13 Residency is intertwined with ACAVA’s children, young people and family programmes in North Kensington, Flourish and Young Artists. As well as having the opportunity to further their studio practice, the artist will gain facilitation experience by delivering co-created workshops to a small group of 6-8 young people as part of the Young Artists programme. There will also be chances to get involved in Flourish workshops – ACAVA’s intergenerational school holiday family programme for the local North Kensington community.

ACAVA’s Programme team have chosen Jack Rooney as the first artist-in-residence. Jack Rooney lives in South London and of Guyanese and Irish heritage. Jack’s practice stretches across many different mediums, but they are usually linked through his interest in socially and community-engaged performance-based works, with a highlight on the connections that we form with people, spaces, cultures, and with ourselves. Jack is driven to create and research more into the experience of the transnational subject, the idea of the social and cultural dislocation/s and the longing to reconnect – much of which could be explored within a current project ‘The Moon where you are’.

ACAVA has a 20-year history collaborating with local communities in North Kensington, creating meaningful experiences with positive outcomes on wellbeing, personal growth, and social cohesion.  Inspiring people to participate in the arts, promote confidence and learn new skills, it was recently shortlisted for the Award for Civic Arts Organisations (2022) by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and King’s College London for this work.

Jack Rooney, Studio 13 Resident (2022) said: 

“To be offered the space for 6-months would allow me to creatively exercise in ways that would otherwise be outside of my financial means. I felt that learning from the environment offered by ACAVA would allow me to develop my abilities and interests in socially engaged artistic processes from a space that has nearly 50 years of experience within this. With this is mind, I feel that my creative potential would feel seen, understood, and encouraged.”

“I’ve been really enjoying getting back to making more physical works again – having the space to do that has been amazing, and it’s something that I haven’t had ever before. I’m also excited with the thought of meeting and hopefully working with more people in the local area too.” 


Listing information  

For further information or images please contact: 

Lorna Gemmell 
Head of Communications and Marketing

Sara Nunes Fernandes 
Communications Manager


About ACAVA 

ACAVA is a leading national arts education charity that evolved from artist-led initiatives in the early 1970s. For almost 50 years we have been amongst the UK’s most progressive affordable studio and workspace providers.

With a portfolio of 19 studio buildings, exhibition spaces and workshops across nine London boroughs, three locations in Essex and an industrial heritage site in Stoke-on-Trent we support a community of over 400 creative practitioners and cultural organisations.

A pioneer of delivering arts in health and wellbeing settings, we bring professional artists together with local communities in programmes to explore their creativity with transformational outcomes.

ACAVA stands for the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art. Created as a statement of radical intent by the artist founders to use culture for social good, it remains the ethos of our organisation today. www.acava.org / @ACAVAarts 

About Studio 13 Residency 

A career development opportunity for an artist who considers social engagement as integral to their studio practice. The artist-in-residence will receive six-months rent-free studio space, training opportunities, peer-to-peer support and access to photographers from our ACAVA Shoots programme.

Opportunities are adapted to the needs of the individual artist and discussed throughout the residency. 



Lorna Gemmell, Head of Communications and Marketing


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