Comic Art Europe announced the results of its first open call for submissions on Tuesday. Five artists were selected for a residency. They will each produce a project based on the theme ‘Visions of Tomorrow’.
On Facebook, Portuguese artist Filipa Beleza reacted to the win, “I am very excited about this opportunity and feel thankful that #ComicArtEurope gave me this chance to translate into images my own vision of tomorrow!”
Likewise, UK artist Karrie Fransman said, “Excited to have won one of the Comic Art Europe residencies on the theme ‘visions of the future’. Check out the other winner work- they look fantastic. Many thanks to all the judges for this awesome opportunity!”
Visions of Tomorrow will be the artists’ own perspective on what the world will look like after all the current upheavals.
As described by their website: “This project invited comic book authors to offer us their visions of tomorrow, of what comes after the strange times we are going through. Optimistic or pessimistic, realistic or abstract, immediate future or remote future, comic book artists are invited to give us their visions of tomorrow.”
The artists will each be given a grant of €5,000 (around $6,000) and the chance to attend a two-week artist residency in one of the four Comic Art Europe partner cities. They will also be offered the opportunity to showcase their work at associated festivals and events in 2022. (All of the above assumedly being pandemic permitting).
Over 200 artists from thirty-two European nations applied for the chance to participate in the inaugural open call. The selecting jury of Comic Art Europe was comprised of a mix of experts and representatives of the partner organisations.
Comic Art Europe partners comprise the Belgian Comic Strip Center & Museum, the Lyon BD Festival Organisation (France), The Lakes International Comic Art Festival (UK), and the Escola Joso Center for Comics and Visual Arts (Spain). It is also supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe program.
Jurists were Charlie Adlard (artist, UK); Juan Carlos Concha (director of Non Stop Barcelona Animació, Spain); Isabelle Debekker (director of Belgian Comic Strip Center, Belgium); Mathieu Diez (director of Lyon BD Festival, France); Marion Glénat (director of the youth and audiovisual department at publisher Éditions Glénat BD, France); Jordi Sempere (teacher at Escola Joso and comic artist, Spain); Julie Tait (director of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, UK); and Marie-Eve Tossani (letter and book attaché within Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Belgium).
Comic Art Europe “is a pilot project bringing together five European organisations representing different elements of the comic book ecosystem: a higher education institution, festivals and a museum,” according to their website. “It aims to strengthen the comic book sector in Europe by experimenting with collaborative working methods. It promotes the transnational mobility of artworks, workers and creators as a means to significantly upscale the work. It prefigures a European comics community capable of positioning creators and organisations at a European level thereby challenging the historical dominance of the American and Japanese giants.”
As part of the project, it seeks to experiment with training schemes – of summer camps and artist residencies; creative assistance; publishing and distributing the creators work within and beyond Europe; as well as advocacy talks and workshops to demonstrate the transnational power of the comics medium.
Comic Art Europe also plans to hold a summer camp in July with applications open until 30 March 2021. It will take place in Barcelona, Spain.