Bold Tendencies

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2019 Art Trainee Programme applications are now CLOSED!

If you want to receive any details about the Art Trainee Programme please email

The Art Trainee Programme is supported by:


The Bold Tendencies Art Trainee Programme (ATP) is an immersive experience that offers its participants a role in the life and work of our thriving organisation.

Working on site, Trainees experience a fresh perspective into the world of commissioning contemporary art and architecture, running live events, daily logistics and problem-solving.

Aiming to provide working and learning opportunities side by side, this hands-on experience is offered together with an intensive Learning Programme of visits and talks hosted on-site and outside of Bold Tendencies.

Art Trainees are involved with all aspects of our summer activities and are integral to the successful delivery of the Bold Tendencies programme. Participants are trained to perform multiple roles during the placement on site, taught to explain and care for the commissions and the site, welcome visitors, run visitor tours and manage front-of-house for our events programme, work on research assignments and much more.

We believe that these skills are important in building personal confidence of the trainees and provide first hand experience of communicating with the general public.


Founded in 2014 by Diana Córdoba Barrios – Bold Tendencies Managing Director – our Art Trainee Programme was inspired by the internationally recognised Internship Programme at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Diana came to Venice from Mexico to take part in the Programme as an intern herself, eventually being promoted to Intern Coordinator and running the prestigious programme for the museum and managing a team of 384 interns over a period of 12 months.

Since 2014 the programme has been completed by 161 Trainees, joining us from all parts of the UK and further afield. In 2018, 35 young people aged 19–28 took part in the ATP, of which 22 Art Trainees were from the UK and 13 from the rest of the world.

Our Programme aims to give participants immersion into a world-class contemporary arts organisation and help develop their skills for pursuing a future career in the creative industries, as well as fostering long-term connections between young people and our wider networks.

For further information email


Our summer placements run consecutively between May and September 2019 (see application form for dates). Trainees alternate weekly between time-slots of 10am-4pm, and 3pm-9pm (covering the project opening hours). The schedule is structured to enable trainees to maintain jobs and other commitments whilst still participating fully in the programme.


Practical Training
While on site trainees learn how to maintain and engage with the art commissions, prepare the site for the public, provide information about the artworks to visitors, lead tours upon request and assist the front of house duties involved in the live events programme.

The ATP curriculum is comprised of weekly assignments inspired by the Bold Tendencies archive, live events programme and seasonal commissions. These assignments encourage a deeper engagement with the summer programme as well as the Education, Programming, and Development departments of Bold Tendencies.

Learning Programme (Mentor Talks & Visits)
Every year Bold Tendencies assembles a bespoke series of site visits and conversations with over thirty artists, curators, gallerists, directors and other cultural leaders from London and beyond. Mentor and Artist talks are open to all programme participants throughout season.


Art Trainees have often expressed a special interest in the world of Education and Learning in the culture sector and we welcome their involvement in our initiatives in this area. We know our programme has broad appeal and we aim to provide a varied offer, attractive and accessible to a full cross-section of the communities to whom we belong, and to people of all ages and backgrounds. We have a strand of annual programming focused on developing tools to help us to mobilise the artistic programme, make it useful in terms of Education, Community & Play and develop provision.

Children 5-17 local to Peckham
Free and accessible activities are much needed during the summer holidays, when Bold is open and schools are closed. We provide free participatory art making and curatorial workshops as part of the development of My Museum, our flagship onsite curatorial project where children take the lead in their own learning (also coordinated through 7 local primary schools). We are committed to improving the site as playable space with access for all.

Families local to Peckham
We provide free stand-alone family workshops and site and commission tours and access to open rehearsals for opera, dance and orchestral music programmes

Local Primary School Teachers
and Headteachers
(There are 75 primary schools in Southwark, 20 in Peckham). We consult and identify how the Bold programme and assets can assist their art and creativity curriculum and lesson plans and respond to bespoke requests.


The Art Trainee Programme curriculum is inspired by the Bold Tendencies archive, live events programme and commissions. The weekly assignments enable a deeper engagement with the programme as well as supporting the Education, Programming, and Development departments through sustained research and writing.

Trainees are encouraged to explore their own interests through the assignments as well as elaborate their writing and editing skills, ability to work autonomously and meet deadlines. Examples of this research have included ‘Concept Briefs’ related to upcoming elements of our visual arts programme, Trainee proposals for bespoke and participatory Education events, all the way to art historical essays, posted by Bold Tendencies on our Art Trainee blog.


Bold Tendencies is committed to making its training programme a practical and intellectual learning experience.

We use our extensive network to organise a parallel learning programme for trainees that includes special talks from museum directors, curators, technicians, gallerists, artists  and other art world guests, visits to artist studios and uniquely tailored museum and gallery tours across the breadth of the commercial gallery, non-profit and worlds that make up the cultural ecosystem.

Trainees have told us that they had found these talks and visits to be useful and inspiring, providing invaluable insights into potential career paths in the arts and cultural sector. Many trainees have established strong relationships with mentors they have met through the programme, who have been a source of support and advice far beyond the summer period.

Since 2014, the ATP has organised 130 Mentor Talks and 65 off-site Visits. In 2018 32 mentors and 22 institutions took part in the Bold Tendencies Art Trainee Programme.


Partnering Institutions included:

The Art Fund
Whitechapel Gallery
Gagosian Gallery
Serpentine Galleries
Royal Academy of Arts
Somerset House Studios
Arts Council
South London Gallery
Folkestone Creative Foundation
The Clore Leadership Programme
Battersea Power Station
Hauser & Wirth
Delfina Foundation
Marlborough Galleries
Sotheby’s S2
Art Review
Art Night London
Kettle’s Yard
The White Review

Mentor Talks included:

Jonathan Watkins (Director, IKON Gallery)
Ben Eastham (Editor of The White Review, Associate Editor of ArtReview)
Jennifer Powell (Head of Collection, Programme and Research, Kettle’s Yard)
Bart van Son (International Business Director, Phillips)
Chelsea Pettitt (Head of Partnerships, Wysing Arts Centre)
Beth Adams (Event Manager, Selfridges)
Gary Waterston (Director, Gagosian Gallery)
Alastair Upton (CEO, Folkestone Creative Foundation)
Ksenia Zemtsova (Co-founder, Art Night London)



Learning Agreement

A document where each trainee formulates their goals for the traineeship and strategies what would help to achieve them. The agreement is a reference document for Bold Tendencies’ supervisors to support their goals.

Themed Concept Proposal: ‘Fiction’

A research based assignment in which the trainees propose their own  concepts, ideas and themes related to the 2019 theme, ‘Fiction’.

Workshop Proposal: MY MUSEUM

Blueprinting workshop ideas around 2019’s theme, ‘Fiction’, for the education programme.

Themed Tour Proposal

Devising a themed tour of site for children aged 6-12 to be realised in 2019.

Presentation: ‘The Order of Time’
by Carlo Rovelli

After reading ‘The Order of Time’ by Carlo Rovelli, trainees are asked to prepare a presentation based on a passage, quote, concept or question from the book.

Field Notes

An ongoing logbook/collective document, to be updated at the end
of the shift.

Contribution to Sonic Library

In 2018, artist Sian Lyn Hutchings created an on-site Sonic Library, filled with recordings made by individuals and groups of their time at Bold Tendencies. ATP participants are invited to contribute to this library, which has since become a permanent addition to the site.

Social Media Content

Drafting posts for the Bold Tendencies Instagram, Facebook & Instagram channels.

Notes: Mentor and Artist Talks

Writing abstracts of Mentor Talks for reflection and our live archive for current and future trainees to read.

Final Project/ATP Blog Post

An open assignment where the trainees can write about an event that took place this summer season, revisit a previous assignment or come up with a unique idea of their choice (articles, poems, series of photographs, video work etc) which will be published in the Art Trainee Blog.


We are committed to creating paid opportunities for Art Trainees beyond the period of their working and learning experience with us.

For 2019 there will be opportunities for Trainees to undertake paid roles  in Education, Live Events and other Special Projects. These opportunities will be advertised as they arise via our Whats App and Facebook groups and paid at London Living Wage per hour.

Since its beginning, Bold Tendencies has nurtured and evolved a holistic System of Opportunity which spans and is connected across every part of the organisation – from the projects we commission, to the administrative and logistical support that enables the organisation to function, to our varied audiences: the individuals and communities we aim to inspire through creating circumstances of creativity, care and innovation. We recognise that we need to be ever more systematic and intentional about how this system functions if Bold Tendencies is to be as effective as possible in enabling people of diverse (ethnically, economically, regionally, cognitively) backgrounds to fulfil their creative potential.

Art Trainee Coordinator

Each year we employ an outstanding alumni of the previous year’s programme to the role of Art Trainee Coordinator. This involves working with the core Bold Tendencies team for the full five months of the summer season to manage the Art Trainee team and programme – this includes overseeing all daily activities and duties for Art Trainees on and off-site, managing staffing support for the live events programme, and completing a range of administrative tasks.

The Art Trainee Coordinator also ensures that the Learning Programme is coordinated and managed, providing a point of contact between the Trainees and our partner institutions.

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