Creative Invitation: The Show Window x Hawkins\Brown

For Coventry UK City of Culture 2021


We are inviting you to put in a proposal to be part of an artist exhibition window as part of
The Show Windows programme, an ambitious shop window installation series in Coventry
City Centre.

Alongside the opportunity to showcase your work, you will be paired with an architect from Hawkins\Brown, a design practice bringing a heart-felt social agenda and deep technical expertise to buildings and places (also this year’s winner of the Architects’ Journal Practice of the Year award), to discuss and discover new ways of working or to further develop your understanding of builds, structures and installations in relation to your artistic practice.

There are up to 5 commissions – each commissioned artist will receive a grant of £500 and have the opportunity to develop and share thoughts on the future of your design and making processes with bi-monthly sessions with an architect from Hawkins\Brown.

*To include all arts including painting, sculpture, design, illustration, media, fashion, sound, poetry, film, performance, architecture etc.

Deadline midday 13 December 2021


• Present existing work for installation on / in a city centre shop or business window, to be allocated to successful artists

• The window installation / intervention should act as a portal to another world, it should inspire visitors to linger and look, as we will want to find out more. It should be recognisable as your work and link to the idea of Spotlight, whether on your practice or Coventry

• The work needs to be easy to install (potentially without you on site), lightweight, freestanding if an installation and framed if a 2D piece

• Supply information about you and your work for sharing online, digitally and on the Smartify app, for example – a making of / behind the scenes blog with images / video, a recorded interview with one of the team, contextualisation / background to the idea, artist bio / links to other online content, as well as other social media / digital assets as and when requested

• Be an advocate for the project and positive spokesperson for The Show Windows, to include social media posts and on Coventry 2021’s marcomms list of people available for interview, and to be open to engaging with your allocated e shop / business staff

• Be available for bi-monthly meetings with the Hawkins\Brown mentor with a long term aim of producing something in collaboration.


Our ambition is that The Show Windows project builds new partnerships with businesses and stakeholders from Coventry, promoting new ways of working. It will be ambitious, iconic and impactful, putting the work of artists directly in the public eye to reach a broad range of new audiences.

The Show Windows will be high profile and a visually iconic and impactful part of the 2021 programme. Changing public perceptions of the city and influencing public opinion on the value of artists’ work, the project should attract audiences from the city as well as visitors from beyond. It should be inclusive and engage a broad range of groups and audiences; we want to develop a project that will speak across cultures and generations.

The Show Window name is taken from Wizard of Oz author L Frank Baum’s book entitled The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors, which was published the same year as the first famous Oz book, 1900. The linke to Baum also encapsulates the idea that these windows are to be portals to other worlds, to inspire imagination, adventure and hope.

The Show Windows is excited to be partnering with RIBA and Hawkins\Brown for this Spotlight opportunity.

We will need on 13 December 2021:

• Up to 3 images of the work/s you’d like to exhibit in a window including with information of how you will display / hang the work

• A short artist bio (max 500 words)

• Up to 3 images of previous work with image credits

• Links to your website and social media profiles

• A short sentence on your thoughts about Coventry 2021

• A short sentence on what you’d like to get out of your mentoring by a Hawkins\Brown architect.

• An equal opportunities monitoring form can be found here.

Please email your submissions to by 10am on 13 December 2021.

Management / Selection Panel:

The Management Team for this project includes:

• Charlie Levine, Curator, Independent

• Trish Willetts, Director, Coventry BID

• Cara Pickering, Project Manager, Coventry 2021

• Rebecca Smith, Regional Director, RIBA West Midlands

• Tarveen Virdi, Architect, Hawkins\Brown

• Harbinder Birdi, Partner, Hawkins\Brown

• Renee O’Drobinak, Communications Manager, Wakins\Brown

Sustainability & accessibility

We ask that the artist ensure that the project aligns with ethical and sustainable production approaches, with decisions related to the project being made with future generations in mind, foregrounding innovative and creative sustainability solutions.

We ask that the artist ensure that the project aligns with Access requirements, where disability access provision is integral to all planning and delivery, removing or minimizing barriers to engagement for not just the public but all artists, creatives and teams engaged.


Artist fee: £500

Payment schedule: 100% of total fee provided upon installation.

22 November 2021 – Open Call launched

13 December 2021 – Deadline for proposal submission

w/c 13 December 2021 – Commission / selected artists notified / announced December 2021 December 2021 – January 2022 artists: make artworks ready for display. Deliver digital content (making of blog, etc)

w/c 17 January 2022* (Being Human) – Install 5 x windows

At least 6 weeks after installations – De-stall window (unless the window host extends this)

January – December 2022 – Bi-monthly mentoring with a Hawkins\Brown employee

By end of 2022 – Completion of mentoring with potential new work outcome in
collaboration with your Hawkins\Brown mentor

*this timeline is subject to change

Full details can be found here.