The Show Windows: Green Futures Commissions

Creative Invitation:

Co-produced by Coventry City of Culture Trust and
Coventry Business Improvement District
In partnership with Coventry University
Brief issued: Wednesday 1 December 2021
Deadline for proposals: Monday 10 January 2022 at 9AM


Are you an artist, architect, designer or part of a group of creatives that has graduated from
Coventry University within the last three years (2019-2021)?

We are inviting recent graduates from Coventry University’s School of Art & Design to submit proposals for The Show Windows, with applications encouraged from new collaborative groups of mixed discipline creatives as well as individual practitioners.

The Show Windows is an ambitious series of unique shopfront commissions installed in Coventry City Centre, and we are asking you to apply for the final month of the programme around the theme of Green Futures.

Alongside the opportunity to showcase your work, you will be paired with a RIBA-accredited* architect to discuss and discover new ways of working or to further develop your understanding of builds, structures and installations in relation to your creative practice.

There are up to 3 commissions available. Each commission will receive a fee of £2,000 with a production budget available to a maximum of £3000. Featuring as part of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, this is a significant opportunity to profile your work and practice, alongside professional development advice and support (minimum of two one-hour sessions) from RIBA-accredited architects.

*RIBA is the Royal Institute of British Architecture, a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture.

Further information about THE SHOW WINDOWS
Our ambition is that The Show Windows project builds new partnerships with businesses and
stakeholders from Coventry, promoting new ways of working. Commissions 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 is a high profile and highly visible part of the City of Culture programme. Changing public perceptions of the city and influencing public opinion on the value of artists’ work, the project is attracting audiences from the city as well as visitors from beyond. The programme is inclusive and engages a broad range of groups and audiences; we want to deliver a project that speaks across cultures and generations.

The Show Windows 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 link to Baum also encapsulates the idea that these windows are to be portals to other worlds, to inspire imagination, adventure and hope.

For further information on the Show Windows, and for information on the commissions already on show in Coventry, please visit

Further information about the GREEN FUTURES commissions
The Green Futures theme sits across the final month of Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture, closing the year-long programme with hopeful reflections upon environmental responsibility and the collective effort needed on every front to effect change.

Applicants should ensure their proposed projects speak to this theme and align with ethical and sustainable production approaches, foregrounding innovative and creative sustainability solutions with future generations in mind. Further information to support your application can be found online at

We ask that applicants consider Access requirements as a central concern. Disabled access provision is integral to the planning and delivery, removing or minimizing barriers to engagement for not just the public but all artists, creatives and teams involved.

In addition, applicants should consider the following key objectives in their proposals:

• The proposal should have a focus on collaborative practices and link to the idea of Green Futures with use of sustainable and recycled materials
• The Show Window installation / intervention should act as a portal to another world, it should inspire visitors to linger and look, and to want to find out more
• Commissions will present a new installation on / in a city centre shop or business window, to be allocated to successful applicants based on proposals for a generic shop window
• The work will need to be easy to install, lightweight, and freestanding to meet the requirements of the space allocated. Please note, you may have to alter your proposal to fit the window allocated
• Successful applicants will be an advocate for the project and positive spokesperson for The Show Windows, to include active social media posts and be available for interview, and to be open to engaging with your allocated shop / business staff

If successful, you will be required to 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

Commissions will receive a fee of £2000 per project, with a production budget to a maximum of £3000 to include transport, materials, de-stall and any other costs outlined in your proposal.

Payment schedule: 100% of production budget in February 2022, 100% of total fee provided after installation.

The above brief and information forms the criteria upon which proposals will be assessed, with a selection panel made up of the following individuals and organisations:

• Charlie Levine, Independent Curator
• Craig Ashley, Coventry University
• Nick Gorse, Coventry University
• Trish Willetts, Coventry BID
• Cara Pickering, Coventry City of Culture Trust
• Rebecca Smith, RIBA West Midlands

w/c 29 November 2021 Open Call launched
9am 10 January 2022 Deadline for proposal submission
w/c 17 January 2022 Decision Panel
w/c 24th January 2022 Successful person / group intro to the team and architect mentors
w/c 31st January 2022 Announce selected proposals
Feb – March 2022 Develop ideas and make artworks ready for display. Deliver digital content (making of blog, etc). Have at least 2 mentoring sessions.
w/c 4 April 2022 (Green Futures) Install windows
At least 6 weeks after installations De-stall window (unless the window host extends this)
1 month + after installations Completion of project after artwork collected from window location

How to apply
By 9AM on Monday 10 January we will need:
• Artwork – designs, sketches, etc., visualising your idea and how the installation might appear when realised (for sign off ahead of formal commission)
• A project description – outlining your idea and how it links to the theme of ‘Green Futures’ (max. 500 words)
• A basic plan – including a timeline, roles and responsibilities, the costs and breakdown of materials required
• A short biography – for yourself and each team member to include website links and social media (max. 500 words each)
• A short sentence on your thoughts about Coventry City of Culture 2021, to be included in press & communications
• An equal opportunities monitoring form can be found here.

Please email your submissions to by 9AM on 10 January 2022 with subject line “GREEN FUTURES commission”

For full details click here