Vacancies and Opportunities

Opportunity – Dumfries Town Centre Stonecarving Commission

DHBT Dumfries Town Centre Stonecarving Commission

Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust is pleased to announce a public art commission for a new, permanent carved stone artwork which will be installed in Dumfries town centre as part of the Midsteeple Quarter Development. This is an exciting opportunity for a public artist, sculptor, and/or craftsperson working in stone to develop new work to be sited within local architecture, as part of the Dumfries Stonecarving Project.

The commission seeks to connect contemporary visual arts and creative practice with the important history of stonemasonry in Dumfries and Galloway. The new artwork will be installed and incorporated, as part of planned renovations, into Standard Close during the Community-led Midsteeple Quarter development in 2020. Standard Close, previously called Haugh’s Close, is an historic medieval close located just off the High Street in the heart of the town centre, and across from the iconic Midsteeple Building (built 1707). The close is scheduled to be renovated as part of the Midsteeple Quarter development project, which aims to create a contemporary Standard Close, and to begin ‘putting the people back’ into the town centre. This is a high quality redevelopment of a feature typical of historic Scottish burghs, and will be emblematic of the Midsteeple Quarter development as a whole. Standard Close is located between 133 and 137 High Street, and is named after the historic Dumfries and Galloway Standard newspaper, which was printed at 133 High Street (between 1853-c1970).

This commission seeks to add narrative and meaning to places on the Dumfries High Street where people can linger or pause, as a strategy for highlighting some of the under-known histories between residential tenements and urban thoroughfares. It seeks to celebrate the importance of closes within the historic, urban context of towns like Dumfries, and the central role that closes played in community life.

 We invite proposals for a new artwork, carved or sculpted from stone, which takes into account some aspect of these local histories, and/or embodies the unique spirit of our Scottish closes. This commission aims to increase local knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of these shared and under-known spaces. Priority will be given to proposals which demonstrate an awareness of, or interest in, incorporating local histories. The Dumfries Stonecarving Project / DHBT can provide support and additional information to commissioned artists/craftspeople regarding this information.

In collaboration with the Midsteeple Quarter project, this commission is working towards the revival of Dumfries town centre as a desirable place to live, work and visit. This commission aligns with and aims to add energy to recent campaigns in Dumfries to repopulate and reinvigorate the High Street, and to connect with other developments and organisations in the town centre. It provides a rare opportunity for modern architectural stonecarving to be installed into the built fabric of our historic town centre.

The Dumfries Town Centre Stonecarving Commission is funded by Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust and the People’s Project, working in partnership with Midsteeple Quarter. It is part of the Dumfries Stonecarving Project, a year-long project which celebrates the amazing history and continuing tradition of architectural stonecarving in Dumfries, from local quarries to carved gargoyles, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Holywood Trust.

The Dumfries Stonecarving Project aims to foster the continuing tradition of architectural carved stone and stonecarving locally, and there is also provision for a young mentee to work in a limited fashion with the commissioned artist or craftsperson during production of the new artwork. This will be arranged once the commission is underway.

The budget available for this project, including artist fees and all materials, is £4,000. Installation costs will be covered within the Midsteeple Quarter development and are not included within this budget.

Application Process

Please submit the following by email to <>:

  • Letter of Interest in the Commission
  • Current CV
  • Up to 5 examples of relevant previous work

Your application can include links to work online, and should be submitted in PDF format as an email attachment. Please note the file size should be no larger than 10MB. In your Letter of Interest, please outline possible areas of focus or thematics for your final artwork.

Deadline for applications: 11am Monday 29th April 2019.

Shortlisted applicants should be available for interview on Tuesday 7th May 2019.

We anticipate the commission will commence Wednesday 8 May, with handover of the completed artwork by the end of July 2019.

You can download a pdf of this information here.

Stonecarving Commission Press Release

Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust, 24 Queen Street, Dumfries, DG1 2JF

Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust is a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status Registered in Scotland.  Company No.: 412579    Scottish Charity No.: SC042851