Crème Fraîche is an accelerator programme for artists in the year following graduation from art school, aiming to discover a new generation of artists and help launch their careers through creative and commercial mentoring.

All artists dream of ‘success’, but myriad are the conceptions of what that might look like, and the roads leading to it are paved with creative and commercial uncertainty, hesitancy, and anxiety. Crème Fraîche was conceived to help emerging artists overcome these hurdles by equipping them with the confidence, exposure, advice, and connections that their formal education might not have been able to offer.

Each summer, the Crème Fraîche panel selects a new cohort of the most promising artists from their art school degree shows. Each artist consigns one work to the Crème Fraîche programme, to be exhibited at the autumn group show and its accompanying catalogue.

As the year progresses, an events schedule allows us to build relationships with and between the artists, and to introduce them to collectors, gallerists, and other supporters. All artists are offered the opportunity to take part in the Crème Fraîche Salon series, intimate work-in-progress shows of individual artists that allow them to present their work through a series of private views and dinners.

The Crème Fraîche programme reaches a crescendo in a week-long spring residency, this year to be held at the Château de Rochessauve, with an exciting programme of talks, workshops, dinners, and studio practice.

We’re motivated by the excitement, ambition, and trepidation that we hold for (and share with) our artists as they begin their careers. In them we see the next generation of talent, and are passionate about helping them pursue their ambitions and achieve their potential. The programme is an intensely personal one, built around strong relationships with the artists and their supporters, something which has been a key factor in the development of the programme in a more collaborative direction.

Crème Fraîche artists are not curated in the traditional sense; a cohort has no specific unifying theme. However, a key commonality is a practice that brings something new and exciting, and is rooted in the artist’s expression and conception of their art rather than themes or styles that speak to a particular trend. We’re attracted by art that conveys ideas and starts conversations that everyone can engage with, regardless of background or identity.  

We don’t accept applications, because we want our cohort to reflect the most promising artists rather than the best applications, and are aware that an application-based selection process can dissuade those with less self-confidence.