Studio Membership Agreement

These are the rules governing membership of Wollaton Street Studios

Wollaton Street Studios – Conditions of Membership
Wollaton Street Studios, hereafter referred to as “WSS,” is a co-operative fine art studio group, set up to provide artist members with studio spaces, in which to make artworks, currently within 179 Wollaton Street, Nottingham, NG1 5GE.

Mission Statement
WSS is constituted as an artist-led group, run on the principle of cooperation, which will provide a resource where artist members can make art. It will also encourage and enable interactions between artists, both in and beyond WSS.

Aims
WSS aims to;

  • Provide individual artist studio spaces for WSS members
  • Enable inter-studio collaborations
  • Encourage interactions with groups and individuals beyond WSS
  • Promote contemporary art practice
  • Develop regional, national and international links with groups and individuals

Membership
Membership of WSS is open to all fine art practitioners, who become members of WSS by applying to take on the custody of a vacant studio within 179 Wollaton Street. Once accepted into WSS, and after a 6-month probationary period, applicants become equal members of WSS, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.

Member Responsibilities

  • All group members must be practicing fine artists who will continue to use their studios to create new artwork on a regular basis.
  • All group members will be expected to contribute towards the general upkeep of WSS common areas, and to keep their studios in good order.

Finances

  • WSS members will be informed of the annual rent for the studio space they wish to take custody of prior to applying to join.
  • The agreed rent will include the unrestricted use of their allocated studio space and all available common resources.
  • Rent must be paid by standing order, payable once a month in advance, direct into the WSS’s bank account.
  • Failure to pay rent on three consecutive months will, with the majority agreement of WSS members, mean one month’s notice will be given, by the end of which time the member must vacate their studio and will cease to be a member of WSS.
  • In the event of WSS being disbanded all monies will be equally divided between members on an agreed pro rata basis, after all outstanding debts have been paid.

Membership Process
Artists can apply to join WSS when a studio becomes vacant. The existing members of WSS will select from applicants, through a majority vote. In the case of a tied vote the Chair will decide the outcome. Following election new members will be subject to a six-month probationary period.

Probationary Membership
Probationary Membership will be for a six-month period. During this time probationers must abide by the responsibilities of studio membership but without the right to sub-let their studio space. At the end of the six-month period a studio meeting will take place to confirm that the Probationary Member (PM) has successfully completed their probationary period. This will be through a unanimous vote of studio members present, with a minimum of three full members present. It is the responsibility of the probationary member to call this meeting, but it can also be called by any full member through the Chair.

Failure to complete the probationary period successfully will result in one of two outcomes

  1. The PM will be asked to vacate their studio within four weeks of the meeting
  2. The PM’s probationary period will be extended for a further six months

WSS Management Structure
WSS will be managed by all its members, who together will constitute the management committee. There will be two elected officers:

  1. Chair, who will oversee all management committee meetings, and will be responsible for calling meetings, for compiling the agenda and for taking notes at meetings. The Chair will have the casting vote where necessary.
  2. Treasurer, with responsibility for the day-to-day management of WSS finances.

Candidates for either position must be proposed and seconded by two members of the management committee. Officers will be elected, at a General Meeting, on the basis of a majority vote. The term of office for both will be 3 years, officers can resign at any time, they can also be de-elected by a majority vote at a specially called General Meeting, at which the subject of the vote cannot vote, with at least four members in attendance.

WSS Studio Management Meetings
There will be one mandatory General Meeting, called by the Chair each year, focusing on general WSS issues including WSS’s financial health, which the Treasurer will report on. Other meetings can be called by the Chair alone or by any WSS member with the support of two other members. The member calling the meeting must submit an agenda at least one week in advance of the meeting to the Chair, who will distribute it. Emergency meetings can be requested by any member at less than a week’s notice by emailing a request, along with an agenda for the proposed meeting to the Chair, who will decide if the request for a meeting should be approved.

Decision-making will, wherever possible, be on the basis of consensus. If that is not possible then a member can propose a vote, which must be seconded. The decision being voted on will be decided on the basis of a simple majority – in the case of a tie the Chair has the casting vote. A minimum of four members must be in attendance before a vote can take place.

Vacating a Studio Space at WSS
Studios normally become vacant in three different ways:

  • Member leaving voluntarily
  • Member being asked to leave
  • Death of a member

Member leaving voluntarily
Two month’s notice is required from any member wishing to leave the group, who should inform the Chair of their intention to leave in order to trigger the two months period of notice.

Member being asked to leave
There are two prescribed grounds on which an individual’s membership of WSS and their use of WSS resources, including their custody of their allocated studio space, can be withdrawn; that is a perceived failure to comply with either of the Member Responsibilities as set out above. Other unforeseen grounds for asking a member to relinquish the custody of their studio may arise.

Any member of WSS can propose that any other member of WSS have their membership withdrawn. This must be seconded by at least one further member, who is not the Chair. The member initiating the call for withdrawal of another’s membership must then inform the Chair, setting out their reasons. (The Chair can propose an existing member’s expulsion, but must obtain the support of two other members to do so).

The Chair will judge whether or not a condition for proceeding with a process of membership withdrawal has been met. If the Chair judges it has, they will contact the member concerned, informing them of the situation and will then contact all WSS members, setting out a date and time for a meeting at which the proposal for membership withdrawal will be debated and voted upon.

Withdrawal of WSS membership will be on the basis of a majority vote at a meeting at which at least four WSS members will be present. The member whose continued membership is being decided upon, has the right to be at the meeting and to make a case for retaining their membership of WSS, but the meeting can continue without them. After a period of discussion, a vote will be taken, in which the subject of the vote will not be allowed to take part.

In the event of a vote in favour of withdrawing WSS membership, the member concerned will be given four weeks within which time they must vacate their allocated studio space and return all WSS property, including studio keys, to the Chair. Anything left on WSS premises by the vacating member after this date will become the property of WSS.

In the case of a tied vote the motion will be deemed to have failed (i.e. the Chair will not have a casting vote), and no further calls for expulsion of the member concerned can be made within six months from the date of the meeting

Death of a Member
In the case of the death of a studio member, the Chair will call a General Meeting. The meeting will agree how it wishes the Chair to proceed in terms of:

  • Expressions of condolence from WSS
  • Communicating with the deceased member’s next of kin, in terms of:
    • Period of notice
    • Access arrangements to WSS and to the effected studio
    • Return of keys
  • Agreeing a foreseeable timeframe within which the studio can be reoccupied

Joint Custody of a Studio
Potential members can apply for a joint custody of a single studio space when they apply to join WSS. Joint custodians will have one collective vote at any management meetings.

To apply for joint custody both members must submit evidence of their artistic practice. If accepted as Probationary Members they will both be subject to the Probationary Member rules outlined above. If one of the pair fails to pass their probationary period both could be asked to leave – the decision on this will be left to the management committee at the end of the probationary period. If one joint custodian relinquishes membership of WSS, then the remaining custodian can ask for the tenancy to be recognized as theirs alone or can propose a replacement, who must be accepted into the studio under the rules outlined below, for an existing tenant. In the case of the latter, the probationary period for both will start from the date the new joint custodian enters the studio.

Any existing studio member who has an agreed sole custody of a studio can apply for this to be changed to a joint custody, with another fine artist of their choosing. To do this they must ask the Chair to call a WSS management meeting, where they will put forward their case for joint custody. The management meeting must have at least four other Studio Members present to decide on whether the request can proceed to the next stage. Following unanimous approval, the prospective new joint custodian will submit evidence of their practice, to a WSS management meeting, for approval. If accepted, on a majority vote, the new joint custodian will be subject to the standard 6 months probationary period and its rules.

Studio Rules
Other rules of conduct and any sanctions to be applied are not covered by this document, these will be left to the management committee to decide on a case by case basis

These membership conditions replace all previous conditions                                              Date: 6th April 2017

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