Vauxhall boosts arts initiative

General Motors is to push the ‘design and style’ values of its car brand Vauxhall, increasing investment in its creative commissions programme.

Building on the Vauxhall Collective, launched in 2004 as VX Collective to support emerging artists by way of commissions, this year has seen increased investment, from a bursary of £5 000 for six ‘members’ chosen by Vauxhall, to £20 000 for six commissions selected by a panel of industry experts.

The scheme will now be known as Vauxhall Collective, replacing VX Collective.

Vauxhall, which recently relaunched its flagship Insignia model and revamped its Griffin insignia, has enlisted 35 experts from a range of creative disciplines including design, photography, film, fashion and art to form a ‘style council’.

The council, which includes Design Week Interiors editor Henrietta Thomspon, Crafts Council chief executive Rosie Greenlees and Upper Street Events director Isobel Dennis, will select six nascent designers from each discipline for a £20 000 commission.

Each commission will be based around a theme, with this year’s taking The Great British Road Trip as a starting point.

A spokesman for Vauxhall declines to reveal how much investment the car brand is ploughing into the initiative but says that it is ‘significant’, taking the £120 000 total commissions into account.

In response to what the key motivation behind boosting the initiative is the Vauxhall spokesman says, ‘The product range has changed dramatically – we’ve had a new Insignia model and our new Griffin logo. Key to our brand is style and design, and this [boost] is to champion and herald those values.’

‘We want to support the best of British style and design, and have done bits and pieces before but not on this scale,’ he adds.

Digital consultancy Vivid Image has designed and developed a new website to support the newly bolstered scheme. The spokesman says that any subsequent branding around the initiative will take its cue from this.

‘We are working with the website built by Vivid Image, which has used Flash in a way that’s not really been done before. Interactivity is also a big part of it. The look and feel [of the promotional campaign] will be in line with the website, and will be integrated into the other arts-related initiatives,’ he says.

Details of the commissions are expected to be revealed towards the end of next month.

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