Contemporary Art Society charity campaign with design by Katharine Hamnet London

Choose your favourite artist. Choose your local museum. Choose Art.

What is the CHOOSE ART campaign?

We believe in the power of art and artists to open our minds to new ideas, connect us with each other and reflect the spirit of the time in which we live. That is why we need to support the artists of today.

Our museums are scheduled to re-open from 17 May, and when they do, we will once more have free access to collections that are some of the great treasures of the nation.

The Contemporary Art Society (CAS) is a charity, that has always been one of the most important investors at grassroots level, directing funds to where they are most needed and championing contemporary artists.

The CHOOSE ART campaign this year comes at a time when the arts face unprecedented challenges, and investment is therefore more vital than ever.

For the CHOOSE ART campaign, CAS has partnered with the famous designer and activist Katharine Hamnett, whose iconic Choose Life campaign in the 80s was itself one of the emblems of that period, and has been the template for so many causes since.

Working in collaboration with Katharine Hamnett London and Frieze London the CAS’s CHOOSE ART campaign will raise funds to buy art that will be donated to local museums and galleries across the country, to welcome back their communities when they reopen to the public.

Museums have a vital role to play in the recovery of high streets and town centres across the country. The museums that CAS support across the UK welcome 21 million visitors a year. As well as being important attractions in their own right, museums also help to support the wellbeing of the nation. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on creative communities. By buying work from artists CAS do not just support the individual but the whole artist community: the studio assistants, technicians, art handlers, and smaller galleries that do so much to nurture younger artists in turn.

What is CAS?

The Contemporary Art Society is a charity that identifies the very best art of today and donates it to museums across the UK. Since 1910 we have donated over 10,000 works of art to public galleries, including the very first works for museum collections by artists from Picasso to Damien Hirst, discovering and supporting them in the early stages of their careers. Frieze London has partnered with the Contemporary Art Society since 2016, when the CAS brought its Collections Fund to the fair to acquire significant contemporary works for its Museum Members across the UK.

How can I help?

Any donation, no matter how small, will help CAS support more artists and museums as the crisis hits deeper.

Katharine Hamnett London has designed an exclusive new T-shirt to support the campaign. For a £60 donation we would like to say thank you by sending you one of these as a gift. For a £110 we will send a gift of two T-shirts of your choice and for £200 we will send you four. Katharine has also designed a badge to say thank you for smaller donations of £10.

These T-shirts are unisex so men are advised to choose a size up from their usual size. The male model is 186 cm/5'11" and is wearing size XL. The female model is 180cm/5'75" and is wearing size S.

Both the T-shirts and badges has been manufactured to the highest ethical and environmental standards. To read more about Katharine Hamnett London’s sustainability manifesto, please click here.

Please also help spread the word and encourage others to donate. We would love to see a selfie of you wearing your T-shirt – and don't forget to tag us @ContemporaryArtSociety and @katharinehamnett on Instagram! #ChooseArt

How will CAS use the funds raised?

CAS have seen an incredible outpouring of generosity from the people closest to them, helping to raise £100,000 in just a few weeks. This money will directly support around 10 museums across the country by donating artworks that will help them build stronger communities and reach audiences that do not regularly engage with art. Now we need your help. By helping us reach our £80,000 crowdfunding target, we can support even more artists and a further eight museums. If we get beyond that target we can help even more!

Thank you for considering your donation to the CAS Choose Art campaign.

A note about the T-shirts

Please note that we are not retailing these T-shirts but they are a reward for a donation. We are a small arts charity and as such do not have the capacity to manage refunds and replacements. Please check this size chart carefully before selecting your reward as we will be unable to replace them if they do not fit.

size guide

The male model is 186 cm/5'11" and is wearing size XL. The female model is 180cm/5'75" and is wearing size S.

You should receive your T-shirt or badge within three weeks of donating for if you live in the UK.

Care instructions

Washing: 30°

Bleaching: Do not bleach

Ironing: Low heat

Dry cleaning: Do not dry clean

Tumble dry: Do not tumble dry

The Project

The CHOOSE ART campaign has been created in partnership with Katharine Hamnett London. The Contemporary Art Society and Katharine Hamnett London are joint project owners. Please note that if you provide your email address for marketing both parties may send you marketing information when relevant.