Thursday, 21 June 2007

ARTS DAY at Enterprise HQ in Shrewsbury

ARTS DAY at Enterprise HQ in Shrewsbury

Artists need to register to attend the following:
8.30am Arts Meets Business Breakfast followed by Meet the Buyer - Gallery Owners in attendance. Using the Internet to sell your art - we have owner/operator of brand new website selling modern art on line - looking for artists. AND - please could they bring a sample of their work?
Also CALLING LOCAL ARTISTS - Opportunity to create unique designs for Enterprise HQ merchandising material - cards / carrier bags / etc etc - promote your own work and make royalty income from this unique scheme - find out more on ARTS DAY at Enterprise HQ, Nexus, Roushill Shrewsbury - directions attached
Telephone 01743 246988 TO REGISTER A PLACE - Normal Cost £10 per entrant, FREE for first ten to register by phone or email

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, offering disabled or deaf visual artists a £5,000 award

Applications invited from Visual Artists for £5,000 award.
Shape has launched the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, offering disabled or deaf visual artists a £5,000 award, and a yearlong artistic residency. The bursary is absolutely unique in its aim to provide an opportunity for artists to develop their ideas and practice without pressure to deliver a particular outcome.

The bursary is in memory of Adam Reynolds who died in 2005. Adam was a past Chairman of Shapes Board of Trustees, a renowned sculptor and an activist for disability equality in the arts. The bursary will be offered annually to support a disabled artist working in the visual arts. Each year, the bursary will be offered in conjunction with a residency in a visual arts venue. In the first year, this will be Camden Arts Centre in North London, where Adam himself had a residency.

The successful artist will be selected from an open submission, on the strength of their work and proposal. The artist will also be able to benefit from support and advice from the Artists Professional Development team at Shape, and, if they wish from Link Up, the mentoring and advice and guidance programme that Shape also runs.

Adam exhibited his work throughout the 1980s and 1990s whilst developing the Adam Gallery (the gallery he ran in South London from 1984 to 1997 which provided a forum for other emerging artists). He also had solo shows at the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield in 1990 and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1994.

Adam worked with many different materials including lead, copper, steel and glass. His work moved from predominantly figurative pieces in the 1980s (e.g. his gargoyle figures) towards more abstract, geometric and larger scale work in the 90s and beyond, like the public commissions for Scope’s Midlands Office, Boscombe Day Centre near Bournemouth and Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, illustrated below. A common thread throughout his work was his desire to "express apparent contradictions and to help others enjoy the contradictory nature of the universe". He did this most obviously, for example, in his lead series, which included a lead balloon and kite. He goes on "I am clear that my greatest strengths stem from the fact of being born with muscular dystrophy, apparently my greatest weakness". He always favoured using scrap materials and found objects - picked up from the street or dug out of the ground - making his viewers reconsider the value and beauty of overlooked and rejected 'stuff'. He explained this tendency as being "founded on my lifelong experience of disability and [the desire to challenge] the commonplace assumption that this renders life all but useless and without value".

Artists can contact Shape for informal discussions about the bursary. Please see Shape’s website for full details of how to apply.

BVA Open Studio Visit

I have just returned from a very enjoyable visit to a few of the BVA open studios. It was packed with some very good work which my partner couldn't resist - buying a piece and loads of cards. Other people were buying too - and the artists were reporting an 80% rise in visits from last year. Their persistence has certainly paid off - especially in Oswestry - everywhere I went there were other visitors. Well Done!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

A Cultural Consortium for Shropshire/Telford and Wrekin

This week I was invited to a day dedicated to exploring issues and investigating the idea of having a Cultural Consortium to represent us. There was a very good presentation from Carole Hassan (Chief Exec Local Government Yorkshire and Humberside) which enthused about culture and reenforced my perception of culture being such a huge thing with competing interests. VAN struggles to represent the interests of visual artists and we have found that a huge task. We now have crafts people, photographers as well as the fine artists and patrons active in the organisation so its a broad church but we have struggled to be inclusive of all Shropshire with its different regions and needs.
The Consortium will attempt to represent the Arts, Crafts, Theatre, Sport and any other cultural activity you may think of.
Do we want one ? How should it be formed? What is its function? These are some of the questions that came up - a paper will be drawn up from outcomes from the day by SCC - look out on this blog for it - and comment!!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Can you help ?

Can you help

I’m looking for a new support artist assistant … you know of anyone that might be interested in working with me as my assistant….. They need to have knowledge and experience of working within visual arts and work with the social model of disability of course. I will provide in house training. They will be working with me in workshops meetings and office assisting me with tasks associated with my job as visual arts manager

So someone who is freelance would be best suited for the job as the hrs are to fit in to as and when I need the support

The fee is £6.50 per hr paid through Access To Work Scheme

Tanya Raabe
Visual Arts Manager
direct line - tel:01743 210841

Disability Arts in Shropshire
Registered Office
The Lantern Meadow Farm Drive, Harlescott, Shewsbury. SY1 4NG
Company registration no. 4294985
Charity no. 1090677

Saturday, 2 June 2007

use your art form to connect with hard to reach sectors of the community.

Creative Alliance and Friction Arts bring you a unique opportunity to develop your socially engaged practice and use your art form to connect with hard to reach sectors of the community.

This practice led programme will challenge and test not only your creativity but also your boundaries, whilst also inspiring and giving confidence to anyone who's considered running workshops or teaching/mentoring with difficult to reach groups.

The course is open to all creatives/artists, regardless of your technical practice.

We've tailored the programme for evenings and weekends, to fit around traditional working hours.

Eligibility: As the core programme is supported by the Learning and Skills Council, utilising public funding from the European Social Fund there are certain eligibility criteria. You must be in some form of employment (i.e. fulltime, part time or registered self employment) and living in an Objective 2 area - For further clarification on these terms please contact the CA office for advice.

Deadline for Submission: If you are interested in getting involved please send a CV and personal statement to by Friday 8th June, for a programme start mid June.

What's in it for me?
This programme is fully funded, so you'll have free access to a great learning opportunity which results in a level 2 award in progression with awarding body OCN You will also have the opportunity to take part/develop an end of programme event, this will be negotiated by the course participants and may take the form of a show, conference, catalogue or perhaps something we haven't even considered, with a secured budget of £2k in place the only limit is the groups imagination.
Invaluable networking and peer to peer support
If you require more information please call Annie or Anna on 0121 224 7308.

We look forward to hearing from you soon, kind regardsArtscape on behalf of Annie laughrin (West midlands Creative Alliance)

Calling all artists, all artforms!

Do you have experience working with older people?

Helena Lane Centre in Ludlow wants to bring in artists to work with their clients

I am going in to do consultation with them next Thursday to talk to them about different artforms and artists.
If you are interested in working on this project, please send me an example of the kind of work you would do with them, either photographs (on CD or by email) or audio CD or short DVD clips (1-2 mins) by 12pm on Wednesday 6th June, so that I can take this with me when I speak to them, and they can select their favourite artists and artforms.

They are really interested in visual arts, crafts, music and storytelling, but I think will be open to anything.
The project will include training with staff to ensure a legacy after the project.
This project aims to re-motivate staff and clients who have recently gone through massive change and moved into a new building.
All of the clients are aged 60+, and many have disabilities and sensory impairments
Many have had little or no experience of the arts and many feel they 'can't do it', so a key factor will be boosting confidence and motivation
Staff are concerned that sessions are targeted appropriately taking into account the participant's disabilities, but also their maturity and varied experience. They don't want 'a school session'.
Sessions may be open to the local community as well as the centre's clients
This project may also include the Adults with Learning Disabilities group that use the Centre in additional sessions
This project is seeking funding following the consultation, so is likely to start August - September 07
The project is likely to run with regular sessions over approximately 6 months initially
It is hoped that there may an exhibition or sharing at the end of the project
Please get in touch if you are interested in working with Helena Lane Centre and wish to discuss this further (contact details below).
Please send examples of work by 12pm on Wednesday 6th June (next week).

Jenny Henrywood
Arts and Creative Industries Development Officer
South Shropshire District Council
Stone House,
Corve Street,
Tel: 01584 813190

A Blogging reminder

For you VAN FANS who have struggled to post - you are able to freely comment but unless I authorise you - just email me and ask - you cant make new posts. There was help to make comments posted earlier - this it what it said

I have just tested the blog and here is what I did to leave a comment.

Click on comments under the post you want to comment on

typed comment in the text box and used bold tags text bold to bold some of the text.

Filled in word verification

Chose an identity - other - and called myself m

Published Comment.

Follow this and you should'nt go wrong.

If you want to make posts you need to ask me and if I agree I will set it up for you.

Give it a go - comment!

Plant Portrait Course

A few places left on

Beginners and Beginners +
Plant Portraits (IRISES) M092
with tutor and Botanical Artist Moya Davern
Tues, Wed, Thurs, June 12th -14th, 10.00 -16.00
at the Grange Learning Centre
for more details or to book contact 01743 355159

"A Weave on the Wildside." Exhibition. 2nd-28th July

Arts and Crafts inspired by Shropshire Wildlife and Wild Places. A culmination of the Arts Council community project to weave a Tapestry.If you would like to exhibit , or demonstrate on Saturday 14th July, please contact Maralyn at Shropshire Wildlife Trust. 01743 284280 or home 01743 874254

Selection day for the Shrewsbury Open Art Competition

Ann McCay & Russell Parry

On the 14th May we acted as VAN's representatives in the selection process for the 2007 Whittingham Riddell Open Art Competition. Acting in this role we thought VAN members might like a brief report of the day's happenings and our feelings about the process.

The other participants were:
Adrian Plant SABC, Exhibitions Officer at the Museum & Art Gallery
Rebecca Owen SABC; curator of Open Competition
Paul Brown Invited artist and writer; specialises in the interface between art and artificial intelligence.
Emma Puente Digital and video artist who also works at Belmont Arts Centre

We were also assisted by a placement student from University of Chester, who 'kept the engine turning' but did not have input to the selection process.

Why select?
It was our joint task to whittle the 100+ entries down to a group that could be exhibited at the various venues, bearing in mind that a certain level of quality and relevance had to be maintained.

The process
There were no strict guidelines to be followed, other than quality and relevance considerations; the selection was to be a matter for discussion and agreement. On the point of relevance it was fairly clear that this was to some extent flexible if we all agreed an entry was of high quality and desirable for the exhibition.

In the event there was a surprising (to us) degree of unanimity. As the viewing proceeded a good proportion of the final list was assembled from entries that we all agreed immediately were 'must haves'. There was a similar batch of unanimous rejections. Which left a group of 'maybes' from which to select. More detailed viewing of the popular 'maybes' allowed us to re-assess our initial reactions (and in two cases obtain more information) and once again a consensus developed.

The entries
These covered a very wide range of media, and were presented in hard copy, as digital stills and moving images and even on good old slide film. The range of formats did pose a bit of an obstacle to efficient selection. A few entries were very poorly presented. The biggest surprise, perhaps, was the doubtful relevance of many of the entries to the Competition's title. A good proportion were only tenuously relevant whilst in a few cases it seemed as if the artist had selected existing work quite regardless of any theme or title.

An invited section
Paul Brown had applied for funding that would allow recognised artists and speakers in the field of artificial intelligence to participate as 'invited artists'. We all agreed that if the funding materialised this would be a great bonus. It would provide a bedrock of material that directly connected with the theme and the Charles Darwin Symposium.

Future of the Open
Discussion of the place of invited artists within the scheme of the Open and Darwin Symposium led to Adrian asking whether it might not be preferable to connect the Darwin Symposium to an event consisting of invited guests, allowing the Open more freedom. There did seem to be merit in this idea, as there was no doubt that an unsympathetic Symposium title could make it very difficult for the organiser to arrange coherent and relevant event from the Open entries. Provided the funding were in place for the invited guests such an arrangement would seem to be a gain for both the symposium and the Open. Adrian suggested that this arrangement would not only free the competition from restrictive themes, but also allow it to be held at a more convenient or propitious time of year.