Exeter Cultural Partnership

Engaging, empowering, energising culture in Exeter

Visual Arts Forum minutes from 13 May 2015

EVAF 13/5/15
Chair: Stuart Crewes
Venue: Spacex
Present: Gabby Hoad, Janet Sainsbury, Stella Tripp, Hannah Reeves (Spacex), Kathy Norris(Spacex), Bettina Amtag, Caroline Mawdsley, Volkhardt Mueller, Sissy Lange, Angela Yarwood (Brook Gallery), Clare Bryden, Ceri Johnson (ACE), Martyn Windsor (Spacex/CCANW), Caroline Saunders, Robin Doyle, Philip Cross, Naomi Hart.
Apologies: Matt Burrows (Phoenix)

1. EOS – no news. Nobody from EOS steering group present. Brook Gallery has had people interested in role of coordinator.
2. Empty spaces: Stuart and Cathy reported back from a meeting and thoughts from Charles Quick ‘Art in the public realm’ – having a ‘policy’ is a bad idea, go at it a different way. ECP to host a meeting, David Lockwood (Bikeshed) will connect with Deputy Mayor of London and Chamber of commerce in Plymouth and Bristol to discuss the way forward.
Volkhardt questions the role of ECP as curator for empty spaces to ensure quality? Discussion of whether to try to have 3 programmes ready to go to slot in when space is available, but projects need time to be developed. Reps from Princesshay, Guildhall, Estates, Tourism and ECP will all be represented at the meeting. Needs to have business input, so they see the benefits.
3. Pop up Gallery: Congratulations to Stella for taking up the challenge first weekend. She reported it was a bit like open Studios without having to tidy up her house. Not much time for publicity but got 70 people through the door - Angela commented she’d be very happy with that. Some still asking for publicity and help from ?ECP? Stuart? – this is a free opportunity to exhibit (something which a lot of artists say they want) and still very little take-up of it. Lack of attendance at meetings also seems to suggest a lack of real motivation to exhibit from some people – there seems to be a persistent attitude that ‘someone else’ should organise it. To re-iterate, the space is free, given by Framework/Bikeshed in exchange for some kind of portrait to exhibit in the window in collaboration. Robin to do 6th June,
Discussion of the Ning platform for all ECP communication – some still not clear what it is or how to use it – like a smaller version of Facebook. All asked to promote it and forward messages to reach everyone. Queries about using Facebook instead or as well to increase traffic, spread the information. To be discussed at next meeting.
4. Spacex crowdfunder launches 21st May. Preview from 23rd Open Gallery. Target £10,000 to fund residencies. Kathy and Hannah talked about their vision for Spacex: still in development. Will include partnerships and collaboration with children/locally based artists. The residencies are probably not open call outs, they have people in mind. Volkhardt asks whether the artists chosen have a part to play in redefining Spacex’ role and that of other art institutions – this is a new place for arts funding, we have to redefine what the space/gallery offers and provides. It would also be helpful if the process were transparent for people to know how it goes and what Spacex find out from the process. Kathy said they were bringing in curators and critics to share how Spacex develop.
Stuart offers Culture in Review to do a promotion for the Kickstarter and find out the organisers’ vision.
Stuart says there is a prime opening for ‘teaching’ contemporary art in Exeter - the Phoenix has traditional art classes yet a Contemporary Open, but perhaps people don’t engage because they don’t know how to start. Can Spacex provide that? The problem is that there is not one skillset – it’s about exchange and knowledge, not tangible things often. Angela reminds us that Brook Gallery have Bruce McLean who is known for conceptual art as well as craftsmanship – he is coming to Brook 28/29 May, offers him to Spacex to further this discussion.
Some comment to Spacex to help with the crowdfunder – don’t just go on about the ‘amazing art’, for many (especially those outside the artworld) it isn’t relevant – stress the fact that each person giving £5 would raise the money. It often isn’t the ‘prize’ that makes people give, but the goodwill. Up till now, many fundraising campaigns by art organsiations have been very inward-looking, also only asking artists, a lot of whom have no money.
Robin also has a crowdfunder to pay for his pop up weekend in South St.
5. Naomi spoke about One Small Peace – a new art project and installation for Exeter to promote peace and the idea of hope with a huge public participation programme of making, ending in an installation in Exeter Cathedral and other buildings in 2017. Thanked ACE and EAC for funding the R&D. People can get involved, info on www.onesmallpeace.com and FB and Twitter. Naomi invites anyone else who wants to make work or organise events to go alongside this over the next two years. Volkhardt asks if there are peace movements in other cultures.
6. NOSE2015 2 art spaces, 12 events over the weekend, nose2015.wordpress.com.
Sissy explains Foxihibitionists for NOSE – fox mask, coat, exhibit yourself or your work.
Stuart wants to expand the working group (from one!) as it is far too much work
AOB: Stuart again offers Exeter Community Centre as a venue for free exhibitions – asks for submissions.
Clare says the Met Office are looking for residencies.
Next meeting: Wed 1st July 10am – 12 noon in the library? TBC.

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Thanks for taking the minutes Naomi

Is the time and place of the next meeting confirmed?

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