Today is a good day. I’ve been asked to represent the South West arts community as the representative for the Arts Marketing Association.
It’s an exciting new role at this point in my career as I develop my skills and bring together some important arts organisations in this region. I live in Gloucestershire which has a very vibrant arts community (every other person in Stroud is an artist) and I’d like to use this opportunity to network and work together to protect the arts.
Arts and Culture matter. It’s become particularly pertinent during the last six months how much the arts mean to us. For our education, for our heritage, for our soul. Without theatres, galleries and exhibitions we’ve lost a vital thread in our society…..but we’ve found a way through somehow.
People have turned to arts and crafts in their own homes. The distraction, focus and joy it has brought to many simply proves what we knew already – that the meditative qualities of art can profoundly improve our mental wellbeing.
The big hitters in the art world hardly paused for a moment before turning their attention to online access to some of the leading global arts organisations. Personally, I’ve travelled all over the world to see online exhibitions and inside galleries I would never have visited in three lifetimes.
I’m proud to live in the South West and I’d like to champion the incredible arts institutions that have existed for years through charitable efforts, support and communities. Next week I’ll be visiting the Leach Pottery as it celebrates its centenary. The weight of history around some of these buildings and the many lives that have existed there is breathtaking. I’ll make sure to visit the Hepworth Museum and Tate St Ives too.
Exhibitions in the South West
Closer to my home in Stroud, The Wilson Gallery is soon to host a touring exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery, Cecil Beaton’s ‘Bright Young Things’ seen as ‘a magnificently atmospheric display of pure magic’ by The Telegraph.
The Royal West of England Academy will soon be reopening and one can delight in an exhibition of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and the Artists of St Ives. There are curator tour videos to wet your appetite before you visit at the end of the month.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to visit Messum’s Wiltshire to see the reconstruction of Elizabeth Frink’s studio at Woolland come back to life. If you haven’t yet listened to an amazing new podcast called ‘Sculpting Lives’ – you must. There’s a great podcast about Frink which will serve as an excellent introduction to her life at Woolland.
Grayson Perry, The Pre-Therapy Years, at the Holbourne until January 2021. Grayson Perry’s earliest forays into the art world re-introduces the explosive and creative works he made between 1982 and 1994.
With such a rich events schedule in the South West, I am going to relish my new role with the Arts Marketing Association. If you haven’t heard of them, please head over to their website. They have all sorts of initiatives to support arts marketers, both freelance and in-house at whatever stage of their career they are. It’s amazing to be part of a professional body in an industry that I love.