It’s been a busy couple of months…that has to be my understatement of the year!! So much has happened recently I haven’t even got around to blogging about it!
For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been involved with an exciting experimental project run by North Somerset Arts – a Pop-Up Shop/Gallery in Clevedon.
NSA is an organisation set up to promote ‘The Arts’ in North Somerset and has been primarily responsible for the bi-annual Arts Week (Open studios/Arts Trail) which I took part in for the first time 2 years ago. Having recently gained charitable status, NSA is keen to expand on its role to promote art, artists and ‘the arts’ within the community and it’s latest project, the ‘Pop-Up’ has done just that. As well as promoting the forthcoming Arts Week in May 2015, the Pop Up has showcased around 25 local artist’s work – much of which sold during the 5 weeks when the shop was open.
I don’t know all the ‘ins and outs’ of it all, but the project received a grant to help towards the cost of rent and insurance of the property, and all participating artists also contributed to the costs. A core group of volunteers (artists, including myself and NSA Committee members) shared the stewarding duties throughout.
The Pop-Up opened on Saturday 15th November. During the day there was a live Jazz band playing and in the afternoon, artists were on site for ‘meet the artist’ sessions and local press came to photograph and report on the event.
For the following 5 weeks, the shop was open from 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Saturday and we had our final day on Saturday 20th December.
25 local artists came together to put on a wonderful show of their art and crafts which displayed a broad range of talents including painting, ceramics, wire sculpture, printmaking, felting & textiles, glass, jewellery and woodwork and there were also prints and cards available too. This variety offered something for everyone which made the pop up very appealing.
The project was a complete experiment which turned out to be a resounding success! Most encouraging was all the amazing feedback from the Clevedon townspeople – shoppers visited our shop in their hundreds and many were happy to tell us how much they enjoyed our gallery and would like it to stay permanently. We were delighted to have such welcome feedback – knowing we were appreciated was a great feeling…and could lead to similar projects in the future! 🙂
This morning was time for the artists to collect their work, and leave the space vacant once again. The good news is, NSA have been given permission to use the window as a display for the next couple of months, so all I can say is WATCH THIS SPACE…and keep our fingers crossed for the future!! …and keep your eyes peeled for the Pink Triangle Flags of the NSA in May for ARTS WEEK! 😀
On a personal level, as a participating artist, it was a wonderful, positive experience. Not only to hear the fabulous feedback about the pop-up and our art, but to meet and make friends with many of the other artists taking part. Working from home as an artist can be quite a solitary existence so to be involved with such a friendly group of like-minded people was great fun! (Technically I guess you’d call it ‘networking’)
It’s been a great way to end what’s been a fantastic year for me – I’m already looking forward to what 2015 may bring.
On that note, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!