This week, Outside In’s Artist Coordinator Hannah Whitlock talks about Share Art – a collaborative endeavour between Outside In and Pallant House Gallery’s Community Programme that enables artists to share their work in front of their peers and family members.
Share Art came about in late 2012 to give local artists a voice and enable them to share their stories and their art in front of a supportive audience. The sessions were a result of Outside In and the Community Programme at Pallant House Gallery realising that many of the artists they work with in the local area didn’t know each other or weren’t aware of each other’s art. The two also realised that artists facing barriers to the mainstream art world don’t get the same opportunities to share their art in a safe environment, where they will not be judged or criticised.
Share Art takes place in Room 11 at Pallant House Gallery, which is where the Gallery’s reserve collection is housed. Being surrounded by so many famous paintings by renowned modern British artists confirms that the artists sharing their work at the sessions do very much belong within the art world. During the sessions, there is always time scheduled for a tea break, during which the artists can get together and chat about their presentations, make connections and share feedback. Over the past three years, many artists have stood up in front of their peers and family members to talk about their art and where their ideas come from. Some have even made repeat presentations to showcase new art or innovative projects they have been a part of.
These sessions are very much an integral part of the Gallery’s community, fostering friendships and enabling a whole range of voices to be heard. Each artist’s presentation includes ten images of their work projected onto a large screen, and each session usually involves twelve artists. As well as sharing their art work, artists can also promote events and projects they are a part of at the end of the presentations, creating opportunities for involvement and collaboration.
I became a part of Share Art when I started in my current role as Outside In Artist Coordinator last August and I work in partnership with Lucy Greenfield, Pallant House Gallery’s Community Programme Coordinator to develop the sessions. It’s a great opportunity for Outside In and the Community Programme to work in collaboration and bring artists together in a safe creative space.
To date, I have organised three Share Art events with Lucy, with the first one in September last year – just after I had started at the Gallery. Share Art is one of my favourite aspects of my job role. The process of artists coming forward to be a part of the event takes courage and throughout the process, I can see artists gaining acceptance and confidence in their art work.
I see Share Art as a professional tool for artists to speak about and reflect on their work in front of an audience. It is a great way to foster the community connections, which are so important when art can be isolating at times. Personally, as a member of the audience, I always go away from the sessions having learnt something new.
The next Share Art event will be held on the 29 September 2015 at Pallant House Gallery 1:30-3:30 with a tea break in the middle. All are welcome to attend for free.