So I did it. I created, designed, organised, curated and ran a pretty big arts festival this summer and as it was our first one it is to be considered quite a stinking success.
Over nine days we had 19 art exhibitions, including the work of over 5o artists, plus we gave away free art in the form of magnetic pieces.
We held theatre workshops for children and had theatrical performances from 3 theatre companies.
We had numerous literature events running over the course of the festival, including free workshops with published writers and a big Apples & Snakes evening with Adam Kammerling.
We ran an International Short Film Competition and had academics, film festival directors, award winning artist and filmmaker Anna Cady and BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee, Daisy Jacobs as judges , and we partnered with the UK’s only remaining working brick museum to show the Lego Movie surrounded by bricks and lego.
We also had various music performances from differently folk artists and choirs, live knitting and a very successful art market.
How do I feel now it’s all over? Knackered in a word. I have a chronic illness and so this has really taken it out of me
However no rest for the wicked. We have the show for the winner of the inaugural Fareham Art Open, opening tomorrow with a private view. I am glad the judges made a unanimous decision for the winner to be Jenny Tipton, a recent graduate of Central Saint Martin’s whose installation: Projecting Nature’s Image I am very much looking forward to.
Please note I would include an image here but the website is not allowing me to.
I am also in the process of securing several new venues for exhibitions for artists and organising a Christmas art market and a fun palace, I find there is a lot of waiting around in this game and I find that very difficult to cope with, I am a product of my generation, I have at times a short attention span and I don’t like to wait as I begin to worry.
I just wished that I could get paid for the hard work I do. The only way I could be paid anything for the arts festival was to do all the design myself also and so for 9 months of full time work, doing everything, I only got £1500. Still I suppose it’s all part of the process. I am definite that not many people could do what I have done; many people think we had a big team working on the event when in reality it was me working by myself for months on end and then my husband working for the last 2 months with me.
We created so many partnerships during this time and met so many wonderful people that though at times I hated it, I am glad I did it and grateful for the fact my parents brought me up to be tenacious as there were many times I felt like giving up.
Organising a giant event like an arts festival that takes place over a 10 miles radius in 23 venues you do start to see things differently. I have started to become annoyed by some other artists. I have encountered many wonderful and talented artists through Live Art Local (the not for profit I run), Sticks Gallery and the festival, but I have also come across those who, even though talented, are incredibly rude and expect to get everything for free. I even had one artist who had paid nothing to be exhibited and featured in 5000 programs (who had not mounted their work correctly) complain when their drawings moved within the frames and about the venue not having gallery lighting (these were other use venues).
I bit my tongue and did not email a response as I probably would have regretted it but still I was annoyed.