Claire Doherty leaves role as director of Arnolfini Having overseen a period of transition for the Bristol-based institution, Doherty will leave her role after completing her 18-month contract at the end of this month. It coincides with the news that the Arnolfini is entering into a new partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) as a subsidiary charitable incorporated organisation (CIO).

In a statement posted on the gallery’s website, the gallery says that the aim of the new partnership is to improve its ongoing financial position and increase its chances of securing a new long-term funding relationship with Arts Council England.

Doherty took over from previous Arnolfini director Kate Brindley in August 2017, moving from art producers Situations which she founded in 2002. She commented: “When I came to Arnolfini 18 months ago, my aim was to ensure the organisation’s future. I also wanted to test and open up the conversation about how Bristol’s flagship international arts house might flourish for and with the city in years to come.

“With the support of a hugely talented team and our trustees, I’m immensely proud that we have managed to achieve this. Together, we’ve laid the foundation of Arnolfini’s new business model and financial stability, reconnecting the organisation with its cultural and civic purpose.”

The Arnolfini’s present board of trustees will also hand over the reins to a new board who will lead the next stage of transition as Arnolfini becomes a new subsidiary CIO. Lhosa Daly, assistant director of operations at the National Trust in Wales and before that executive director at Spike Island, will lead the new board.

Professor Jane Roscoe, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education at UWE Bristol, said: “As part of our City Campus, Arnolfini provides a dynamic setting for our Digital Arts, Design and performance programmes. It is an iconic cultural institution, and we share Arts Council England’s desire to ensure it will thrive as an exciting visual arts organisation.”

Phil Gibby, area director South West, Arts Council England, added: “We are delighted that a way forward has been agreed and believe this partnership offers the best opportunity to secure the long-term future of Arnolfini and for seeing a transformative and internationally significant visual arts programme for Bristol and the West of England.

“As the organisation transitions to a new governance model, we also want to thank all the trustees of Arnolfini for their diligence and hard work to secure an exciting future.”

Melissa McGill’s blood red regattas aim to remind Venice Biennale visitors of environmental threat to city The installation artist’s large-scale public artwork will feature 50 traditional Italian vela al terzo sailboats, each with a hand-painted sail in a slightly different shade of red created by the artist in her studio.

Explaining the work to Artnews, McGill said she is aiming to remind viewers of Venice’s fraught relationships to its waterways, which are threatened by rising sea levels. She commented: “[Venetians] travel by water, but it’s being taken by water. I have personally seen this city change in my lifetime dramatically.”

The installation is a collaboration between the artist, the Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, and more than 250 Venetian sailors, artisans, and art students. It will be on display in different forms during the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale Di Venezia, which takes place 11 May – 24 November 2019.

There will be four full ‘regatta’ events: two in May, one in June, and one in September, and smaller appearances by the boats in-between the regattas.

McGill added: “It’s not a competitive regatta. It’s more of a presentation. Basically, we are presenting these regattas as a way to bring together all these local boat owners with these beautiful traditional boats.”

North-east Scotland artists and designers selected for 2019 Look Again Art Weekender Seven artists have been awarded the annual Seed Fund, which provides funding and support for artists and designers with a strong link to the north-east of Scotland. They will work on four commissions focused on the theme of ‘New Narratives’, which reflects on ‘changes in both the city and in the wider world throughout the year’.

The works will be presented to the public during the Look Again Art Weekender, which takes place in various locations throughout Aberdeen, 7-16 June 2019.

The four commissioned works include Karolina Bachanek’s Caro&Karo Taxi, a project featuring a mobile gallery based in an iconic European car, which can also move around various Look Again venues. Meanwhile, David McDiarmid, Stuart Noble and Emma Rogers, Jon Nicolson and Rachel Rodgers will create The Artists’ Tuck Shop, a mobile tuck shop which stocks food, drinks and artworks created by the artists.

Studio N_Name’s installation and artwork, entitled Radical Caterpillars, will explore a world where children have risen up to overthrow the adults and seize power over the UK with their own political movement. Finally, Kirsty Russell’s project will think about ‘places of welcome, and thresholds in the city’.

Look Again associate director, Hilary Nicoll, commented: “Look Again is helping to create a new narrative in the city of Aberdeen, reappraising the value of its significant cultural and creative assets. Importantly, it also provides creative practitioners with opportunities to develop their professional practice in the city, retaining and supporting talent.”

Each of the commissioned projects will receive a budget of £2,500 to cover fees, materials, production and installation costs.

Trump temporarily reopens government but impact on cultural institutions remains unclear Over 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or working without pay for over a month due to Trump’s refusal to approve any budget unless it included $5.7 billion for the construction of a wall along the US–Mexico border. This resulted in a number of museums in the capital, including the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the National Portrait Gallery, being forced to close.

However, despite the president agreeing to partially reopen the government until 15 February for select federal agencies, the shutdown has caused major disruption to the programming of a number of cultural institutions.

As Artforum reports, shows such as ‘Striking Iron: The Art of the African Blacksmiths,’ which was due to open at the National Museum of African Art on 27 February, will be delayed or possibly cancelled. In addition, preparations for shows such as the National Gallery of Art’s ‘Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice’, which is scheduled to open on 10 March, are weeks behind.

1. Claire Doherty. Courtesy: Situations
2. (left to right) Karolina Bachanek, Hilary Nicoll (Look Again associate director), Katie Guthrie and Emma Chapman (Studio N_Name)

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