Beginning with a move from East London to Margate, 2017 has been an eventful time for Open School East that has included becoming an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation in the 2018-22 funding round. With the accessibility of art education becoming an evermore vital issue for the visual arts, its co-directors look back on their first year by the sea.
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Barby Asante started the year with work featured in ‘Untitled’ at New Art Exchange, Nottingham and is currently part of the ‘Starless Midnight’ show at Baltic, Gateshead. The London-based artist, who was also part of the Diaspora Pavilion in Venice, reflects on a year of career highs and the tragedy of Grenfell.
The Birmingham gallery and artists’ studios was added to Arts Council England’s national portfolio this year, marking a new chapter in its development. Programme director Kim McAleese and associate curator Seán Elder map out the before and after of “a pretty incredible year”.
The London-based artist and winner of the 2017 Film London Jarman Award quotes Shelley, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Gertrude Stein and more as she reflects on the kind of year it’s been.
The director of Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery looks back on her first year in the role, a period which has seen the organisation renew its Arts Council England NPO status enabling it to push forward with its talent development programme for artists.
London-based artist Larry Achiampong has had a busy year, including commissions for Somerset House, the Jerwood Visual Arts 3-Phase programme and the Diaspora Pavilion during the Venice Biennale. He reflects on a “full on” 2017 that has been tainted by the avoidable tragedy of Grenfell.
The director of the Glasgow-based art organisation, which in 2017 celebrated its 10th year, reflects on the achievement of survival in the current funding climate while bemoaning the car crash of contemporary British politics.
The winner of this year’s Turner Prize has had a busy and high-profile 2017, but while the attention has been welcome she explains that her major achievement over the last 12 months has been finding time to make “a serious amount of new paintings”.