Thursday, August 10, 2006
FenVAC Open Studios
The smell of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the sound of enthusiastic voices as I climb the stairs to Ric Savages' studio to chair the meeting where we will finalise our preparations for our current collective project.
The Fenland Visual Arts Collective was formed in 2004. Set up to promote visual arts in and around the Fenland area in Cambridgeshire, it is a non profit organisation that relies on funding to realise projects.
Last year, Joan Sandford-Cook, our vice chair, put forward the idea of us running our very own "Open Studios" project. Joan had taken part in the Cambridgeshire Open Studios and had found it such a positive experience that she felt FenVAC could benefit from organising their own. From there our project organiser Roger Symonds secured funding from "Awards for all" and 18 members signed up to take part.
Part of our funding was used to adapt our website promoting the project and the artists taking part, Roger has created a wonderful display that is easy to surf and very informative. We also had glossy brochures printed by Tony Champion, who kindly offered to include the design of the front cover (shown here) in with his price - We are very pleased with it, eye catching and colourful, just as we hoped.
Rob Morris and Chris Carr worked together to create our sign boards which will be placed outside each individual studio, making them instantly recognisable to the public.
It's been a wonderful show of unity and last night I chaired the meeting where all of our "goodies" were distributed to those taking part. Each member has declared where they will distribute brochures so no area is duplicated and Roger has drawn up a mailing list with the collectives' help, targeting no less than 150 galleries, interior designers, museums, colleges etc with personal invitations to the event.
And so, with a lot of hard work, communication and energy, an idea will soon become a reality.
Rob Morris kindly offered to share his studio space with me some time ago, when my own studio was no more than a few pencil lines on a piece of paper, I accepted his offer. My studio was finished much quicker than I hoped or dreamed but I still feel it will be more beneficial to share with Rob in the centre of Chatteris than here, off the beaten track where the public may decide to pass me by for being just a little far off their route.
I hope to promote my own studio while the project is running and, who knows, if we are successful enough this year, we may secure funding again for 2007 when I can welcome the public into my very own sanctuary here, deep in the Fens.
"The key to success is not through achievement, but through enthusiasm." -Malcolm Forbes