I have spent time in negotiations, planted the seed of the concept with many people, set up the online social media and signed off the designs for the posters and leaflets. With less than two weeks to go to the launch, now is the time for a more obvious approach, Barnsley Art Walk 2013 starts on the 27th and 28th June.
The opening few days of the project have a few special events but with a number of events taking place at similar times in Barnsley it is part of an exciting cultural resurgence in the town. Some of the specific opening experiences include the Art Bus that will take visitors on the walk to an exhibition at the studios of the Northern Young Artists in Redbrook Business Park (every thirty minutes starting at 4.00pm with a short seven minutes journey from the centre of town. The last bus back to town is at 7.00pm from Redbrook). Between 4 and 7pm in the Joseph Bramah on Market Hill there is the opportunity to be creative with an ‘add your inspiration to the Art Walk mural’ painting session in the beer garden (all paints and brushes supplied) with everyone welcome, just bring your ideas and the University Campus Barnsley will be hosting a special two-day exhibition of ceramics by Artist in Residence Steve Ellis. [All the exhibitions, events, artworks and places are described at the end of the blog].
These are the introductory events to give the project some momentum but the art walk is more about the displays during the year. There are many exhibition spaces in Barnsley, all within a short walk of each other, and the offering at each has different appeal. The new museum and discovery centre Experience Barnsley officially opens at 2.00pm on the 27th (June), seven and a half years since the first meeting of the steering group that have promoted ideas, completed bids, suffered set-backs and ultimately succeeded with the completion in the outstanding setting of Barnsley Town hall.
When I first thought of the idea for the project it was about the longevity of the collaborations that are part of such a venture as well as the launch events. During the course of organising the Art Walk I have discovered many other schemes that have some related ideas which has allowed some joint promotions, far more effective than going it alone. Learning about the many other ideas that are in progress has also given me inspiration for future partnerships and allowed for modification of ideas that should lead to more participation. These are the very useful contacts and alliances made during the promotion of a new idea that can direct future projects and collaborations.
The last couple of months have been hectic, as anyone knows who has prepared and launched a new product, but with the finishing line or opening night in sight it is worth finding the extra energy (and other helpers) to make it finally happen. I hope that you can come and enjoy the art walk during the opening or in the future. Start and finish wherever you want and most of all I hope it encourages discussions, criticism and enjoyment with a little inspiration along the way.
Key to Barnsley Art Walk 2013 Map
1 NUM Statue. 1993. Victoria Road
3 Dickie Bird Statue. Artist Graham Ibbeson. 2009. Church Lane.
4 Tree Sculpture. Churchfields. Created by Bryan Proctor in 2010 using a diseased tree. Funded by Residents’ Association project.
5 Cooper Gallery 10am to 4.00pm for exhibitions. Tel: 01226 242905; Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Church Street.
6 University Campus Barnsley 27/28 June 4 to 7pm Ceramics by Artist in Residence Steve Ellis, permanent exhibition Voices in the Stone with photographs by Chris Sedgwick. Tel: 01226 606262; Email email@example.com; www.hud.ac.uk/barnsley Church Street.
7 Experience Barnsley Museum. Tel 01226 773950; Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Barnsley Town Hall.
8 “Crossing (Vertical)” by Nigel Hall 2006. On loan from Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Town Hall community square and gardens.
9 Lamproom Theatre – Permanent exhibition in the bar area of theatrical posters and plates from years of productions. Tel: 01226 200075; Email email@example.com; http://www.barnsleylamproom.com. Westgate
11 “Create” project at Joseph Bramah 27/28 June – 4 to 7pm. Come and get involved and add your ideas to the mural, all ages welcome. Market Hill.
12 Barnsley Building Society 150th Anniversary – Graham Ibbeson relief sculpture 2003. Cheapside.
13 Graffiti Wall 2013. Albert Street
14 Child sculpture. Kenny Hunter 2012. 6m high. Symbolising the past and future of the town. The column represents the Barnsley coal seam. Interchange.
16 27/28 June – Art Bus to Northern Young Artists exhibition at Redbrook Business Park. Departs every 30 minutes from 4.00pm, last buses 6.30pm from College, 7.00pm return. Huddersfield Road.