A central interest is to make visible and strengthen the link between individual artists and art organisations. We approach this partly via the framework that this website provides for a North East-wide identity for the visual arts, but also via physical events, forums and regional development initiatives.

National partnerships

Art X-UK
Art Network North East is working with the Government Art Collection on Art X-UK, a partnership project between the GAC and CVAN regions to acquire work from artists across the country. Art X-UK visits a different region each year, and in 2023-24 it’s the North East’s turn.

Spring 2023
We convened a selection panel to nominate artists from whom we recommend acquisition, and together with the GAC have longlisted 10 people.

Summer / Autumn 2023
The GAC conducts virtual studio visits with longlisted artists.

Autumn / Winter 2023/24
The GAC creates a shortlist and conducts in-person studio visits to determine the work to be acquired.

Spring 2024
Announcement of selected artists and works.

 

Groups for artists

LUX Tyneside Critical Forum
We host the LUX Tyneside Critical Forum, a monthly peer support and critical discussion group for artists and curators working with the moving image. Working to a model established by LUX, the UK’s national agency for artists’ moving image, in each monthly session a different group member presents a film or films and invites discussion with the wider group.

The group meets at the cinema at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, thanks to support from Baltic’s Artist Development Programme.

Other groups exist in Glasgow, London, Nottingham, Cornwall and Dublin.

Experimental Writing Group
We are launching a new group dedicated to supporting and developing writers and writing – from emerging to established writers, and those who don’t yet even know if they might be a writer – looking in particular at creative, experimental or marginal practices. A launch event took place on 9 November 2023.

Artists’ forum
In 2022, we ran a series of artists’ forums which visited different arts organisations, initially in Newcastle and Gateshead. Representatives from host organisations introduced their work and plans for the future, followed by a discussion around a relevant theme and some time to chat and meet new people.

Other groups
We’re keen to help create other groups where there is a need, from supporting peer-led structures to convening discussion and working groups looking at specific areas of development. We will shortly be redeveloping our Steering Group, which will complement this — but if you would like to talk about a specific need, please get in touch.

We also offer free one-to-one sessions for artists — book a meeting now.

Regional events

Open Thursday
Open Thursday was a pilot for a city-wide ‘late art’ event in Newcastle and Gateshead developed by Art Network North East and produced in summer 2022.

Participating venues included 36 Gallery, Gallagher & Turner, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle Arts Centre, Newcastle Contemporary Art, Northern Print, Side Gallery, Slugtown, Vane and Workplace Foundation. The programme also included special events with artist-led walking forum Incursions, a sound walk with musician John Pope, and artist tours, workshops and special events at partner venues.

Our key learning was that for a regular event to work, it would need a robust information infrastructure to support it and drive audiences to venues. That infrastructure now exists in the form of this website, so we plan to revisit the model in 2024 with a view to trialling it again if/where organisations are keen to participate.

Similar events exist in London (First Thursdays), Birmingham (Digbeth First Friday). In Newcastle & Gateshead, The Late Shows presents an annual city centre-wide weekend of cultural activity, but the frequency and scope of a regular ‘late art’ evening offers something different, while complementing existing activity.

In the North East, there are several significant centres of population – and cultural activity – in relative proximity to one another. The obvious extension of any ‘late art’ initiative on Tyneside would be to establish the model elsewhere too, and for each event to complement the others: think art buses between Wearside, Tyneside and Teesside…

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