making an exhibition of ourselves

Part of my duties here at the RVACC is organising the art and crafts exhibitions. Some run over one month, but most span two months, allowing greater time for the public to visit and for associated educational opportunities. Also, quite frankly, the amount of work it takes to host an exhibition – as any other gallery manager or curator will tell you – is substantial, and when your job also involves booking and organising music/theatre events, creative learning programme, as well as managing the Centre, you need space to breathe between shows.

You start out by sourcing and researching exhibitions – of course, the time to do this is sometimes a luxury but a necessity nevertheless. Then comes the hot pursuit and the administration, organising the artwork transport, confirming insurance, negotiating content and pricing, acquiring artist and artwork information for advance publicity. For some of our exhibitions, I purposely develop associated promotional marketing material, such as programmes and posters. Invitations are also developed with designers and issued to our mailing list and selected guests requested by the exhibiting artist. And then, of course, comes the organisation of each exhibition launch.

What has been wonderful for me, is witnessing how the exhibitions in the Centre are noticed and appreciated by other members of the team. Some of whom are unused to working in an environment that includes art exhibitions, and the novelty of ever-changing gallery walls is always a surprise! Only I really know what’s coming next. When the gallery walls are bare between shows, we’re all chomping at the bit for the next shows to go up and most of the team comment on favourite artworks or raise an eyebrow for the more conceptual work. All is accepted in good grace.

Once the artwork arrives, then we give ourselves a good few days to work on an exhibition. Billy, our Duty Officer, will carefully unwrap and present all the work in the gallery spaces, and then I spend some time getting to know the work, to see what will go where and what works best with what. Once I place the show, Billy begins hanging all the artwork, which remains so time-consuming, despite our brilliant hanging system (thanks to Picture hanging Systems Ltd).

I then work on the individual gallery List of Works and Artist Statements, displayed alongside every show and offering the visitor as much background information as I can on both the artwork displayed and also about the artist or group exhibiting. Artist Statements are always a tricky thing – I prefer the language and ideas conveyed to be straightforward and communicative. I try and make the galleries as welcoming as possible. Hence, you won’t see black minimalist seating in our galleries – Instead, we have multi-coloured seating and beanbags. Many exhibitions, if suitable, will also have a small area of children’s tables and chairs allowing visiting families to take a breather and for the kids to work on art and drawing inspired by the current show.

Out of the seventeen art exhibitions I have organised since we opened in October 2010, approximately 70% have has local themes or have been by local artists. It is very important that our gallery programme combines quality local and international art, encouraging local communities to visit, but also making our mark on the wider Northern Irish art scene.

So, we have a varied exhibitions programme. With Victoria taking care of the heritage exhibitions and my art/crafts exhibitions, we try and ensure there are plenty of ongoing shows of interest for many. Judging by our gallery visitor book comments, we’re not doing too badly, either!

This entry was posted on January 20th, 2012 at 10:38 am by Desima

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  • Race Director, Mervyn Whtye called in this morning ahead of our next exhibition NW200 Faces & Places which opens on Friday 22 September. This exhibition features photographs of riders, spectators, stewards and fans of the North West 200 races during the years 1977-1987. Photographs are courtesy of the Coleraine Chronicle & Constitution archives. #NW200 #NorthWest200 #NWMotorcycling #nw200facesandplaces #ballymoneymuseum #causewaycoastandglens #causewaycoastandglensboroughcouncil #localhistory

    roevalleyarts: "Race Director, Mervyn Whtye called in this morning ahead of our next exhibition NW200 Faces & Places which opens on Friday 22 September. This exhibition features photographs of riders, spectators, stewards and fans of the North West 200 races during the years 1977-1987. Photographs are courtesy of the Coleraine Chronicle & Constitution archives. #NW200 #NorthWest200 #NWMotorcycling #nw200facesandplaces #ballymoneymuseum #causewaycoastandglens #causewaycoastandglensboroughcouncil #localhistory"
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  • Our exhibition of stunning baskets by Louise McLean of @atlanticcraftni opens this afternoon and continues to 23 September! Louise is one of the foremost basket makers in Ireland and we're delighted that she's based on the #northcoast #causewaycoast and we're not only showcasing fabulous artistry but also supporting a locally based maker as part of #augcraft17 #baskets #craft #make #irishcraft #basketry #traditionalskills #contemporarycraft #louisemclean #atlanticcraftni #roevalleyarts #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #augustcraftmonth #inspire #inspiredbylandscapes #coastal #coastalart @augustcraftmonth @craftnipics

    roevalleyarts: "Our exhibition of stunning baskets by Louise McLean of @atlanticcraftni opens this afternoon and continues to 23 September! Louise is one of the foremost basket makers in Ireland and we're delighted that she's based on the #northcoast #causewaycoast and we're not only showcasing fabulous artistry but also supporting a locally based maker as part of #augcraft17 
#baskets #craft #make #irishcraft #basketry #traditionalskills #contemporarycraft #louisemclean #atlanticcraftni #roevalleyarts #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #augustcraftmonth #inspire #inspiredbylandscapes #coastal #coastalart @augustcraftmonth @craftnipics"
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  • Thanks to all who came to the launch of our two new exhibitions yesterday - 'As I See It' by Jim Holmes & 'Colourvision' by Ingrid McLaughlin continue in our Keady & Broighter galleries until 29 July!! ✨#limavady #roevalleyarts #exhibition #art #artexhibition #causewaycoast #causewaycoastandglens #northernireland

    roevalleyarts: "Thanks to all who came to the launch of our two new exhibitions yesterday - 'As I See It' by Jim Holmes & 'Colourvision' by Ingrid McLaughlin continue in our Keady & Broighter galleries until 29 July!! ✨#limavady #roevalleyarts #exhibition #art #artexhibition #causewaycoast #causewaycoastandglens #northernireland"
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  • Our new #summer #eventsguides are fresh off the printing press! Pop in to pick one up or email us at information@rvacc.co.uk to get one emailed or posted direct! #augustchildrensmonth #limavady #arts #artscentre #northernireland #owenoneill #clydebuilttheatre #quantumtheatre #banyantheatre #pucapuppets #familyfilms #atlanticcraft #augustcraftmonth2017

    roevalleyarts: "Our new #summer #eventsguides are fresh off the printing press! Pop in to pick one up or email us at information@rvacc.co.uk to get one emailed or posted direct! #augustchildrensmonth #limavady #arts #artscentre #northernireland #owenoneill #clydebuilttheatre #quantumtheatre #banyantheatre #pucapuppets #familyfilms #atlanticcraft #augustcraftmonth2017"
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  • The fantastic folk group Lore perform alongside the fabulous Niamh McGlinchey this Saturday 24 June, 8pm. Candlelight, BYO - sure, what more could you want to polish off your week! #lore #niamhmcglinchey #folk #country #concert #livemusic #livemusicni #northernireland #limavady #roevalleyarts #countyderry #june #music #chill #weekendvibes #weekendfun #byo

    roevalleyarts: "The fantastic folk group Lore perform alongside the fabulous Niamh McGlinchey this Saturday 24 June, 8pm. Candlelight, BYO - sure, what more could you want to polish off your week! #lore #niamhmcglinchey #folk #country #concert #livemusic #livemusicni #northernireland #limavady #roevalleyarts #countyderry #june #music #chill #weekendvibes #weekendfun #byo"
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  • We attended the @artscouncilni literature & traditional music seminars today at the #seamusheaneyhomeplace in #bellaghy Fabulous heartfelt exhibition of the poet's life and work. Wonderful friendly staff. Will be back! #seamusheaney #powerofwords #literature #poetry #poetrycommunity #irishliterature #irishpoet #artscentre #literature #ireland #northernireland

    roevalleyarts: "We attended the @artscouncilni literature & traditional music seminars today at the #seamusheaneyhomeplace in #bellaghy 
Fabulous heartfelt exhibition of the poet's life and work. Wonderful friendly staff. Will be back! #seamusheaney #powerofwords #literature #poetry #poetrycommunity #irishliterature #irishpoet #artscentre #literature #ireland #northernireland"
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  • We recently visited the #eleanorwheeler #exhibition at the #femcwilliam #gallery in #countydown We love Eleanor's nature inspired sculpture and also the recreated #studio of the #sculptor #femcwilliam - seeing his #tools and #workshop is just wonderful. As is the #planting and #flowers and #greenery in the #sculpturegardens #ceramics #ceramicsculpture #outdoors #sculpture #artistsoninstagram #inspiration #specialplace #culture #irishart #irishartist

    roevalleyarts: "We recently visited the #eleanorwheeler #exhibition at the #femcwilliam #gallery in #countydown 
We love Eleanor's nature inspired sculpture and also the recreated #studio of the  #sculptor #femcwilliam - seeing his #tools and #workshop is just wonderful. As is the #planting and #flowers and #greenery in the #sculpturegardens 
#ceramics #ceramicsculpture #outdoors #sculpture #artistsoninstagram #inspiration #specialplace #culture #irishart #irishartist"
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  • Experiments in the dark... @caakeproject artist Bronagh Corr McNicholl facilitates a Cyanotype print workshop to accompany the #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on display. #printmaking #workshop #community #learning #inspiration #galleryeducation #create #limavady #roevalleyarts #experiment

    roevalleyarts: "Experiments in the dark... @caakeproject artist Bronagh Corr McNicholl facilitates a Cyanotype print workshop to accompany the #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on display. 
#printmaking #workshop #community #learning #inspiration #galleryeducation #create #limavady #roevalleyarts #experiment"
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  • Artist Sandra Robinson kindly facilitated a Painting Pathways Out Of Landscapes workshop to coincide with the @caakeproject #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on show. The group experimented with texture and form to create brilliant, vivid abstract landscapes inspired by the exhibition. #caake #workshop #learning #community #create #experiment #expression #exploretocreate #limavady #roevalleyarts #engage #galleryeducation #northernireland

    roevalleyarts: "Artist Sandra Robinson kindly facilitated a Painting Pathways Out Of Landscapes workshop to coincide with the @caakeproject #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on show. The group experimented with texture and form to create brilliant, vivid abstract landscapes inspired by the exhibition. 
#caake #workshop #learning #community #create #experiment #expression #exploretocreate #limavady #roevalleyarts #engage #galleryeducation #northernireland"
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  • We LOVE ❤️ these fab tote bags made by our Connecting Creatively group last Thursday night. Inspired by our #louisebourgeois #exhibition currently on show, the Connecting Creatively course aims to help adults explore expressing themselves and their emotions creatively in a supportive and intimate group setting. Perfectly apt for Louise Bourgeois whose #emotional #life dominated her creative work. #learning #community #create #inspiration #internationalartist #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #galleryeducation #bringingarttolight #theangrycat

    roevalleyarts: "We LOVE ❤️ these fab tote bags made by our Connecting Creatively group last Thursday night. Inspired by our #louisebourgeois #exhibition currently on show, the Connecting Creatively course aims to help adults explore expressing themselves and their emotions creatively in a supportive and intimate group setting. Perfectly apt for Louise Bourgeois whose #emotional #life  dominated her creative work. 
#learning #community #create #inspiration #internationalartist #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #galleryeducation #bringingarttolight #theangrycat"
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