Fantastic day at Ards Arts Centre on Wed 11

Thanks to all who contributed to our European Mobility & Exchange Event at Ards Arts Centre on Wed 11 May last.

Lots of interesting connections were made and VAI hopes to work further with Visiting Arts in Northern Ireland.

It was great to hear about the progress of Firsty? just six months old with over two hundred members and making a strong impact in Bangor and beyond. It’s always wonderful to see the entheusiasm and energy of artist led groups.

Mary Carty wowed us once again with insights into web based art projects and smart use of social media and Adam Knights discussed his programme of exciting international artists’ exchange projects with Visting Arts, in particular residencies, but also work in UAE and Slovenia.

It was interesting to hear Peter Mutschler reflect on how participation on the European Cultural funded project Rhyzom helped support and add momentum to PS2 work in Ballykinler. That from small acorns of interest and afinity larger international projects and opportunities can grow.

Rhyzom certainly made navigation of the EU Cultural Fund application process seem less daunting when Christian Jankowski outlined the framework of the scheme. It wasl also good to know that as CCP UK Christian can offer advice to organisations developing projects.

It was also lovely to meet Deirdre Robb Visual Arts Officer with the Arts Council, for N.I. the first time, and hear how she brings an artist’s sensibility to her work with the Arts Council.

Maria McKinney‘s presentation echoed some of what Mary Carty discussed later, as she talked about the development of tacit mentorship through residencies that she has participated on.  Maria reflected that as a native of Donegal it is still possible and valuable for her to work in her native county as well as internationally and that an artist’s mobility can involve eliptical movements of outwardness and return.

Underscoring the day was the openness and willingness to share knowlege and experience amongst all the presenters and that ultimately openness had made all of the work discussed possible.

Many thanks to Laura Graham (VAI N.Ireland contact point) for deftly charing the proceedings and to Amy McKelvey at Ards Arts Centre for partnering on another successful event with VAI. We look forward to continued work and creative developments on the Ards Penninsula and to hearing further about the individual connections made on the day.

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