What Hastings Arts Auction has to offer
Sally Meakins – Chair of the Exhibitions Committee at Hastings Arts forum
The Hastings Arts Forum’s annual auction has become a bit of a fixture around here and when we tried something else last year it caused a minor uproar. So – we’ve brought it back for 2017.
I’ve been involved with the Forum for a good number of years, primarily, as a professional artist and member, as a curator and latterly as chair of the exhibitions committee and trustee. I work with a great team who share the aims of the Forum which are to support local art and artists and bring art to the community. We are a charitable organisation and currently receive no outside funding so, as well as relying on volunteer staff, we are totally financially dependent on the income we get from membership fees, exhibitions, commission on sales, donations and our own fundraising efforts – the auction being by far the largest of these activities.
However, the auction not only offers us the opportunity to raise some much needed funds but it also offers artists from the area the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to a wider audience and people interested in contemporary art, access to the work of a broad range of local artists.
This year in addition to producing a catalogue that will be available on line a week before the auction and in printed form from the gallery, each donated work is being showcased via Twitter using the hashtag #hafauction17 and also on our Facebook page.
As Hastings/St Leonards has a growing reputation as being a vibrant creative centre, the work of Hastings Arts Forum becomes ever more valuable. We not only offer fantastic gallery space on the seafront at affordable prices – with members receiving a significant discount – to artists whose work is accepted by the exhibitions committee as being of a sufficiently high calibre, but we also offer several opportunities for young and emerging artists to exhibit. Two examples of these opportunities are our annual members’ shows where work by artists in the early stages of their development can show alongside established professionals and our annual Rising Talent show which is an opportunity for young and emerging artists to exhibit their work at no cost. As a non-profit organisation we are also in a position where we can engage in putting on some very experimental exhibitions and shows such as our collaboration with Explore the Arch and the Jane Eyre Project and the ‘Wheel n’come again’ show from the African and Caribbean diaspora which included installations, photographs, canvasses and film projections curated by Legacy Films.
I would encourage anyone interested in contemporary art or finding out more about the art scene in Hastings and St Leonards to find out more about us – and particularly, come to our auction at 2pm Saturday 1st April at The Gallery, 36, Marina, St Leonards-on-Sea. Information about upcoming exhibitions can be found on our website: www.hastingsasrtsforum.co.uk. We are active on Facebook @hastingsartsforum and on Twitter @hastingsarts
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