Tuesday, 1 June 2010

TBC Minutes, House of St. Barnabas, 27 May 2010

Attendees: Laura Davidson, Louise McKinney, Paul Mendez (chair), Elizabeth Oniri, James Tuitt

Apologists: Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters, Toni Ward, Paula Lucido, Alex McIntyre, Susi King

Louise arrived and ascertained who we were, how much money we had to spend, and what we were doing:

Thirteen artists at £26.93 = expenditure of £350.09

Delineation: An exhibition concerned with deconstructing preconceptions of what drawing is, comprised of individual and collaborative works.

TBC is a forum for discussion of our various artistic practices. Drawing is the backbone to everyone’s practice in some way.

We have a draft press release that, on June 9, will be fleshed out. Also that evening we will compile short biographies of the artists.

The budget will also be discussed on the 9th. Each artist will cover the cost of their own materials.

The Big Draw offers prize money for the best-documented event linked with drawing over that period.

In future, for any government grant, leave a six month advance period; Arts Council around 14 months.

We have drawn up a list of potential sponsors. We have access to people with money – Quintessentially.

We like the idea of launching a complementary magazine and catalogue for the exhibition. Why would we want to do a print magazine when the print publishing industry is losing money hand over fist? We have explored PDF and print-on-demand routes, which remain viable, but like the idea of something tangible to have and to hold, and also the cachet of an ISBN, particularly with academics such as Kate Hatton and Jim Moody willing to be involved.

Louise points out that it would make sense to try to involve The Drawing Room, set up to promote drawing in any art form, whether it is performance, dance, etc. They are very open to collaboration, and could help get an audience for us. What is our idea of our audience? How many people are coming? Sectors? Age and wealth demographic? Sponsors will only help us if they can see that we will promote them in the right places. Attaching ourselves to The Drawing Room will help increase our profile – publicise in their website, include our information in their mailing. Big Draw/Drawing Room – have our information included in all of their literature and promotional materials. How many people visit the Big Draw website? That is our audience. That is who will be made aware of what we are doing. The Drawing Room will give us an ‘official stamp’. ‘TBC in association with The Drawing Room (Arts Council funded, will be taken seriously)/The Big Draw (government funded, will be taken seriously).’

Get community partner through The Big Draw. They will be working nationwide – we want this to have a nationwide impact and reach through Big Draw network. They will be working with lots of different community groups. We want an engagement that is of worth to the group. Are there any existing community programmes or outreach programmes that can be grafted onto us? Strategic partners that are known and established, that we can offer something to.

Ziba de Weck runs The Parasol Unit, a foundation local to The Crypt. She is the Swiss equivalent of a de Rothschild. Extremely interested if we have a community that we have found through The Big Draw/The Drawing Room. Within the group we have artists who work with people with mental health problems and learning difficulties, and whose works look at issues to do with mental health (thus the importance of working with a community group). What is it that we are trying to do? What is original about it? Who are we working with? Louise is very enthusiastic about our premise and reckons it to be bang-on The Drawing Room’s remit. Encourages us to focus on young people, perhaps not in formal education. We are young and should go for young brands. Get a magazine that we know to help produce a catalogue. Winsor Newton(Artists & Illustrators Magazine) want to be seen to be used by professional artists (Laura may have a contact).

Signage – Omni Colour, owned by Bob Payne – ‘super-nice’. Office just off Grays Inn Road. Helps lots of young artists. Could do our signage if we ask nicely and mention Louise’s name. Go through paper manufacturers and cold call. Find a company who has some artistic association and has some specialist materials.

Franz Koenig – owner of Walter Koenig books. Contemporary art book publishing. Co-publishes Serpentine Gallery books. May well be interested in what we’re doing. Small publication – refer to it as an artist book (rather than catalogue), edition of 250 or so, published for scholarship and academia. Pitch it to him as an artist book on the possibility of drawing, hand-printed, a la the Situationists. Quirkiness, rarity, auspiciousness sells, and lasts in the mind, although we’ll be lucky if it sells more than 250. Approach him through Walter Koenig Books (Charing X Rd). Or, run off two hundred at one of the institutions in which we work, ask each artist to do a drawing, edition of 150, sell at £7.50 each. Don’t devalue the artwork by making it too cheap. Collectability. Fresh and situationist, ideal for archival. See if he will co-publish and therefore cover the costs. The Koenig logo is massive.

Booze. Ask Quintessentially. Offer a masterclass in drawing on the opening day (27th) for Quintessentially members (first thirty to reply, 6 artists) for 1hr-1.5 hrs, in exchange for booze – 150 bottles of wine or beer (based on three drinks per head, 150 people, 6.30-8.30pm), or Saturday art class for members’ children, or both, in which case Quintessentially also pays for printing and lends us their logo. Gives an extra marketing dimension. Begin a long-term relationship with The Drawing Room. Alert The Parasol Unit. Koenig, with their long experience, would lend us a certain image.

Price the work and try to sell it. Look at the guest list. Maybe look at a young, ambitious dealer. Virginia Damtsa of Riflemaker Gallery. Hannah Barry of her so-named gallery, a former Peckham car park.

Team up with a commercial gallery? They wouldn’t have to put any money in, but would help with the guest list and promotion, to get the right patron groups in, especially if Quintessentially are involved. It would be an outreach project for them. Help get the art world in at the PV, and the press involved. As a collaboration it is free – we are offering the content of the show, a ready-made show at no cost, and a raft of new talent that they don’t have to search for. Hannah Barry is particularly good with the press, having worked in it.

Quintessentially ‘buddies’ to work as bar staff at the private view, and maybe as ‘shadow’ invigilators?

If Quintessentially say ‘no’, who is our Plan B for booze? Soho House? Groucho? The LUXE? Use any available personal contact.

Quintessentially & Koenig – take a dummy magazine to Koenig. Projected 200, each signed and numbered. Each will have one artist intervening (13 artists, 15 copies each). Ask him how much to retail for. Try and get a meeting in his diary, with the dummy. Plan B – photocopier.

The Drawing Room, Hannah Barry, Riflemaker, Parasol Unit. On our doorstep, immediately after Frieze, Quintessentially/Koenig involved.

Installation shots or other form of documentation in order to submit for Big Draw prize. We could perhaps extend the legacy of the show by turning it into an event, instigating a two-month community liaison either side of the main exhibition. The Drawing Room is our ‘communities’ partner, Koenig, our ‘publishing’ partner, Quintessentially our ‘events’ partner, and a commercial gallery, our ‘sales’ partner.

Sustaining artist practice after university – Peer Learning Network at Whitechapel Gallery.

The work should be at the forefront of everything we do. Louise became extremely ebullient when shown some of the work on the blogs connected to 12-Pages. Website ASAP to begin showing off the work. The Big Draw and The Drawing Room will have our website linked to theirs, all being well.

Bring forward curatorial meeting – August is far too late. The artist book needs to be completed and on sale before the exhibition. The press will classify a four-day exhibition as an event.

Bring a piece of work, a personal statement and a note on individual relationships with drawing to the 9 June meeting.

ATTENTION/REMINDER: It has emerged that the cost of the exhibition is in fact £500, rather than £350, and thus each exhibitor should pay another £10 into Laura’s account.

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