Art Beyond Cities

Opinion piece on regional arts - particularly the visual arts - and the world beyond the city arts 'epi-centre'.
Another ‘word’ from the Company Secretary.
(Image: “The Company Secretary”, Lindsay Hunt)


I told you in my last post that the latency would be removed, and, so, here am I waxing lyrical again!

The renovations continue to delight & vex us in equal amounts. The front gallery has been re-hung (thanks to Peter), and we have a grand selection of wonderful art to view whilst we continue to work on the rear space; so please, come and drop in, say hello, and admire the selections we’ve chosen.

Today, we had a visit from two lovely travellers from Cambridge. They were delighted with what we had on show, and what we had to say. Coming from the cultural richness of Europe, they had many insightful comments regards our venture.

One of the recurring comments we receive from visitors from cities, here and beyond, is that they are somewhat surprised that we we do what we do, and indeed, where we do it. And this intrinsically raises the question:

Art outside the cities ...

What's good about it? Why bother?

Just this week, we have sold paintings to collectors located in the eastern seaboard of the USA. They found us and our artists via our extensive web presence - wonderful (and kind of surprising)!

Nonmetropolitan regions attract artists and other people working in the creative sphere.

(Not) surprisingly, the country provides succor and inspiration.
It generates community. That happens in the city too, but the environment is maybe more competitive and a little relentless in a number of ways.
It breeds networks, groups and individuals who work that little bit harder to generate an audience and patrons.
It generates creative means of entrepreneurship for the limited audience.
It generates creative partnerships.
That happens in the city too. Sometimes, it is more organised there, through institutions and programs/grants. Sometimes it is through more independent means through a centre of gravity/critical mass that a city can generate.

In the country, it is often more ‘made’ and deliberate, through seeking out, talking, word-of-mouth and getting out there. Local government helps too, as do regional peak arts bodies/organisations.

Exhibition launches in the country are maybe not quite so fashionable, compared with the city, and are not seen as something of a society event. They are social and are as much about catching up as viewing art and celebrating the work of local artists.

Artists are the same though. They still evolve and follow their own paths - no matter where they reside. Maybe their paths end up a little differently to their city cousins as their influences may diverge. We haven't seen that though. City artists still paint rural landscapes. Regional artists still produce work that could reside in the realm of urban art, for example; and we happily have a number of works of this leaning. There is all that which is in between as well.

Art happens everywhere. Quality is to be found everywhere - just as mediocrity is.

Regional areas are another source of artistic treasures and there are many non-artists in those places who are committed to advocating for them and their producers. Government-run galleries do it, as do independent/commercial galleries, community galleries, artist-run initiatives (individual and collective) and arts organisations (Arts Northern Rivers; Accessible Arts!!).

We are both happy and delighted to be a part of this!

Give them all a try. Give us a try!

Live long & prosper!