Plus Tate launched in Wales
19th November 2010
Today saw the Welsh launch of 'Plus Tate', a major new UK wide initiative for the visual arts involving Tate and 18 of the most dynamic arts institutions in Britain. The 18 includes the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea and Mostyn in Llandudno. The special launch event to celebrate this achievement of the two major galleries in Wales being selected as partners in this initiative was held at the recently re-furbished Mostyn.
Mostyn Glynn Vivian
Both galleries receive revenue support from the Arts Council of Wales. Since re-opening the Mostyn in May after a 3 year closure, to allow the for the building work that has significantly enhanced the gallery, visitor numbers are now double their old level. Similarly the Glynn Vivian, owned and run by City and County of Swansea, is planning to embark on a major capital expansion project, supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government that will see the galleries and visitor spaces further enhanced.
Joining together to exchange ideas, knowledge, skills and resources, as well as programmes and collections, the Plus Tate partnership's aim is to broaden and deepen engagement in modern and contemporary art accross the UK.
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: "The Plus Tate network is central to Tate's vision. working in partnership, collaborating closely with leading organisations that have high national and international profiles and strong links to their local communities, means we can support their further development and strengthen their hand by sharing with them Tate's resources and Collection. At the same time, we can deepen our own experience by tapping into their particular expertise and inventiveness."
The Plus Tate launch at Mostyn coincides with an exhibition of work by American artist Alex Katz - the first presentation from the *'Artist Rooms'collection in North Wales. 'Artist Rooms' is a new national collection, established by Anthony d'Offey and jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. 'Artist Rooms'is being shared with galleries and museums throughout the UK. The tour has been devised to enable the collection to reach and inspire new audiences accross the country, particularly young people.
Seating at the launch in one of the new galleries was arranged around one of the Alex Katz works, a table with portraits balanced on top, giving the impression of an audience even if no one turned up.
If that was the plan, Mostyn had nothing to fear, in the end every seat was taken. There was a receptive audience ready to welcome the speakers as they each announced how the Plus Tate plan will enrich their own endeavours while at the same time emphasising the benefits that they can give back to the project.
Martin Barlow, Director at Mostyn said: "Mostyn is very pleased indeed to be showing, through the truly inspired 'Artist Rooms' initiative, the work of the renowned artist Alex Katz in Wales, and we are proud to be joining the Plus Tate network. It is marvelous to know that here in Wales the Plus Tate partnership will have a presence in both north and south Wales, reinforcing the knowledge that we have top class galleries."
Top row - Brian Howes, Chairman of the Mostyn Gallery Council, Caroline Collier and Marie Bak Mortensen from Tate Plus.
Bottom row - Mike Tooby from the National Museum of Wales, Jenni Spencer-Davies, curator at the Glynn Vivian Gallery and Ian Rees the Vice-Chair of the Arts Council of Wales.
Curator at the Glynn Vivian, Jenni Spencer-Davies said: "Being a Plus Tate partner will support future research, whilst enabling us to borrow artworks for displays and exhibitions. This reciprocal approach will introduce exciting new possibilities for our programmes, our audiences and for artists in Wales."
Brian Howes, Chairman of the Mostyn Gallery Council said: "Plus Tate is the most important development for Mostyn since we re-opened, it has the potential to be an enormously powerful partnership and the Tate can be assured of a vigorous Welsh connection not only for what it will do for the 2 welsh galleries involved but as a source of inspiration for the work which we do in bringing extraordinary art to everyone,in planting enduring seeds in the minds of the young,in assisting the regeneration of our communities,in supporting a healthy creative industry and in promoting cultural tourism with its many economic benefits to the region".
Tonight was also the opening for some new exhibitions at Mostyn. The Alex Katz Artist Rooms presentation; 'Ground Level' an exhibition that explores how contemporary art practice, mapping and cartography collide; a wonderful installation of printed works by Chant Avedissian called 'Cairo Stencils'.
Also showing at the moment are the brilliant video installations 'Dwelling' by Hiraki Sawa and 'NoMad' by Eva Koch.
* The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for works of art. Artist Rooms is being sponsored by the Art Fund. At the moment the Art Fund, in partnership with the National Trust, is also attempting to raise £2.7million to save Brueghel's 'The Procession to Calvary' for Nostell Priory. For more information please visit www.artfund.org
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