The Start of Something: Why come together, can art save us?

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Why come together, can art save us?

Unique Cottage Studios, Spalding

Thursday February 8th 2018, 4 – 7pm



This is a FREE event but only 12 spaces are available. 

To book a place email

10 place available from within the East Midlands region including travel bursaries of £25 for non-salaried individuals.

2 spaces available for Models of Validation Forum Members [from outside the region] including travel costs up to £60 for non-salaried.

Cheese and biscuits and tea and cake will be served.


Supported by CVAN East Midlands this early evening informal event aims to bring artists, producers, curators together for discussion, networking and critical reflection to consider the importance of ‘beyond the gallery’ practices in our region. Led by artist collaboration Smith-Genever and with guest speaker Dr Rebecca Senior [Axisweb and MMU] we will consider the important role of social practices in bringing diverse audiences to art and how recognised alternative models of validation for the artist who work this way are being proposed.

This initial gathering will be a self-contained session, actively supporting Dr Rebecca Senior’s research. However, we hope that this meeting will catalyse future connections. Networks work when there is a shared purpose, are relevant and support a need. Social practices within this geographic area are leading the way in engaging with new audiences and as such we are keen to celebrate this work and enable active critical thinking spaces.

Smith-Genever is the collaborative practice of visual artists Katie Smith and Kate Genever. Working predominantly in stitch the pair develop text based artworks which respond to experiences of working with marginalised communities. Currently Smith-Genever are beginning work on an ACE funded research and making project in an inpatient unit for young people with acute mental health issues.

Dr Rebecca Senior, Arts Research and Development Coordinator is leading on ‘Models of Validation‘ a two-year knowledge transfer partnership between Axisweb and Manchester Metropolitan University. The aim of this action-research project is to agree principles of validation as the basis for an online platform, which will be made in direct consultation with artists who have a socially engaged practice.


The Start of Something is a project which, through conversation, seeks to bring people in the East Midlands together to explore a common goal, share experience and  work collaboratively, ultimately to make things happen. Proposals for new conversations are invited at any time and CVAN EM will consider how it might support a conversation to take place to benefit the widest community and make the greatest difference within the region. Let us know if you would like to propose a topic.

Find out more about The Start of Something and the conversations that we have supported to date.


Past Event

The Start of Something: Why come together, can art save us?

Thu 8 February 2018


Ends: Thu 8 February

Unique Cottage Studios

PE12 6FA

See text for details

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