Friday, 22 January 2016

NETWORKING HUB - Shaping the Future: Making a Vision for Craft in the North West

Shaping the Future - Networking Hub

10 March 2016
The University of Bolton, Deane Rd, Bolton BL3 5AB.
Click here for more details about the programme for the day. To book a ticket for the day, click here

As part of our day, members of the North West Craft Network's Development Group will form a Networking Hub, offering you the chance to ask specific targeted questions about your work or practice.

We're inviting a host of craft experts including makers, curators, gallery owners and directors, museums policy-makers and audience development people.

You'll be able to ask questions, chat through issues and just get to know people and what their aims and motives are. You'll be able to book a 5 minute slot, or just turn up and say hello.

Stuck for what to ask? Check out the ideas below.

The people listed here have agreed to come and offer their advice and expertise. We'll add to it as they sign up, so keep an eye out: 

Samatha Rhodes, Assistant Director at the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
University of Bolton 
Clare Knox-Bentham, Designer and Outreach Manager for Manchester School of Art  
Rebecca Hill, Curator of Art at Gallery Oldham 
Vanessa McDermott, Director at Gawthorpe Textiles Collection  
Kaylee Jenkinson, Exhibitions officer at Manchester Craft and Design Centre 
Stephanie Boydell, Curator at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections  
Ann Marie Franey, Co-Director of Great Northern Events, who run the The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and Little Northern  
Jennifer Harris, Deputy Director of Whitworth Art Gallery 
Fiona Moorhead, Head of Marketing, The Crafts Council
Janet Boston, Craft and Design Curator, Manchester City Galleries  
Alice Kettle, textile artist and Professor of Textile Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University

What you might ask

Gallery owners, retail managers and curators might want to look for people who would be willing to collaborate with them on ideas and projects - or just to bounce and idea off a peer.

If you're a maker, just a tiny sample of the questions you could ask includes:
  • What do they do
  • What are the breadth of projects that they run that might be of interest to you
  • How you might approach an organsiation or gallery
  • What kind of work they show and if they sell, what sort of price range
  • How do they like to be approached (email, images, face to face)
  • For a regional or national museum what is their collection strategy - who do they collect and why?
  • What kind of craft objects or projects really excite them.

Some people have significant expertise in allied areas such as community engagement (Gallery Oldham, Bluecoat Display Centre, Gawthorpe, The Whitworth), in marketing (the Great Northern Contemporary Craft fair) or networking and working with emerging makers (Manchester Craft and Design Centre). They might be able to offer advice about those things and how they could work for you.

If you have a question and you're not quite sure who to ask - just come and ask the first similing face you see and they'll help point you in the right direction. That's what the NW Craft Network is all about. A question doesn't have to be perfectly formed.

Do bring images of work or a project on a phone or tablet to share. Be ready to shout about your good news and look for answers to your issues.