What is Art: A User's Guide (A Crash Course in Brain Surgery)

Image Credit: Bedwyr Williams / Grizedale Arts at Frieze Art Fair 2012

City Art Gallery, Southampton

[email protected]

Thursday 01 December 2016
Admission Fee: 20 orgs / 10 artists / 5 student
Booking essential

VASW are pleased to announce the date of our annual event, in association with British Art Show, Southampton.

What is Art? is a user’s guide, a crash course in brain surgery, with a fun, provocative back to basics approach. A series of quick fire presentations will scratch a fundamental itch for razor sharp thinking and robust critical debate on three key questions:

What is an Artist?
What is Good Art?
Who, What and Where is the Audience?

These topics will be introduced by invited speakers and followed by a series of Pecha Kuchas - 20 images, 20 seconds each, a six minute provocation, a call to action.

Proposed Pecha Kucha sessions asking probing questions include:

What Do Museums Do All Day?  / Why I Voted Brexit / How Much Do Artists Get Paid?  / Why I Stopped Being An Artist / What is British Art? / What is an Art School? / What Is The Point Of Education? / How I Can Get You Funding / What Do Young People Think? / What Does Artist Led Mean Anymore? / Just What Is A Curator? / What Does Socially Engaged Actually Mean?

Confirmed speakers include Bedwyr Williams, Susan Jones, Manick Govinda, Dominic from Luton, Thomas Goddard and Matt Ashdown. 

A full line up, including networking and right to reply sesssions will be announced in early September along with booking details (£20 organisations / £10 artists / £5 Students).

If you are interested in presenting or would like to propose a topic, please email [email protected]

In association with the British Art Show, Southampton and City Art Gallery, Southampton, the VASW event (1st Dec) will follow the BAS8 event on 30th November. Save the Dates!

The events have been programmed to complement each other and allow visitors to Southampton to see two distinct yet related events as well the British Art Show 8, Fringe activities and the many artist-led venues and initiatives across Southampton.

We look forward to seeing you so book now.


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Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

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