3:54pm Friday 11th February 2011
PUBLIC involvement in commissioning an artwork by the distinguished Cleveland artist Richard Forster for mima, the contemporary art gallery in Middlesbrough, has been set up through a website.
It is the first of its type to offer a new way of giving towards arts projects. Each donation made through wedidthis.org.uk will be rewarded with a personalised gift that brings audiences and supporters closer to the creative process.
Donations can be from as little as £20. The rewards range from a signed thank you card, an invitation to the opening exhibition party or an opportunity to meet the artist.
Those giving more than £100 can ask questions about the process and make suggestions about the work.
All funders will be able to read regular blogs and gain an insight into the artist’s practice.
However, these rewards will only be delivered if the project reaches its goal within 90 days. If the project does not succeed, then funders contributing funds will be refunded.
The commissioned piece will reflect a journey made by the artist across the landscape of the North-East and his experience of a specific place or landmark.
Born in Saltburn, Forster and still lives and work in the region.
He is particularly celebrated for painstakingly detailed, almost photo-realism, pencil drawings, though he also produces gaily-coloured paintings and large-scale scultpural installation Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Working Things Out at Spike Island, Bristol, in 2007, Seascapes at Ingleby Gallery, in 2008, and the Northern Art Prize at Leeds City Art Gallery, in 2009. This year, Forster is in an exhibition, Drawn from Photography, at the Drawing Center, New York, and will have a solo show at mima in July 2011.
If the target of £15,000 is raised, the new work will be created and exhibited at mima in late 2011 and become part of mima’s collection.
The website idea comes at a critical time for the UK arts sector, as central and local Government funding cuts to the arts start to bite.
It provides arts organisations with a way to raise money while building new movements of loyal followers behind their work.
This project forms part of a new approach to fundraising by mima in 2011 to ensure it continues to be a valuable and sustainable resource for the region.
Email visitmima.com or wedidthis.org.uk to pledge support.
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