Vice Chairs Report for AGM 3rd October 2014

This report is largely set out chronographically in diary format for ease of understanding and for future reference and particularly for myself in locating the date of the e mails etc. that I refer to.

Further to our meetings / business plan / architects plans * re Parkfield  in the year prior to the last AGM , we were in the year of this report, invited by Steve Parrock, Chief Executive TDA, to make a presentation to the “Full Council Meeting” on 26th September 2013.

 To qualify for this it was required that we had to lodge our submission by the set date, I wrote the submission and sent it to June Gurry , Torbay Council on the 11th September 2013.

On 26th September  I gave our submission , supplemented by Julie Brandon, to the Full  Council Meeting.  Dave Butt , Executive lead for Culture and the Arts replied. Richard James, Elena Anderson and Vera Stride gave  us moral support in the audience.

My and Julie's submissions are Item 65 in the following url :-

http://www.torbay.gov.uk/DemocraticServices/documents/g4678/Public%20minutes%20Thursday%2026-Sep-2013%2017.30%20Council.pdf?T=11

The publication of the Agenda for this meeting caught the attention of Ally Lazell of “Future Shores” who asked me for a meeting.

On 18th October 2013 , myself, Philip Eley, Richard James, Julie Brandon and Vera Stride met Ally Lazell at Parkfield House , where she gave us useful advice  and told us that  Parkfield was effectively now fully occupied.

On 29th October 2013 , Jenny Harriman and Eleanor Moss , Librarian asked  Vera and I  for a meeting to give advice on using “The Ledge”  in Brixham library for art displays. Anna Gilroy joined us at the meeting.

On 9th October 2013, Tanny Stobart Chair of Play Torbay 'phoned and asked that TAA partner with them to support their RIO (Real Ideas Organisation) " New Wave " bid. This was followed up by Tanny inviting me by e mail of 7th November 2013 to attend a meeting on 12th November 2013, at Paignton Academy, Borough Road , I forwarded the e mail to our committee , resulting in myself and Richard James attending the meeting with representatives  from other organisations .

On 1st December 2013, I helped Julie with a draft e mail to Anna Gilroy and Mischa Eligolof asking for help in persuing our aim of a “Pop Up Shop Arts Hub ", citing findings / undertakings from the Arts Council meeting in October 2012 展hat could Torbay's cultural future look like ?”

Friday 10th January 2014 , I set up a stand at TAAG for the week 11th to 24th January 2014  advertising TAA . Philip Eley and Kim Freeman assisted with designing and printing posters.

As a consequence of this the TAAG Board offered me £200 to help TAA, I thanked them but declined their offer,as I felt that Torbay should be able to support TAA .

As a consequence of my meeting with Eleanor Moss , Librarian at Brixham library, she offered me “The Ledge” in the library for an art exhibition through the month of February. I invited 5 artists to exhibit, Philip Eley, David Webb, Kim Freeman,Tracy Satchwill and Vera Stride .

As a thank you for bringing the Ceramic Festival to Cockington , Marissa Wakefield Director gave me free use of the Kitchen Gallery Cockington, for seven weeks in March and April 2014 , I used these weeks to organise and hold four exhibitions by local artists and raised £367 by charging the artists and also donations from Susan Cavaliere and Lorraine Gilroy, I donated  this sum to TAA.

 Special thanks to Julie Brandon and Richard James for assisting in setting up and stewarding. Richard also made an appearance in his “Rockey the Clown “ alter ego, Richard is now the “Cockington Clown”.

The exhibitions were all under the banner of Torbay Action for Art – TAA.

The exhibitions were :-

8th to 21st March, “Spring Exhibition” featuring , Philip Eley, Kim Freeman, Tracy Satchwill, Rachell Bennett , Gesche Buecker, David Webb, Vera Stride and Peter Stride.

22nd to 30th March "Encircling Life” , featuring Monica Shanta Brown, Vicki Gardner and Luci Coles.

1st to 11th April " Island Artist , Emma Carter 2014 Collection."

12th to 27th April. “ An Artists place is in the Kitchen” featuring Mary MacDermott , Elisabeth Hadley, Francesca Wyllie, Kim Freeman, Julia Finzell and Ralph Stobart.

31st March 2014 Cat Radford visited me to discuss the Cultural strategy , I spent the day setting out my past and current views, incorporating TAA's aims.

3rd April 2014, Torbay's bid to the Big Lottery "Ageing Better" ( Art / Creatives strand ) presentation at Paignton Zoo was attended by ,Vera Stride, Richard James and myself.

10th April 2014, Ageing Better ( Art strand ) meeting ,Julie Brandon and I attended , (Steering Group of Torbay's bid to the Big Lottery )

!5th April 2014 , Julie Brandon and I  met Anna Gilroy at Artizan Gallery to elicit help in a proposed Torbay Open Studio Trail.

 6th May2014 , Torbay Cultural strategy presentation by Mary Scharz et al ,at the Riviera Centre attended by Richard James and myself.

The Strategy was accepted by Torbay Council, it can be viewed / downloaded at :-

http://www.torbay.gov.uk/DemocraticServices/ieIssueDetails.aspx?IId=17037&PlanId=0&Opt=3#AI13355

16th July 2014, to assist Philip and Julie who were organising TAA's Art Market,  I e mailed individualy 15 artists asking them to take a stall , Vera and I did so, which was enjoyable and profitable.

1st October 2014 I e mailed congratulations to Nicole Amil in her new role as Executive Lead for Culture and Arts , I note that her Responsibilities are now shown as Executive Lead for Harbours, Culture and the Arts.

* Parkfield plans can be  seen on the Torbay Artist Network-TAN Facebook page under "Files".

 For those that don't know, TAN is not related to TAA and is a page that my wife Vera and I set up in September 2012  after the closure of the Forum on Creative Torbay.

Although we have not found a replacement potential Art Centre building to Parkfield, I am encouraged by the new Cultural Strategy mentioning working with Torbay Action for Art (TAA) to develop a new dedicated visual arts space and suggests as an example the Paignton Picture House.

.I'm sure if this moves forward we will attract more artists to our meetings as they will want to engage with the project.

In the mean time I feel we should continue with attempts to create a smaller “Hub” similar to TAAG in Teignmouth and Birdwood House in Totnes. In this vein I have been in contact with Ken Pritchard Councillor for Churston with Galmpton about Torbay Councils  possible closure of Churston library in May 2016.

The Councils proposal is that the library could be run by volunteers, I feel that a combined library and Arts hub would be a more feasible option.

I have also been in communication with the respective Town Centre Managers for Torquay and Paignton.

It is very clear that most visual artists want exhibition space, Julie Brandon has pluckily opened Artizan Gallery and I have been very pleased to support her in doing so , if anyone can succeed its Julie . Artizan has eased the need in Torquay, it would be good if we could emulate her in Paignton and Brixham.

Julie has been very generous in allowing TAA to hold meetings in Artizan , thank you Julie, however Artizan is a business rather than a community hub and as such cannot be as accessible in use as a community owned hub, such as TAAG and Birdwood House are.

TAA will continue to support Artizan and all art ventures in Torbay.