We’ve had two exciting new additions to the Plymouth Arts Centre staff line-up this year, our Assistant Curator Lucy Rollins and PAC Home Co-ordinator Laura Edmunds.
Lucy will be working closely with Artistic Director Ben Borthwick to curate our public exhibitions, organise private art events and workshops as well as head up the PAC Home group with support from Laura. PAC Home is a network that supports local artists and since 2012 has continued to foster raising engagement in contemporary art, something that both Lucy and Laura are both passionate about.
Here we talk to them both about their experience, the local art community and what advice they would give to emerging artists:
Where does your passion for arts come from, and how did it bring you to Plymouth?
Lucy: I come from a very creative family – some of my earliest books when learning to read were about art. I studied at Dartington College of Arts before it closed and so was always open to moving to Devon again as I had lived in the area before.
Laura: My passion for the arts come directly from my experiences as an artist. I think it vital to be active within the arts sector of your city or town. I came to Plymouth for a lecturing post at Plymouth College of Art over a year ago, and since that, I have become a studio artist at KARST, and most recently, become PAC Home administrator here at Plymouth Arts Centre.
Before joining us here at PAC, what has been your favourite project to work on?
Lucy: One of the exhibitions that I planned as part of my Masters degree in Curating that I did at Goldsmiths. It is still unrealised and is the most in depth research and amount of time I have spent developing a show. You will have to watch this space for more info!
Sounds exciting! You’ve both had different journeys to reach where you are now in the art community, do you have any advice for emerging artists?
Laura: As an arts administrator, lecturer and artist – I’ve experienced or observed from lots of angles and the main advice I could give would be to be visible in your city’s or town’s arts sector. Attending events, visiting exhibitions and supporting your peers is so important in sustaining a thriving arts ecology as well as inadvertently gaining support for your own practice through forging relationships with other artists, writers and curators. If there is an artist support network, such as PAC Home, join it! Get involved with the events it offers, host critiques, invite other artists to your studio.
Lucy: Yes definitely join artist network memberships like PAC Home! Be open and approachable at art related events like openings and talks.
What do you think PAC Home does well to foster conversations between artists?
Laura: PAC Home operates as a facilitator between artists, writers and curators and the wider arts sector. This includes peer-to-peer dialogue through crits and a reading group, but also fostering conversation with artists further afield through travel bursaries and Away Days to other cities, such as our recent Cardiff trip. We have just started the PAC Home Supper Club; an event where practitioners come to the PAC Home space armed with a dish and something to say about a past/present/future project or idea in a relaxed and supportive setting!
and finally, what are you most excited about in the local arts world?
Lucy: Mike Perry’s upcoming show Land/Sea, it’s the first exhibition I will have installed at Plymouth Arts Centre and the works are stunning!
Laura: Plymouth is a really exciting place to be at the moment – there is a real sense of energy in the city. The arts sector is being strengthened by ambitious multi-platform projects in the city, as a result of receiving Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence funding through the Horizon programme.
Mike Perry’s exhibition Land/Sea can be seen in the Plymouth Galleries from 7th April, with a preview evening on 6th April featuring the artist in conversation with PAC Artistic Director Ben Borthwick.
For more information on joining PAC Home as a member, you can download an information and application pack here.