Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery asks fans for Connect10 artist ideas

Wow, what an action packed 24 hours! Since publishing the details of our ten intrepid Connect10 artists and sharing the competition announcement yesterday morning (it’s even on the Arts Council website), project manager Nick and I have been overwhelmed by the response. We’ve received lots of interested emails, seen a flurry of excitement on social media, and within one hour venues had started submitting event ideas.

I was particularly interested to see this discussion taking place on the Towner Gallery’s Facebook page - they’ve asked their fans, who are already interested in their venue, which of the artists they would most like the gallery to bid for. It’s great to see this kind of engaged discussion: so far it looks as if the people of Eastbourne are most keen on Polly Morgan and Susan Stockwell.

A screenshot of a discussion on a Facebook page, with fans suggesting which artists they'd like to bring to the Towner Gallery

A lively discussion on the Towner Gallery's Facebook page about which Connect10 artists their fans would like to win

Which of the Connect10 artists would appeal to your audience? Can any of your fans and visitors suggest ideas for events they’d like to experience? A quick reminder: the ten intrepid creatives you can win for your event are:

Claire Barclay, futuristic Scottish sculptor whose carefully balanced installations have been exhibited in Tate Britain and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery

Bompas & Parr, the jellymongers, who create spectacular culinary experiences ranging from architectural jellies to lakes of cocktails

Ryan Gander, provocative installation artist whose Artangel commission in a Hoxton warehouse provided clues for visitors to solve a mystery

Jon McGregor, award-winning novelist and short story writer, author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even The Dogs

Polly Morgan, contemporary taxidermist whose poignant installations have been collected by Kate Moss

Terry O’Neill, fashion and rock photographer renowned for iconic images of Hollywood stars and bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones

Martin Parr, documentary photographer whose pictures tell stories of leisure, consumption and communication

Simon Roberts, landscape photographer who spent a year crossing Russia and was Official Artist of the 2010 General Election

Bob & Roberta Smith, sign-painter and installation artist who uses text on recycled signs and floorboards

Susan Stockwell, creator of installations, drawings and films commenting on globalisation and colonisation, often using recycled materials

You have until Tuesday 31 January 2012 to pitch an exciting Museums at Night event idea involving your chosen artist to Culture24 using this online form.

Culture24 will then select the two or three event ideas for each of the 10 artists, and open them up to an online public vote. Each successful venue will receive a £500 bursary for their event, and those selected venues that don’t win an artist will still receive £100 to support an alternative Museums at Night event.

Exciting times!

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UPDATE 7th February 2012: The Connect10 competition is now open - vote to send the 10 artists to venues across the UK here!

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