Artist Support with Sandra Kennedy

  • Published on: 20th March 2019
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Each week we will be bringing you news, blogs, and updates from An Lanntair and the Outer Hebrides. 

This week we are handing over to our new artist support co-ordinator, Sandra Kennedy, to talk about her work……….

It’s been a busy three months since I started work at An Lanntair doing a part-time post as artist support coordinator. I’m having a lovely time getting to know local artists, finding out about their work, and how I might be able to help them through my job.

Beginning a project like this is a bit tricky, as it covers a wide range of activity. My approach has been to gather as much information as possible; talk to as many people as I can while gaining an understanding of people’s needs. I am an artist myself, but I can’t assume that my experience is representative; there are lots of artists in the island and it’s very exciting to discover the broad range and the high quality of the work they are making.

At the core of artist support is a mentoring scheme where emerging artists of all disciplines can apply for one-to-one mentoring over a period of time in order to fulfil their goals. Information can be found here.

There are also other initiatives focussed on bringing artists together for presentation, discussion and telling stories (artists sharing stories). Images, music, readings, film clips can be the basis for discussion or feedback. It is my hope that sharing leads to encouragement, and has an energising  effect on all who attend.

We had our first one of these last week; musicians, designers, visual artists and a writer all gave a slide show on their work. The presentations were part of an evening of informal conversation allowing artists to get to know each other. This is so valuable for artists no matter what kind of art they are making. I found it very inspirational myself and was encouraged by the atmosphere of kindness and support.

I haven’t made plans for how to develop these get together events, but it would be nice to have variety in what we do, with the possibility of workshops and holding the sharing events in different locations throughout the island. I hope it will evolve as we get to know each other. We are now going to hold one of these events every last Thursday of each month at 7pm.

That’s where I have reached so far, but there will be continual updates on the Artist Support page of An Lanntair website, as well as on a soon-to-be-released new artist support website which will serve as noticeboard, and inspiration station.