Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve so much in one year – funders, supporters, volunteers and everyone who came and joined in the fun.
It was a year crammed full of activity without a minute to spare and next year looks like it will bring the same too.
We kicked the New Year off with the Dulux “Let’s Colour” project. With 150 litres of paints donated by Dulux, we waited and waited for a warm enough day to start work on the outside of the Shed. Then it was all steam ahead with some help from County Councillor, Ian Hutchinson and MP, Guy Opperman who both ruined their best shirts but put their mark on the masterpiece!
BBC’s “Look North”, the Journal, The Cumberland News and Hexham Courant were all there to record the occasion and we were featured on Look North the following week.
In between all the exterior decorations, a grant from Northumberland County Council via Cllr Ian Hutchinson’s members allowance set us to work on the interior. Converting an old joiner’s shed into an amazing art workshop and exhibition space unseen anywhere else in this part of the world.
We kicked off the exhibition programme with a show by recent graduates from Northumbria University and then a Summer Salon in July and a curated exhibition by Louise Winter ‘Placeless, Place’ in August & September.
Then in October we received the news that we had been waiting for. Our application to research and develop a Graduate Programme to the Arts Council England and to Northumberland Arts Development was successful. We are currently working with ‘Dot to Dot’; ‘Neon Arts’; and Northumbria University to develop and launch a new graduate exhibition programme in partnership.
Our outreach work gained momentum during the year and as well as working with Northumberland National Parks in the funded project supporting the Dark Skies initiative that saw them gain the title of Northumberland Dark Sky Park in December 2013, along with Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society. We also participated in celebrating Haltwhistle Walking Festival’s 10th anniversary; Haltwhistle Carnival 2013; and working with River Tyne Trust. In the Love Northumberland 2013 awards we became ‘Best Business Project’ for our SMARTZ Club. In December, the High Sheriff of Northumberland visited us to see what we were doing at the SMARTZ Club and awarded us a grant to help continue the good work.
Working with Berwick Visual Arts and Northern Print, we started a printing project for young people 11 – 25 and as a result we received training that allowed us to became an Arts Award training centre for Bronze and Silver level in November. In the New Year we will be working with several groups of young people to help them gain their certificates.
Lots more happened during the last year, but we have key pointed the most significant here. Again, so many thanks are due to so many people. Next year we kick off with a new exhibition programme in the Shed with a diverse and thought provoking series of events and we continue to develop and grow our outreach and community work. Here is to a great 2014!