Business As Usual exhibition heads to Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival

A special exhibition exploring the links between the arts and business is being staged as part of the month-long Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival 2015 in October.

Business As Usual can be seen at the Pyramid arts centre for the duration of WCAF15, which runs from Friday 2nd October to Saturday 31st October.

Marketing and networking are often thought to be uncouth within certain areas of the arts. With many believing commercial success is akin to selling out and a lack of conceptual rigour, in that an artists’ practise has been compromised due to being solely focused on monetary gain or fame.

This is where business cards come into the equation – and they form the very basis of the Business As Usual exhibition. Organised by Perce Jerrom, the exhibition sees the business card taken as an art object and looks at how artists use them to market themselves and promote their work, with networking also seen as a key tool.

The exhibition will also ask how much importance dealers, collectors, curators and galleries play in determining success, or whether artists themselves are solely or collectively responsible for carving out their own futures. In an age where curators now procure artists from social media platforms, the exhibition also looks at the role the digital world plays in the arts.

Business As Usual features the work of over 100 artists from across the country. A text written by Louise Chignac will accompany the show.

Following its run at WCAF15 the exhibition will tour to galleries across the UK.

Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival is organised by Culture Warrington, in partnership with NORTH. This is the fifth consecutive year the town has hosted the event.

NORTH is a new initiative aiming to build strength for contemporary art in the North of England. Together they will highlight the breadth of talent within the region, as well as attracting national and international artists with support from Arts Council England. Specially commissioned to present the festival’s headline visual arts exhibition, NORTH presents The Dream Of Modern Living? – Contemporary Artists Explore IKEA.

Derek Dick, exhibitions and services manager at Culture Warrington, commented:

“Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival provides a fantastic opportunity for local artists to network and showcase their work and given the growing arts scene in the town, it was important for us to host an exhibition which looks at how artists promote themselves and engage people.”

Business As Usual also forms part of the special opening night activity to officially launch WCAF15 in partnership with North – a cultural crawl on Friday 2 October between 6pm and 8pm, taking visitors on a tour of the WCAF15 venues and exhibitions.

The tour will start at The Gallery at Bank House Quay, where the Photography Open can be viewed from 6pm. The group will then move onto the Pyramid arts centre to see Business As Usual, before ending the evening at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery where guests have the first opportunity to see The Dream of Modern Living: Contemporary Artists Explore IKEA.

The launch night will also feature the 2015 Contemporary Open exhibition, with the overall winners of both the Photography and Contemporary Open prizes to be announced at the event.

A number of venues and public spaces across the town are supporting the event and will become festival hubs by hosting pavilions, exhibitions and events, including Pyramid arts centre, The Gallery at Bank Quay House and Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Offering a plethora of activities spanning the contemporary arts spectrum, Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival offers an extensive and exciting programme of exhibitions, installations, live performance, film screenings, workshops, placement opportunities and talks from industry professionals.

Full programme details for WCAF15 are available at www.warringtonartsfestival.co.uk

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