Soaring Towards the Exceptional Black Swan Arts looks forward to an exciting future
After a hugely successful 30th anniversary year in 2016, celebrated with fantastic arts events including 1000 Postcards, which attracted a record number of visitors, Black Swan Arts Centre is looking forward to an exciting future. 2017 is set to be the start of exceptional development and growth. Trustee Alex Webb says: “We are listening to the community and trustees are actively putting together an exciting, engaging development programme to enhance the visitor experience.”
It has been a miraculous and often turbulent journey for Black Swan, which opened in 1986 in a disused ex-public house, believed to date back to the 17/18c. The original building was joined to the Round Tower (an old wool drying house – early 19thc) by an extension in 2000. The Arts Centre has undergone several setbacks, but through sheer hard work and public support, it has pulled through. Now thriving, Black Swan is a vibrant, dynamic Arts Centre, which raises cultural levels in Frome and reaches all ages and audiences.
Black Swan Arts continues to work towards being a hub for the community and for local, national and international artists, showing high quality, accessible art. A vital part of the centre is the provision of studio and workshop spaces, where visitors can see works in progress, as well as the ever-popular café and shop. A charitable Arts organisation run by a dedicated team of trustees, volunteers and a part-time member of staff, Black Swan’ s vision is to keep expanding its reach and potential. Fund-raising is part of this plan and a renewed Friends Scheme has been developed.
Seamus Nicholson, winner of Black Swan Open 2015, is currently showing photographic work ‘ exploring the peripheral everyday’ inthe Long Gallery. Coming soon (18 March – 15 April), Bath Spa University’ s MA show ‘ The Future Can’ t Wait’ showcases work by post-graduate artists who will give talks, welcome schools to the gallery and engage with young people. Frome Art Society return for their popular exhibition (22 April – 6 May). Last year’ s Open winner Steve Burden returns for a solo show (13 May – 10 June). Human rights artist Ricky Romain will be showing in June, leading to a major touring exhibition ‘ Sketch’ coming to Black Swan (22 July – 3 Sept), followed by textile artist Gladys Paulus’ ‘ Hinterland’ in the Long Gallery. Collaborating with Somerset Art Weeks Festival ’ 17 themed ‘ Prospect’ , the Round Tower Gallery will show Fiona Campbell and Angela Morley’ s new work entitled ‘ Ephemeral and Eternal’.
Always popular, the Black Swan Open and Christmas shows will round up the year. “Our aim is to provide an inspiring, inclusive and welcoming artistic hub, where the community and visitors from afar can enjoy and engage in aspirational and occasionally challenging art. A place where artists and visitors might rise above the mundane, even soar towards the exceptional,” says Amanda Sheridan (Chair of Trustees).
Black Swan’ s new website currently being developed will reflect these values