Artist Breakfast Club; looking forward and back

We are very excited about the return of the Artist Breakfast Club this Autumn. This is an ongoing free resource at The Model for artists to share knowledge and connect through their practice. Due to COVID 19 restrictions and the challenges that have come with it, the Artist Breakfast Club will be going digital for the Autumn season, a format we successfully explored with artist Nichole Flanagan during the lock-down. Artists are more isolated than ever before, working from home without access to the local artist community. Unable to get together due to restrictions on gatherings has impacted on the a healthy arts scene.  One of the goals of The Artist Breakfast Club has been to develop peer-to-peer connections between local artists, across all the art forms in the hope that we can build on and develop a more thriving local art ecology.

Before we talk about what we have planned for this autumn, I thought we would look back at the last year or so of artist breakfasts as we have come a long way since then, thanks  to your continued support.

Since February 2019 we have hosted a whole range of artists and organisation. Emerging Sligo-based artist collective BaHa talked about their exhibition Uninhabited where they used unconventional and unused spaces to exhibit their work. Their fantastic use of unused spaces in Sligo really showed what can be achieved by emerging artists. We had Lesley Ryan form local resource Creative Frame explaining the organisation’s role in creating opportunities for artists based in the North-West through workshops and seminars. We are also delighted to welcome Editor of the Visual Artist Newsletter Joanne Law’s, who joined us to discuss the history and structure of VAN (Visual Artist Newsletter!) since it’s inception.

What has been a great matter of pride for us is our roundup of opportunities for artists locally, national and internationally. Whether it be open call workshops or funding opportunities.

No two Artist Breakfast Clubs have been the same. Each Breakfast Club has had different mixes of new and recurring faces. All have brought their own experiences that benefited the clubs. Even the structure of each club we organised have been unique to each other. From art book exchanges where artists could swap their favourite art books with each other, to open discussions, members have found new experiences with each club. We have had presentations from experts explaining what is available to artists, and open discussions where everyone explores topics relevant to them, we even had the great pleasure to host the opening of the artist Emma Stroude’s exhibition Treading A Fine Line!  

Group critique sessions where local and emerging artists presented their work to their peers and visiting International artists to The Model have been our most enduring and fondly remembered events, where a wealth of knowledge and advice was shared. The Model Artists-In-Residence Mattis Kuhn and Kate Mac Donagh took time out from their studio to talk about their practice with the group.

What better way to continue the Artist Breakfast Club this autumn than with more artist presentations and peer-to-peer discussion. If you live in the area, you are invited to submit an expression of interest to make a presentation of your work to a peer-led audience (limited attendance). This will be online and will include an opportunity for you to discuss your practice with your peers. Connecting artists in the northwest and shining a light on the vibrant art scene in Sligo even during what can only be described as challenging times for everyone involved in the creative sector is more important than ever. We look forward to hearing from you with expressions of interest to