Yes! You heard this first on Artlyst! This summer, Bow Arts will open a new artist studio complex at London Dock – in the former home to News International – that will see 90 emerging artists being granted affordable and secure workspace in the heart of London’s Artist Quarter. This development marks the 20th anniversary of the east London-based educational arts charity, which actively supports a community of over 400 artists.
The launch will come shortly before Bow Arts’ renowned Open Studios Weekend (Friday 19th- Saturday 20th June) – this year curated by Shahidha Bari – which attracts 3,000 visitors annually. The Open seeks to make artists and art more accessible to the public by offering them the opportunity to meet the best of London’s emerging talent in their own creative workspaces. It’s inspiring to see practices bouncing off one another, to discover new processes by looking at works still in progress and, rather than see the face of art, to see the humble and friendly beginnings of it too (Aesthetica).
Bow Arts’ Chief Executive, Marcel Baettig, comments: I am enormously proud of what the organisation has achieved in its first 20 years and how many emerging artists we are now able to support. I am delighted with the calibre of guests we have speaking at the opening of The Rum Factory, all of whom are tremendously supportive of the work Bow Arts does.
Sir Nicholas Serota comments: East London remains a special place for me having worked at the Whitechapel Gallery for twelve years from 1976. Then, as now, East London was a home and workplace for London’s creative talent, yet as property values rise this is becoming increasingly limited and hard to provide. We must do all we can to retain affordable spaces for young artists to develop their skills in London, ensuring they become future leaders in their field.
Munira Mirza adds: Bow Arts’ new studio complex is an exciting development for artists in London. We published a survey into studio space last year and it is clear that lack of affordable workspace could impact on London’s reputation as a centre for creativity. The Rum Factory facility for young artists shows what can be done when successful organisations like Bow Arts come together with forward looking developers. I hope this will inspire similar collaborations elsewhere in the capital.
Bow Arts provides practical support and encouragement for emerging artists by managing a large network of affordable studios, a dynamic programme of innovative arts and cultural events, employment opportunities and networking resources. In 2013, they delivered around £1m worth of subsidy through their affordable workspace programme and supported over 400 artists.
The Rum Factory studios are being provided in the refurbished Pennington Street Warehouse which is part of the London Dock development by property developers, St George. Bow Arts and St George are working in partnership to restore the warehouse, which has been closed to the public for over 200 years.
Artists looking for workspace are able to apply for a studio through Bow Arts’ website, Here. The Rum Factory studios will be in use from 1st June 2015.