Speed dating for artists? Yes, and it's coming to Dungog

HELPFUL HINTS: Brigette Uren, cultural director of Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Picture: Simone De Peak.
HELPFUL HINTS: Brigette Uren, cultural director of Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Picture: Simone De Peak.

It’s a bit like speed dating, but with a twist.

And it’s coming to Dungog next week.

You have five to eight minutes to get to know the other person and hear what they have to say, then off you go merrily down the line to the next person.

But this isn’t about finding your lifelong soulmate, this is called Speed Dating for Visual Artists – and it’s about introducing local artists to professionals from the art world for some valuable one-on-one tuition.

This is the third Speed Date gathering for artists and is the brainchild of Mark Reedman, executive director of Arts Upper Hunter.

“We have held speed dates in the Upper Hunter and they have been well received,” Mark said. “So we have decided to bring the concept to Dungog.”

So, on October 25 at Dungog RSL, 15 local visual artists will get the chance to present their works to a panel – what is the collective noun for a gathering of speed dating people? – of art professionals for some honest feedback.

The panel are some of the region’s most influential art people. They include  Elissa Emerson (Public Programs Officer, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre), Christopher Saunders (General Manager, Renew Newcastle), Rachel Saunders (Director, Gloucester Gallery), Brigette Uren (Cultural Director, Maitland Regional Gallery) and Ahn Wells (Owner and Director, Gallery 139).

“It’s to help the artists get professional feedback to help them develop,” Mr Reedman said. “They can bring along an example of their paintings, ceramics, sculptures whatever to get some honest appraisal.

“We have had instances where it has led to an artist getting a chance to exhibit at a gallery, but that’s not necessarily the aim. This is more about letting the artist build a rapport with the professionals, showcase their work and get a constructive critique.”

Mr Reedman says there will be only 15 artist who can speed date (cost $15), and if more than that apply, they will be hand selected.

Those interested should apply to rado@artsupperhunter.com.au with a link to online images of your work or three jpegs of your work by October 16.