Thursday, 23 January 2020

Introduction to Art Licks, currently in residence at The NewBridge Project

Last night's event at The NewBridge Project was a chance to meet Holly Willats, founder and Director of Art Licks, and hear her introduce the new project that she has just begun with The NewBridge Project. 

Holly began by giving a potted history of the life of Art Licks, and introduced us to it's various facets.

After graduating with an English Degree from Newcastle University, Holly returned to London and began working in a commercial Gallery. She wanted to meet artists, talk ideas, and see non-commercial art, but felt frustrated about how difficult it was to find information about artist-led galleries and art networks. Her response was to establish Art Licks. It began, in 2010, as a website listing the exhibitions and events happening in London at artist run spaces, project spaces, galleries, collectives, curatorial groups and non-profit galleries and organisations.

In it's 10-year history, Art Licks has expanded

"to provide an essential platform and voice for the lesser-known and under-represented activities that form the grassroots of visual culture in London. Art Licks exists as a website, tours, printed magazine, learning programme, commissioning programme and annual London-wide festival: the Art Licks Weekend, all supporting the work of artists at a critical early stage in their careers, providing the situation to create new networks & audiences. This has become vital given the financial pressures on UK-based artists with increased costs of living, lack of studio provision & competitive funding streams."

For 2020, Art Licks are carrying out a new project for its printed magazine: producing three issues from different cities across the country, starting with Newcastle.

This trilogy of Art Licks magazine aims to explore the varying practices and artist communities across the country: their entrepreneurial methods of collaboration, structures of support, adventurous programming and tactics for sustainability. Based from Newcastle, Birmingham, and Bristol; with host partners The NewBridge Project, Recent Activity, and east bristol contemporary.

Newcastle is the first of the three cities to host Holly, and conversations sparked during the three-week residency at The NewBridge Project will form the basis of the magazine. Rebecca Huggan, director of The NewBridge Project, will guest co-edit the magazine.

Holly and Rebecca had a few prompts and questions to get the group thinking and talking about what we would like the Newcastle Art Licks to include.

To follow the project blog with updates from Newcastle visit

I'm looking forward to talking more with Holly and seeing how the project develops.

No comments: