Artists flown to island for culture year

David Buck, boss of Citywing, and Helen Fox of the Isle of Man College

David Buck, boss of Citywing, and Helen Fox of the Isle of Man College

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Talented artists are being flown to the island during Island of Culture 2014.

‘Artist on a Plane’ will see a different creative talent visiting the island every month during the Arts Council’s year-long cultural celebration.

The scheme to fly in artists is the idea of Helen Fox, programme manager for art, design and media at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education.

She approached Citywing, which agreed to fund return flights from the UK for the visiting artists.

Helen said: ‘The idea came about through a discussion with our BA honours fine art degree external examiner, Keith McIntyre.

‘Keith, who is head of art at Northumbria University, visited the island in November to launch the Market Hall Project, in which the college and Douglas Council are jointly creating a community arts hub in Market Hill, Douglas. He has kindly agreed to return in January to kick-start Artist on a Plane.

‘The idea is that visiting artists will talk about their work, sharing with us their own journeys,’ Helen said. ‘We have a great mixture of artists coming to talk about a wide range of areas, not just painters. All talks will be free and open to students, teachers, artists – in fact anyone who is interested. Details will be published as each artist is booked.’

Helen added: ‘It is generous of Citywing to sponsor this scheme. It is going to be great to have this drip feed of expertise, fresh faces and new ideas. It is difficult for people to visit exhibitions and access talks off the Island so it is brilliant that, thanks to Citywing’s support, we can bring the artists to us.’

David Buck, managing director of Citywing, said: ‘Island of Culture 2014 promises to be a fabulous celebration of the Isle of Man, its art and the creativity of its people. We are very proud to be playing our part by bringing visiting artists to the island throughout the year.

‘Island of Culture will be an opportunity for those involved in the cultural life of the Island to share their passions with an even wider audience, including many visitors from outside the Isle of Man, and for the Island to welcome performers and artists to our shores to discover our richly diverse culture. Citywing is honoured to be involved.’

Meanwhile, Helen said: ‘Depending on the visiting artists’ commitments, it’s hoped they’ll stay and stage some workshops while they are here and we’d welcome support for that initiative, too.’

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