Over the past 10 weeks the Arts Council loan collection has been undergoing some much needed maintenance.
The Loan Collection is comprised of 395 artworks, from some of the most prolific Manx and international artists of the past 25 years These artworks include artists such as; David Hockney, Paula Rego, Chris Killip and Norman Sayle. The Collection is currently spread across the island at over 40 different locations.
Many artworks can be found on the walls of primary and secondary schools, offering students and teachers the opportunity to see the artworks as the vital educational resource that they are. Other work from the collection can also be viewed in many of the islands public spaces in an effort by the Arts Council to raise awareness and engagement with arts and culture. Such spaces include; Nobles Hospital, the Villa Arcade and even the Snaefell Summit café.
There are also works from the collection that are on permanent display such as Michael Sandles' Viking at the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin. The Arts Council Loan Collection is unique on the Isle of Man, as no other collection has such a diverse catalogue of artists and artwork on display at such a variety of locations.
The scale and diversity of the collection has made this summer's maintenance a challenge but thanks to the support and cooperation of so many of these locations, the task has been made a trouble free undertaking. As much of the collection was purchased almost 20 years ago, many of the artworks, especially their frames are in need of some superficial repairs. Therefore the visitation of each location has been vital so that each piece of art work can be assessed individually.
It has also been an important opportunity to gather feedback from each location and arrange for some of the artworks to be changed for new ones; as many pieces have been in the same place for almost 10 years.
Moving forward the aim is to promote the arts collection more effectively and ensure that everyone has access to all of our artwork.
With the Arts Councils 25th anniversary year taking place in 2018 expect hear lots more about the Arts council and the Loan Collection in the coming months.