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The Nicer Tuesdays crowd (Photo by GT)

Work / Nicer Tuesdays

Last night’s Nicer Tuesdays was all about art – here’s what happened

Last night’s Nicer Tuesdays was themed around art and we welcomed four speakers who looked at the topic from the perspectives of education, research, curation and publication.

First up we heard from Neil Griffiths, founder of the Arts Emergency charity. Describing himself as “part uncle, part agitator, part administrator,” his organisation was born out of “ a lot of passion and lot of anger.” Its mission is to open up careers in the creative and media industries to people who don’t enjoy the privileges that often give certain people a head start. From this simple idea the charity has grown to working with thousands of young people offering one-to-one mentoring and practical help like UCAS advice and vocal coaching for auditions. “We have got a toxic situation,” Neil explained in terms of financial cuts for arts education,” so we are doing something very practical and very positive.”

After Neil we heard from photographer Dan Tobin Smith who talked us through his extraordinary London Design Festival installation of colour-coded clutter called The First Law Of Kipple. “LDF is always about new things – a slightly different kind of chair – so it was interesting to extend it to things that are kind of useless,” Dan explained. He talked us through his inspirations rooted in an interest in the laws of thermodynamics, and the practical considerations such as drawing up a definitive definition of what actually constituted kipple. But at its heart the piece had very universal appeal – “We can all relate to this idea of stuff,” Dan said.

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Neil Griffiths of Arts Emergency kicks off the evening (Photo by GT)

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Dan Tobin Smith shares his inspirations (Photo by GT)

First up after the break we heard from Jessica Vaughan, programme coordinator at Studio Voltaire. She looked at the difference between commissioning and curating and explained that at Studio Voltaire, “there is a huge emphasis on risk-taking, and putting the artist at the centre of everything we do.” Focusing on their latest show with Turner Prize nominee Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jessica explained how she helps bring this challenging and provocative work to life. “I work with artists not art objects to make things happen, she said, but conceded, “as a curator you do spend a lot of time thinking about funding.”

Our final speakers were Lee Belcher and David Mckendrick – formerly of Wallpaper* and Esquire respectively – whose new venture B.A.M. has just redesigned the magazine for art auction house Christie’s. The pair talked us through how they developed the new look and feel, mainly by immersing themselves in the Christie’s archives. “There were a few things we stole, I mean paid homage to,” David explained, such as a “confident use of multiple typefaces.” They also explained why they were so keen to put the art work itself front and centre. “We felt very strongly about moving away from putting people on the cover and really making the most of what they’ve got.”

Thanks to our sponsors Park Communications, everyone who came along and our speakers. Nicer Tuesdays will return with a food-themed evening on the last Tuesday of November.

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The crowd at Nicer Tuesdays (Photo by GT)

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Jessica Vaughan giving her talk (Photo by GT)

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Lee Belcher and David Mckendrick on stage (Photo by GT)

Sponsored by Park Communications

Founded in 1991, Park Communications is considered by many to be London’s preeminent printer. With a roster of both corporate and cultural clients, Park is a one-stop-shop to translate, artwork, print and bind literature of many different kinds, from the finest coffee table books and catalogues, through FTSE annual reports, to niche market magazines and brochures. Working closely with clients to develop bespoke creative solutions, Park’s reputation is built on the highest quality, reliability and flexibility.

They have brought their professionalism to both our Printed Pages magazine and the It’s Nice That Annual 2013, and we look forward to working with them in 2014 and beyond. To contact Park, email Alison at [email protected] or via the website www.parkcom.co.uk.