In 2021 artworks by East Midlands-based artists Bruce Asbestos, Christopher Samuel, Joey Holder and Michael Forbes were acquired by the Government Art Collection through the Art X-UK Acquisitions project. CVAN EM worked with the Government Art Collection to champion and support sustainable artist practice in the region.
About Art X-UK Acquisitions
The Government Art Collection collaborated with Contemporary Visual Art Network (CVAN, 9 regions across England), Scottish Visual Art Network (SCAN), Visual Arts Group Wales (VAGW) and the Belfast Art Forum to collect new works by 45 visual artists from across the UK, celebrating and supporting the diversity of creativity across the Union.
This project has enabled the Collection to support 45 artists, acquiring over 90 works, and spending £230,000 across the UK. As part of the nomination process, the Government Art Collection asked each network to form a group and put forward the artists’ names, providing a statement on their selection process for transparency, including a list of the selectors. Collection curators went on a virtual tour of artists’ studios to select works for the Collection to display in government buildings worldwide. Art X-UK, supported by the Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection, was a unique way of responding to the impact of COVID-19 on the visual arts sector. Asked to consider diverse representation of artists within each region, of the 45 artists 24 are women, 2 identify as non-binary, 20 as minority ethnic, 6 as LGBTQ+, and 4 with disclosed disability.
The Government Art Collection partnership has enabled an incredible opportunity for artists across England. Our nine regions from Cornwall to Cumbria put forward artists that perhaps are not well represented by major collections and institutions. It has been an honour that CVAN could provide this platform and work with GAC to support artists during such a critical time. – Paula Orrell, National Director, Contemporary Visual Art Network