Who’s the fairest of them all?
Public museums and galleries across the country have been tasked by Arts Council England to examine their inclusivity and relevance to the communities they serve. In a bold new project, Canterbury’s Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is working in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery as part of the National Skills Sharing Partnership Programme to curate a new exhibition inspired by the Canterbury Museums and Galleries Vision statement to explore:
“Who we were, who we are and who we want to be”
The exhibition will feature portraits from both the national and local collections that have celebrated Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay’s notable associations and residents. We will look back over time to discover who we have revered and why.
We will acknowledge the gaps, the omissions and the forgotten histories, but most importantly we will look to the future to challenge ourselves to discover what equitable representation looks like.
Call for portrait sitters
As part of the Mirror Mirror project, The Beaney asked the public to submit portrait sitter nominations to be represented in the 3 art commissions. These portraits will represent who we choose to celebrate in our communities today.
Public nominations closed on Monday 21 February 2022.
The nominations will be shortlisted before a panel of judges to select the successful candidates.
The Judging Panel
Following the public nominations, a mixed panel of industry professionals and community leaders will meet to discuss and vote on the shortlisted nominees.
The panel will include:
1 x Councillor
1 x CCC Executive Officer
1 x Professional Artist (Artist Mentor with work already in the Canterbury collection)
3 x Community leaders from Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay
1 x CCC Museum & Galleries representative
3 x Portrait Artists
Further information about The National Skills Sharing Partnership Programme can be found by visiting their website.
Call for artists
As well as calling for portrait sitters, The Beaney also offered Artist Opportunities for 3 early career artists, passionate about portraiture, to produce the 3 new commissions. Successful applicants will be part of the portrait selection panel, reviewing a shortlist of public nominations to decide who will be featured in the new work.
They will then work alongside award-winning artist Sarah Spencer to produce the portraits, to be displayed as part of the Mirror Mirror exhibition, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, and to be accessioned into the City’s historic Collection.
Applications closed on Monday 14 February 2022.