Pre 2012 – In March 31st 2011 LAN lost its funding, bringing about some major changes. The original LAN organisation closed down, making Celia Cross, former director and Chris Young, newsletter editor, redundant. Determined to see LAN continue Celia called a series of meetings with former members to find out what they wanted, from which a small group of working artists enthusiastically stepped up and formed a Steering Group to try and take LAN forward, on a voluntary basis.
A new website was needed to try and continue to digest the various arts events and opportunities around the region but with no funds or resources, it was clearly necessary to make use of free social media and blogging tools so initially a WordPress blog was set up. Data Protection requirements meant that past members were required to sign up again to join the mailing list, causing some confusion but a steady number signed up, showing that there was indeed still a role for LAN.
Over the following 12 months much happened to try and rebuild LAN, including holding a networking event and producing two further issues of the newsletter whilst planning a new website but gradually many of the original steering group stepped down, due to lack of time or having moved away from the area. A small core team kept endeavouring to take LAN forward, despite constraints on time and resources until eventually only a few remained.
2012 – In April 2012 this brand new website was launched, which incorporates all of the information posted over the previous year on the old blog, to follow the ethos of the old, original LAN website by allowing members to post their own news, events and opportunities – register here
In September 2012 LAN was successful in obtaining a Small Arts Grant and with it organised a very successful Open exhibition at Oxheys Mill Studios in Preston, in which more than 70 artists, all LAN members, took part and a number of sales were made on the well-attended opening night.
2013 – Although no funding was available, a similar exhibition was organised 2013 on a purely voluntary basis by a couple of individual members and again hosted generously by Oxheys Mill Studios in Preston. This was another successful event with over 80 LAN members taking part.
2014 – Oxheys very kindly stepped up to offer LAN members another opportunity for an Open exhibition in the summer of 2014. Once again, this was organised by, curated and hosted by two member resident artists at Oxheys. Around 70 artists again were featured in the exhibition with another successful opening night. LAN members also were given the opportunity to take part in the Arts Market in Preston, also organised by Oxheys.
2015 – Another successful Open exhibition was staged during the summer of 2015, once again hosted, organised and curated on a voluntary basis by Oxheys Mill Studios in Preston. In order for LAN members’ work to be showcased in the pilot Lancashire Encounter festival in September 2015, Oxheys extended the exhibition so that it would form part of the event offering. Oxheys’ residents held a pop-up exhibition in the Harris Museum & Gallery in Preston whilst directing visitors to the LAN exhibition in the project space in their mill on Stanhope Street. Our very grateful thanks to Oxheys for their support.
The Open exhibition has become an annual event with the support kindly provided by Oxheys but for this to continue funds will need to be raised along with some support from LAN members to help organise and man the event. Anyone who would like to volunteer, please contact us.
Similarly, we need to seek some funds to be able to continue providing this website to cover the costs of hosting and renewing the domain name, which have been kindly provided to us at no charge for the last 3 years.
All donations very gratefully received.
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