The Fellows Artist's Network (FAN) began one autumn day in 2011. It was the idea of RSA Fellow Ann Kristin Glenster, a writer producer, who felt that, despite the word 'arts' in the RSA's name, there was little opportunity for working artists to come together and talk about what mattered to them. Andrew Darke, an environmental artist; Mark Power, an architect; Hazel Chandler, a film maker and Philip Emery, a musician, became the core members. All are RSA Fellows, but guests are always welcome at FAN meetings.
Artists are often isolated from the rest of the world, working alone in their studio or at their computer. We all felt we wanted to meet others in a similar position and talk about anything from art to funding, ethics to editorial control. We have had meetings that discussed our response to Arts Council funding proposals but also meetings that included a tour of the Jubiloo at South Bank, designed by Mark Power. Sometimes we agree on an exhibition to go and see and start the meeting with a discussion and then move on to other subjects.
Four years later and we are all agreed that we get something from the group that we don't get anywhere else: support, interesting debate, an ear that also understands the treachery of funding and challenging ideas from artists in different disciplines. Cake, tea or a drink are usually somewhere nearby.
But we are not just a group who like to come together and talk. We want our voices to be heard and, having spent several months engaged in responding to funding proposals and attending RSA/Arts Council meetings, we decided our response should take a more artistic approach. Hence our first project (see article about What's On Your Walls?). We hope it is just the beginning and there will be many more projects to come with new members’ involvement. We meet approximately 4 times a year in central London, more often if there is something in development. So please join us.
Our next event will be a guided architectural visit. Find out more here.