The Florence Trust has just celebrated its 25th anniversary with a glittery exhibition in Highbury, north London. Many of the anniversary year works by the 12 participating artists are still available to purchase. There's nothing better for developing your artist's eye than to see newly developed work so go ahead and do some artistic talent spotting.*
The Florence Trust (it was named for the city of Firenze) has a relatively simple formula for developing artists. Since 1990, artists have been able to apply for a studio residency lasting a year. The studios themselves are set up in the converted St Saviour's Church in Aberdeen Park Road N5.
Then begins a year of work, artistic development, mentoring, and engagement with the art world. With public exhibitions, gallery tours, group critiques and curatorial visits, the mentees are very busy indeed. Here are just three samples of work emerging from this anniversary year (top to bottom): ceramic by William Martin, installation by Francis Olvez-Wilshaw, and automaton by Ting-Tong Chang (images courtesy of the respective artists).
As well as studio space, the artists work within the neo-gothic splendour of a grade-1 listed, William White designed church set among the quiet green spaces of the park. I was more than a little envious.
But of course the most rewarding thing for someone with a residency is to sell. Selling their work enables elevation from artist to professional artist as well as enabling the artists to fund their work for the year ahead.
Before the 2016 intake arrives in September, take a look at this year's artist page. As well as showcasing the artists' work, it is one illustration of the devoted work that goes on behind the scenes by the studio manager, the director and the trustees on behalf of the following artists:
Phoebe Boswell, Kirsty Buchanan, Susannah Douglas, Anna Jung Seo, Cara Nahaul, Natalia Triviño Lazano, Ting-Tong Chang, Timothy Hon Hung Lee, Fabio Lattanzi Antinori, William Martin, Jonathan Munro, Francis Olvez-Wilshaw
The Florence Trust
Contact neil [at] florencetrust.org
Open from: 1–6pm daily or by appointment
Note: If you feel you lack confidence in your appreciation of art (or don't think you have an eye for art), prove yourself wrong. Google 'art appreciation courses': even a short course will soon bring you up to speed.