Activation Exhibition and Workshops at FCG

Forest City Gallery Intern, Emily Simpson discusses Forest City Gallery’s Activation exhibition and workshop after attending both events. 


Activation is an exhibition that showcases the works of emerging local artists with the purpose of better preparing new-generation artists for a professional career in the arts.  Artists are given the opportunity to experience exhibiting with a nationally recognized venue, Forest City Gallery.   Paired with the exhibition are free, public workshops, which are intended to help emerging visual artists personalize their practice.

Forest City Gallery has featured Activation biennially since 2008.  This year, the show is packed again with amazing talent and educational workshops.  The artists, Heather Carey, Gillian Dykeman and Mackenzie Ludlow each showcase their personal style through a variety of medias including painting, sculpture and film. The workshops are held in the gallery itself thus creating a very inviting, personal space, fit for the directive of fostering a stronger community of local artists.  The workshops this year cover a variety of topics including; Social Media and Online Presence for Artists, facilitated by Matt Thomas, Documenting Your Artwork, facilitated by Brad Isaacs, Grant Writing for Artists facilitated by Rebekah Morrison-Wize and Preparing a Strong Gallery Submission Package, facilitated by Andrea Carvalho.
I had the pleasure of attending the workshop on grant writing, held on Thursday September 19th, 2013.  The event was very informative providing information on how to apply for grants through the London Arts Council. As assumed, grants are very competitive by nature; it’s free money!  What I did not realize is how extensive the applications are.  I always assumed the application process was as complex as you made it based on the complexity of your project and how much effort you were going to put into applying for the grant.  I then realized that the specifications concerning project information such as budget reports, supporting materials, compensation amounts and timelines were quite precise.  Specific and limited word counts increase the importance of every statement presented. What I found most helpful was the section on how proposals are evaluated.   Understanding what a council is looking for in regards to grant proposals is essential to your personal proposal.  You could write the best proposal that details the logistics of your project but if you do not include a detailed budget then the council really has no idea why you need their financial help, even if they find your project perfectly suited for their program. With over twenty-five attendees in the Forest City Gallery space, I would have to say that the workshop was quite the success.   Not only did participants learn much applicable knowledge, but it was also a great networking opportunity for the arts community in London.
Activation is still happening until October 18th at Forest City Gallery, located at 258 Richmond Street!  The gallery is open from 12-5pm on Wednesday through Saturday.  I recommend coming out and seeing local artists’ work at London’s own Forest City Gallery!
– Emily Simpson, FCG Intern

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