NEWS

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WE ARE COMMONERS

30 September 2022

We are Commoners is a new exhibition which shows how shared processes, skills and values associated with creative making contribute to thriving commons neighbourhoods.

“The commons means: Things we share/ Places we share/ Systems we share/ Ideas we share/ Culture we share” Peter Barnes, On the Commons co-founder


This thought-provoking Craftspace national touring exhibition which highlights ‘acts of commoning’ is coming to We are the Minories in Colchester on the final leg of its UK tour. These actions are shaping the way communities work together to share and steward commonly owned assets and resources. Through sixteen loans and new commissions artists will bring attention to the issues, contribute their thought leadership and participate in a call to action.


These artists provide a powerful commentary on what society stands to gain from acting to protect and reclaim our global commons. Featuring both UK based and international artists, the exhibition reflects a commons-based shift in thinking from ‘you’re on your own’ to ‘we’re in this together.’ It will investigate how creativity, making and materials can highlight how acts of commoning are creating thriving communities.

Photo: BlackwaterPolytechnic_PhotoSaraImpey

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LOVE ART? LOVE THE MINORIES? LOVE COMMUNITY? BECOME A TRUSTEE!

27 June 2022

We are the Minories is a newly established charity, set up by the Victor Batte-Lay Foundation, to take on the running of the building, and its activities; and we are on the look-out for art and community lovers to become trustees of both charities' boards. Trustees will help shape strategy, spread the word about our work, get involved with fundraising and play an important role in the direction of programming.


We are looking for candidates from all walks of life who are passionate about increasing access to the arts for all sectors of the community, and who may be able to offer skills and energy to help us make that happen. You don’t have to come from a charitable or business background, or have any artistic ability yourselves, but you must be enthusiastic about the benefits of creativity and visual art and have a desire to ensure the Minories works for and in Colchester for many years to come.

Interested parties should email their CV and a short letter of application, stating why they would like to become a trustee and any relevant experience they could bring to the role to Jade Fothergill at info@wearetheminories.com

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IN PICTURES - THE FACES OF OUR ARMED FORCES, CHILDREN'S ART COMPETITION AND WORKSHOPS

May 11th, 2021

We are the Minories is delighted to announce the launch of a children’s art competition, in collaboration with Colchester Garrison, to celebrate Armed Forces Day this year on June 26th.


The competition, called In Pictures – The Faces of Our Armed Forces, is open to all children from 5-18 years old. 


We are asking that children draw an A4 portrait of any member or former member of the Armed Forces that they know and love – it could be their parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent or family friend – as long as they are a serving member of the armed forces, in any role or capacity, or a much loved veteran.


The portraits should be sent to us by post to We are the Minories, 4-5 Trinity Square, Colchester CO1 1JR, as a digital image to info@wearetheminories.com, or dropped off in person at We are the Minories’ pop-up gallery at 4-5 Trinity Square. 


The deadline for entries is Sunday, June 6th. 


(Images will not be returned. Please ensure entries are marked with the artist’s name and age, the name and title of the member of the armed forces pictured and a contact email.).


Additionally, we would love to meet any enthusiastic young artists who would like to be involved (especially if they don’t know any armed forces personnel) at one of a series of FREE artist-led workshops, where members of the armed forces will be available to act as ‘models’. The children who attend the workshops will learn about the diversity of the people who make up our armed forces and the variety of roles they fulfil, as well as receiving instruction and advice on their portraits from professional portrait artists. Materials will be provided.


The workshops will be held on the following dates and times during the Summer half-term holiday at the Long Wyre Street Community Hub:


Ages 5-9: Saturday, May 29th, sessions at 10:30am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 4pm

Ages 10-14: Tuesday, June 1st, sessions at 10:30am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 4pm

Ages 15-18: Wednesday, June 2nd, sessions at 10:30am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 4pm


Each workshop will be limited to 15 children (plus one accompanying responsible adult each) to comply with COVID regulations.


To book a place on one of the free workshops please email Jade at info@wearetheminories.com, with the child’s age, preferred slot (morning or afternoon) and contact details. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Winning entries from the submissions received and those produced at the workshops will receive a certificate of excellence and be included in a portrait exhibition that launches at a special event on Armed Forces Day, June 26thand runs for two weeks at the new Community Hub in Long Wyre Street. The exhibition will be open to the public so everyone can see the children’s talents.


A companion competition will be held in Renkum in the Netherlands where during the WW2 Battle of Arnhem the British 1st Airborne Division landed by parachute and glider and where they made their final stand. Colchester signed a Bond of Friendship with Renkum in 2019 recognising the common bond each district has with the British Airborne Forces and today’s basing in Colchester of 16 Air Assault Brigade.


So, grab your favourite member of the armed forces and get painting! We look forward to receiving your entry!

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WE ARE RECRUITING - PORTRAIT ARTISTS AND TECHNICIANS NEEDED! (PLUS VOLUNTEERS TO WELCOME THE PUBLIC TO OUR EXHIBITIONS!)

April 29, 2021

We are in need of the following:


Portrait artists, with experience in leading workshops for children and adults.


Technicians, with experience in installing exhibitions and creating display spaces. 

Volunteers, to greet the public at our exhibitions, answer any questions and keep an eye on the artwork.

Details in the links!

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PRESS RELEASE - ARTIST RESIDENCIES IN OUR NEW SPACE IN TOWN!

28 January 2021

Read about our exciting take-over of a town centre space, the launch of our Arable artist residencies, and new work soon on display.

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MEET OUR EVALUATOR!

28 January 2021

Meet our Evaluator, Kassandra Lauren Gordon, who will be working across our programme strands to document, evaluate and report on our work and impact: Kassandra is a multi-disciplinary artist and social researcher. 


Kassandra is a spoken word artist who usually focuses on relationships and family. She has headlined a poetry event at Stratford Royal Theatre and performed central stage of the Wandsworth Arts Festival and the Croydon Mela festival. Kassandra has just taken part in the iDENT Festival. The iDENT Festival is a celebration of the wide breadth of the Black experience and diverse culture. It seeks to challenge stereotypes, dispel unconscious biases and stimulate conversation.

Kassandra is also a Black British Jeweller who creates fine bespoke jewellery. In the summer of 2020 she wrote an open letter to the jewellery industry about the experience of Black Jewellers and Silversmiths and industry professionals, highlighting how current practices and systems limit accessibility/entry into the trade for Black people; and a five-point plan to help increase the visibility of Black Jewellers and Silversmiths in the industry and amplify their voices. She launched a fundraising campaign to raise money for Black Jewellers and Silversmiths facing financial hardship which raised £19,885 –exceeding target.

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BUY A LIMITED EDITION POSTER BY JUSTIN KNOPP AND HELP SUPPORT THE MINORIES!

December 14, 2020

Our stunning limited edition posters, designed and donated by Justin Knopp, and currently featuring in the Reverting To Type 2020 exhibition, are now on sale for £50.00, plus £6.90 post and packaging. Drop us a line to place your order!

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PRESS RELEASE - NEW APPOINTMENTS & FOND FAREWELLS

10 December 2020

Read about our progress to date, the team in place working towards reopening and the changes at the Victor Batte-Lay Foundation.

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#CULTURERECOVERYFUND

12th October 2020

We have been awarded a grant by the Culture Recovery Fund to help us towards reopening!