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The 2017 iteration of Conversations in Painting included an exhibition of works, along with a programme of events. These were hosted by three venues across Tees Valley.

Panel Scenario 01: Painting: politics, practice and pedagogy


Crown Street Art Gallery, Darlington, Thursday 2 November 2017, 6.00 - 8.00 pm


Panel speakers: Kerry Harker (Chair and Independent Curator), Stephen Snoddy (Director, The New Art Gallery Walsall), Tony Charles (Artist and Director, Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough), Alicia Paz (Artist) and Gordon Dalton (Artist).

Taking place within the setting of the group exhibition Conversations in painting:  if it fits in the Fiesta, you’re in… the panel considered artistic strategies of autonomy and collectivism, and their relationship to notions of radical pedagogy and to painting as a practice within the specific context of the Tees Valley.


Panel Scenario 02: The Potential of Pointlessness: 

painting between play and pragmatism


Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough, Thursday 16 November 2017, 6.00 - 8.00 pm


Panel speakers: Kerry Harker (Chair and Independent Curator), Dr Jonathan Chapman (Programme Leader, Fine Art CCAD), Paul Stewart (Artist and Lead Curator, Middlesbrough Art Weekender), Philip Gatenby (Artist and Writer) and Sarah Cooney (Artist and Curator).

If gaining consent to engage with painting is ‘tricky’, under what conditions has the Tees Valley nurtured a thriving and unstoppable collective practice, re-energised in its progressive development to imagine more playful and less brutalizing futures in the face of an externally imposed focus on functionality.


Panel Scenario 03: Painting, place and ecology

The Auxiliary, Stockton-on-Tees, Monday 4 December 2017, 6.00 - 8.00 pm

Panel speakers: Kerry Harker (Chair and Independent Curator), Kevin Hunt (Artist and Independent Curator), Keren Pearson (Director, The House of Blah Blah), Paul Stewart (Artist and Lead Curator, Middlesbrough Art Weekender) and Elinor Morgan (Senior Curator, mima).

Conversations in Painting… takes inspiration from the singularity of expertise relating to painting in the Tees Valley. Within this ecology the seemingly distanced evolution of artist-led initiatives and studio groups rethink the meaning of social architecture to repurpose urban space for the exchange of knowledge, expertise and skills in cultural production. This panel focused on how artist-led activity enables an engagement with painting, in all its evolving guises.


Artist Hosting Sessions in the Gallery


Crown Street Art Gallery, Darlington

Visitors and guests: were also invited to offer their thoughts and ideas in response to the work on show by sharing Conversations in Painting… with artist exhibitors in the informal setting of the gallery throughout the exhibition.

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