Thursday, 17 May 2007

Saltburn Artist Projects

If you walk behind our school students on their way home, as I frequently do , although the police let me off with a caution last time, you will see some who are very keen to call in at Saltburn Gallery. Which I would never have found otherwise. It is situated on Marske Road and is a comfortably sized venue for visitors young and old.

Saltburn Artists Projects have run the gallery since 1998, apparently. It was news to me. I expect it's news to you too. It is funded by Arts Council England Norteast to the tune of more than £20,000 per year, with a further £50,000 from the Northern Rock Foundation together with further grants from the local council, the lottery fund etc etc. Lauren Doolally, the Development Manager told me that Saltburn Artists Projects 'has a strong board of trustees with the chair coming from Leeds.'

I didn't understand. Surely we have plenty of chairs in Saltburn.

'We give the school kids sweets to make the exhibits out of yoghurt pots and stuff,' continued Ms Dolally, 'while me and the other 'Artists' get on with the important business of filling in the grant application forms. Let's face it, if we had to rely on selling our 'artworks' we'd starve to death.'

She went on to say 'Being development manager has given me good experience in screwing the public for every penny and this place has lots of potential. We aim to fill in as wide a variety of grant application forms as possible.'

It is hard not to admire Ms Doolally's comittment. A recent page from the visitors' book recorded a return visit from someone from down south which said 'We come to Saltburn regularly and always make a point of visiting this gallery. The work is invariably laughable and well worth the time.'

Marion Morrison

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