Motorcade/FlashParade is an artist run space in Bedminster and I have been volunteering there since January. I spent every Monday in the office there, working on the Marketing (sending press releases, social media, organising the website) and it is something that I really enjoy doing. There are only three of us who work there and we all do it voluntarily. Any money made in the gallery (such as from our national open) goes straight back into the gallery and, therefore, helps supports the artists who exhibited there.
Obviously I get a lot out of being part of the team. Not only am I building useful skills that I wouldn't have gained otherwise, but I really feel like the space is a wonderful place for the artistic community in Bristol, and adds to the already vibrant artistic scene. One thing I sometimes find difficult as an artist is sometimes being told that 'London is the place to be'. I find this a little depressing, as I think that there is some really excellent art being shown outside of London in smaller cities and towns. I sometimes get the feeling that cities outside London which display art are viewed as provincial backwaters, when in fact there are some really exciting shows going on. Therefore, it excites me when I know that some of the shows put on at M/FP are of high quality and are helping to build upon Bristols reputation as a place where innovative art is being produced and shown.
The big thing which I am helping to work on at the moment is Motorcades National Open. The deadline is not until the 21st of October, but already a lot of work has gone into publicising it. Some (often large, established galleries) charge a lot of money for open competitions. The £15 charge (for up to three works and six images) will go straight back into the gallery space and not into some big void. As a gallery we also really want to build relationships who show are selected for the National Open. The 1st prize includes a solo show at the space (as well as £500).