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Blog: Blog2

Member exhibitions in 2021: a new artist's viewpoint.

In 2021, I was able to put on two exhibitions for Living from Art members - at Parabola Arts Centre in June and October. New members have priority and they offer a supportive and affordable opportunity to exhibit for new artists. I always enjoy seeing how the chosen artists work supportively together and offer a very varied selection of work.

Young artist, Catrin Elder, joined up after visiting the June exhibition and was part of a group of 12 artists exhibiting in October. Here she shares some of her memories.

"A bit of background…

2021 has been quite the year for me, as it has for most people. After 5+ years in my job as a nursery practitioner, I quit in the Spring of 2021. I have always experienced anxiety since my early teens, however the start of 2021 it took a turn for the worse. I was lucky enough to have a few commissions which meant I knew I would be okay financially for a couple of months without a job. I always wished to be brave/confident enough to make a living from Art, (at least just doing it alongside a part time job), but never fully believed in myself. However this was my calling! So you can understand after a summer of being able to do Art full time for the first half, I was thrilled after joining Living from Art to be planning for my first ever exhibition at Parabola Arts Centre!

Setting up

It was a steep learning curve! I had done Art in the Park a couple of times before, which is a more causal set up, however the Parabola Arts Centre in Montpellier is a beautiful and grand building. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Cheltenham College! I discovered a new and very efficient, (once you got used to it!) hanging style using nylon hanging cords. Although I had measured the space I had in the exhibition at home and planned where to place my chosen work, it didn’t exactly go to plan! I also discovered I had put all the D rings on the back of the picture frames too low down, so they had to be taken out and refitted! I was so grateful to have the help and support of Leanne Courtney-Crowe @wild_and_abstract. As she said I was ”like a rabbit caught in headlights!” So she made sure I had the right fittings for the frames, and together we worked out where to place each of my paintings on the wall. So thank you very much Leanne!

Opening night

What a night it was! There was a great crowd of people, a real buzz! People happy to be attending art exhibitions after a year of restrictions. I invited quite a few of my friends and relatives, and was thrilled to have sold 3 paintings! Two of my relatives brought a landscape painting and a neighbour brought an abstract mixed media piece. Needless to say, I was delighted with this and went home to celebrate with my housemate with a pizza and a bottle of prosecco!"

Catrin continued to sell cards and other pieces during the exhibition, and it was lovely to see her confidence grow as she talked to the public about art, her own and others, during the rest of the exhibition, She has been busy ever since, exploring new ways to develop her work and I know she is looking forward to new opportunities to exhibit in 2022, as well as ways to expand her list of people who know and like her work.

I don't yet have confirmed dates for two new exhibitions in 2022, but I am very much looking forward to working with a different group of artists each time, seeing how they 'fit together' to give each exhibition its own flavour. I am confident that whoever joins in, we will all continue to learn together and to support new artists with all the challenges of exhibiting for the first time.

Find Catrin's new work on Instagram @catrinfineart and

Keep in touch with Living from Art and 2022 developments by contacting me through the website - please say if you are an artist or an art supporter, so I can sign you up for the most appropriate newsletter.

Looking forward to a wonderful year of art exhibitions for us all to enjoy.

Anna Poulton


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