Dear friends of Art Outreach,
As the year draws to a close, we take a moment to reflect on how our programmes and community of beneficiaries, patrons, and supporters has grown this year.
2023 marked a significant year for Art Outreach as we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We commemorated this milestone by unveiling a fresh logo, and undertaking a strategic relocation to a new space within Gillman Barracks at the start of the year. This move opened up new possibilities by allowing us to dedicate a larger space for art practitioners to organise exhibitions with enhanced flexibility, host talks and workshops, and launch new initiatives.
Among the initiatives we proudly launched this year was our sustainable exhibition series Off the Wall, which features artists live-painting murals, which are later transformed into prints for public purchase. This unique programme not only allows the public to witness the creative process and dedication firsthand, but also offers an opportunity to own a piece of the artists’ work. From October to November, we presented the inaugural edition, Modern Wisdoms, featuring the works of ANTZ, Chris Chai and Lewis Choo. Support the artists and our programmes by purchasing a print – browse the full Off the Wall collection on our website, with prices starting at $48!
Leveraging the expanded opportunities presented by our new space, we were able to present exhibitions year-round, with [hearth] being a cornerstone of our efforts. This free art space programme allowed us to support 54 art practitioners and present 15 showcases this year. We thank our panel of curators – Syaheedah Iskandar, Eunice Lacaste, Zarina Muhammad, Berny Tan and John Tung — for volunteering their time to reviewing and selecting the growing number of projects from the open call.
We also offered a series of professional development workshops providing tailored insights and practical tips for those seeking a career in the arts. Five engaging sessions were hosted this year for 233 participants, and we thank our speakers for generously sharing their experiences on topics such as artist-gallery relationships, networking in the arts, and hands-on skills for installing and lighting exhibitions.
In collaboration with Singapore HeritageFest, also celebrating their 20th anniversary, we presented exclusive tours to the public in May, featuring highlights from the Land Transport Authority’s Art-in-Transit programme! The tours covered the site-specific artworks in 4 key stations on the North East Line – Dhoby Ghaut, Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Outram Park – and we thoroughly enjoyed the feedback from the passionate participants. We even launched a virtual tour to extend this experience online, ensuring many more can now explore it from anywhere in the world.
Our commitment to fostering art accessibility extends to our ARTLink Community Programme, which brings free art workshops to underprivileged children in social service agencies across Singapore twice a year during school holidays. In the recent November/December sessions, we collaborated with artist Wendy Zhang to conduct natural history illustration workshops for four community partners – PPIS 7Oaks Bedok, Foundation of Rotary Club Singapore, SunCare, The Grit Project. The children delved into watercolour techniques and enhanced their observational skills while exploring the captivating world of insect specimens.
Finally, we bid farewell to the IMPART Art Prize, culminating in six remarkable years of celebrating 18 awardees and recognising 7 Honourable Mentions. This evolution is part of a transformative journey into expanded opportunities for the art community. The team is hard at work on a new initiative set to launch in 2025: the Art Outreach Summit, which promises impactful presentations, critical portfolio reviews, and global networking opportunities for participants, and we can’t wait to share more with you.
As we turn our focus to 2024, Art Outreach will be unveiling a dynamic lineup for Singapore Art Week. From senior artists to emerging talents and private collector showcases, our slate of exhibitions will celebrate and spotlight the rich tapestry of voices within the artistic community.
Best wishes for the holiday season,
Your friends at Art Outreach