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Art Fund hands out £5m grants to fund galleries’ contemporary art collections

12 November 2007Written by ATG Reporter

The Art Fund have announced the five £1m winners of Art Fund International, the scheme dedicated to building collections of international contemporary art at regional UK museums and galleries.

The initiative, launched in April, aimed to create partnerships between UK institutions and contemporary art organisations. There were 29 applications, with ten being shortlisted.

The winners were: Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives in partnership with Bristol's Arnolfini arts centre; Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art in partnership with Glasgow's The Common Guild; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in partnership with New York's The Drawing Centre; Eastbourne's Towner Art Gallery in partnership with Photoworks of Brighton; Brighton Photo Biennial and ArtSway of Hampshire; and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and New Art Gallery Walsall in partnership with Ikon of Birmingham (The West Midlands Partnership).

The Bristol winners will focus on urbanisation, tradition, identity, globalisation and migration.

Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art aims to establish an international context for their recent acquisitions of Scottish art, concentrating on photography, film, video, audio and text-based work.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art will build a collection of drawings by artists living and working in North and South America.

The collection at East-bourne's Towner Art Gallery will reflect upon images of edges, including physical boundaries (the beach, the horizon), social frontiers (national boundaries, conflict zones), and social migration (across Europe, between the USA and Mexico).

Finally, the theme of the West Midlands partnership, The Metropolis - reflections of modern urban life, will explore city life and the diversity, dynamism and growth of the contemporary metropolis.

The £1m allocated to each partnership must be spent over the next five years on specific purchases and commissions of contemporary art by non-British living artists.

By Stephanie Harris

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