This autumn we thanked our longstanding Chair, Ann Gunn, for her great support as she departed Fife to fully establish her life in Edinburgh. As we welcome Wesley Rennison as our new Chair we asked Ann for a few words reflecting on her experience in charge!
13 years ago this month I took my first meeting as Chair of Fife Contemporary Art & Craft; so it is quite neat that this farewell appears in the November newsletter. Inevitably, quite a lot has changed since 2007 and it has been interesting to look back and see what has happened. Some change has been quite major – at that time one main funder was the Scottish Arts Council, soon to become part of Creative Scotland. The other was Fife Council and our main partners, Fife museums, were still part of the Council. They moved to trust status as Fife Cultural Trust in 2013, necessitating the development of new relationships and ways of working.
In contrast to these external tectonic shifts, I feel FCA&C has evolved gently. In 2007 we were just working out how to be an arts organisation without a venue of our own, meeting the challenges of creating an identity that audiences would recognise and running programmes with a wide range of partners in a variety of venues. Over the years we have learned what works for our different audiences: curating innovative shows for our exhibition visitors; running creative projects for groups such as young carers; and developing events and resources for artists and makers. In due course we felt confident enough in our identity to rebrand as Fife Contemporary, (so much easier to say!)
Some things have stayed the same over the years. The values of the organisation and the commitment to high quality art and craft have not changed, and nor have the dedication, creativity, commitment and resilience of the staff: Diana, Susan, Arlene and Stefanie. It was a privilege working with them and with the changing members of the Board who came and went, and I look forward to watching, from a safe distance, what happens next.
PS all-time favourite exhibition – the Marzee Collection.