Happy birthday Art

ArtVandley
Art Vandelay

It’s Art’s birthday.  I had forgotten all about it until Facebook reminded me.  Art is not a real person, he is a figment of my imagination and his story goes back to July 2009.  I was working at North Tyneside Council at the time and we had just moved into the nice new Quadrant building on the Cobalt.  I was part of the team that got us there but that is for another day.  The new building was lovely if not bland. There were acres of white walls which were just begging for something to hang on them.

Paul, one of the directors approached me about an installation by a young artist Stephanie Imbeau which had to come out of the exhibition space in Tynemouth Station. He asked if we could get it placed in the new building. I was looking after Facilities Management and so it was in my gift to oblige. It looked great on top of the yoghurt pot, eventually, as the reception desk became known. And that was the start of my brief yet stellar career in the creative arts.

We ended up with the local sixth form end of year shows on the walls and it was great to see the smiles on the young faces as they and their parents were able to look at their work on ‘the street’ that runs the length of the building.  

We had some fascinating artists and my biggest claim to fame was to show “Flight” by Annette Chevalier in the entrance atrium, which was inspired by the Iraq War and the contrasting emotions of peace and conflict. The work was purchased by North Tyneside Council and forms part of the Council’s art collection.

The Quadrant campus became a venue for exhibitions and art installations.

So what was Art’s role? We wanted to set up a Facebook site to promote what we were doing and somehow the names got mixed up. Instead of Quadrant Art we got Art Quadrant. For any Seinfeld fan the name is very redolent of George’s alter ego Art Vandelay.

Art was born on 1 July 1950 apparently and you can visit him here: https://www.facebook.com/art.quadrant

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