8:00 p.m. June 17, 2022
This corner of the country is certainly a hub of talent, there’s no doubt about it. Just take a moment to think of all the artists, musicians and other creative people who come from this part of the world.
And to help ensure that Suffolk continues to produce the best talent for years to come, a local arts center is launching a new program which aims to empower the next generation of hopeful and ambitious professional artists.
Rendlesham’s Old Jet – which was formed in 2014 by musician Jesse Quin – has just set up Airspace, a multi-component initiative that will provide the tools to help young local talent establish their careers in a variety of creative fields.
Old Jet Creative Director Oliver Squirrell explains how it happened. He says, “I have a background in managing and mentoring artists, so outside of Old Jet I mainly help visual artists with the career and entrepreneurial side of their practice. So, while the artists create the art, I help them plan and promote it, as well as organize exhibitions.
“And someone I used to work with, photographer Nick Ilot who’s based at Old Jet, introduced me to Jesse. He and I had a chat last fall, and that’s when I called them. joined to help them develop the program, as this is something that has been on Jesse’s mind for a while.
Oliver describes Airspace as an “incubation program for budding artists and musicians looking to build a career”, and it has a number of aspects that will help those involved achieve their dreams.
“There are three main elements. First, the shipping containers are a big focus for us, as we plan to convert them into studios so that we can offer new artists a dedicated space that they can use for up to six months at a time. , where they can develop their artistic practice. ,” he says.
The second part of the project is a mentoring program. “What’s really good about Old Jet is that it’s a community of established artists and creative professionals. So the idea is that the more established artists will help and nurture the next generation, and so on. We hope to create an ecosystem of artistic talent.
And thirdly, Airspace will develop a number of events to help said artists in their professional development.
“There will be a weekly calendar of events where a wider community of artists can attend workshops. We will have people like digital art experts and gallerists who will help a wider base of new artists who have the ambition to become professionals.
After noticing a recent influx of talent to the area, Oliver believes a program like Airspace couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Since the pandemic in particular, Suffolk has seen a mass exodus from London, and we have come to the point where East Anglia has so much infrastructure in terms of contacts, facilities and networks. We have the puzzle pieces to create this artistic ecosystem in the region, and Airspace will hopefully connect the pieces and bring them together on a much larger scale.
“Historically, if you wanted to be a musician or an artist, you had to go to London, or New York, or London, which is out of most people’s means, but now we have all these resources in the region to support that talent. , and to help further establish East Anglia’s reputation as a hotbed of creativity.
To help get this ambitious scheme off the ground, Old Jet has just launched a Crowdfunder – with its first target being £20,000. This will serve to convert the first shipping container into a free studio.
“Since the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, we have already been contacted by artists and musicians who want to know more,” he adds.
Additionally, those who donate to the fundraiser will be thanked, with a variety of rewards available.
“People can just donate if they wish, but there’s also a range of rewards on offer, such as original artwork from some of East Anglia’s top artists, various creative workshops, or you can even bring a professional pianist to play for you in your house.”
Other experiences up for grabs include a day at Jesse’s Music Studio.
At the time of this writing, the Crowdfunder has raised just under £4,000 – with many donations coming in from overseas.
“It will be great if we can get to that point where we have a self-sustaining ecosystem of artists in the region. Especially when you think how rural Suffolk is it can be a little difficult to get around, but having something like this here in the county will be really exciting. There’s so much talent out there, and the more we can do to support it, the better.
Founder and CEO Jesse Quin adds, “I started Old Jet because I believe people thrive when they work within a community. I think you produce your best work when you have the encouragement and support of like-minded people working around you. One thing we have always tried to do is nurture the next generation of artists with all the support they need, be it space or materials. We believe Airspace will have a big impact on the lives of many emerging artists and will also be a wonderful addition to a part of the UK which already has an amazing art scene.
Find out more at oldjet.co.uk
To donate to the Crowdfunder, go to crowdfunder.co.uk/p/old-jet-airspace-programme