Poll win earns Towner high-profile visit

Bob & Roberta Smith
Bob & Roberta Smith

THE TOWNER gallery will welcome a high-profile visit from a top contemporary artist after winning an online poll.

Popular website www.culture24.org.uk recently teamed up with Bob & Roberta Smith to offer art fans across the country the chance to vote for three venues for the sign-painter and installation artist extraordinaire to visit over the coming months.

And, after securing an impressive 55 per cent of the web votes, the Towner came out on top of the pile, followed by similar venues in Bradford and Leeds.

Bob & Roberta Smith is the alias of Patrick Brill, an activist and artist who has made a career by putting text on recycled signs and floorboards.

And, as part of the collaboration with the Towner, local people are being encouraged to get creative around the theme of Make Art Not War.

The Museum at Night event will take place on May 19 when the whole building will become a giant interactive creative space to make and display art and signs, from the shop window to the industrial scale lift.

It will be followed by the UK’s first ever nightclub event inside a museum, during which Smith will present his radio show alongside more art and music in front of what is hoped will be a very busy dancefloor.

The successful Make Art Not War theme was inspired by Smith’s iconic 1997 piece of the same name and is a sentiment that resonates with the Towner collection.

Renowned for its modern British art, the gallery is home to a stack of works by the conscientious objectors known as the Bloomsbury Group.

And such was the strength of the Towner’s case, Smith himself even tweeted his support to his thousands of followers on the popular social networking site. In the end the Towner option attracted twice as many votes as its nearest rival.

Smith’s tendency to try and encourage fans to make their own art also dovetails with the Towner’s own ethos – with six exhibitions a year set aside to showcase artwork made by the thousands of who regularly take part in the gallery’s learning and outreach programmes.