A visual metaphor for the Inside Out Art group...

The Inside Out Art Group is an informal collective of diverse artists who work and exhibit in the North Wales/North Shropshire Borderlands region.

Some of us are professionals with years of experience – some of us are students just learning our craft. There are about sixty of us, and we work with every media imaginable. We’re sculptors and painters, we print, draw and photograph, we work with glass, paper, acrylic, oil, found materials and light. Many of us are also members of other local art groups, such as Borderlands Visual Arts, The Project Space, Marcher Glass, Marches Independent Photography, etc.

We exhibit together in pairs, in small groups; we meet for crit-sessions and social occasions. We go to local exhibitions and art-events together. We blog, share photos and videos online, chat on Facebook, get together for sketching/walking afternoons, meet up in pubs to talk art. We’re active but loose; committed but lightly organised!

If any of this sounds interesting, you’re more than welcome to come along to our regular “Notebook Meetings”, held at 2pm on the first Wednesday of every month at the Willow Gallery. Come along and meet up with like-minded artists – or leave a comment and your contact information here on this blog and we’ll get back to you. All our events are posted here, or on our Facebook page, or through our Twitter account – @insideout_art. The Inside Out Art Group is coordinated by Diana Baur and John Swogger, two local artists.

Press coverage of exhibitions at Studio A1, 2010

A short history of the Inside Out Art Group

The Inside Out art group was founded in 2007 as a loose collective of artists living and working in the North Shropshire Borderlands region. The group brought together local professional and practising artists as well as students, graduates and alumni from Glyndwr University art department (formerly NEWI) in Wrexham. The group put together two highly successful, large-scale outdoor exhibitions in the village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog in the summers of 2008 and 2009. The exhibitions featured sculpture, painting, installations, land-art, and sound and vision pieces sited in the gardens, driveways, hederows, trees and hillsides around the village. The exhibitions were covered by the BBC and attracted hundreds of visitors.

Following those large-scale exhibitions, the group established Studio a1 – a multi-purpose exhibition, teaching and meeting  space in the Cambrian Studios building in Oswestry, North Shropshire. During 2010 the studio space acted as an artist’s hub for a growing network of local professional and student artists. As of the end of July 2010 that space has been handed over to a small group of independent artists who, encouraged by the success of Studio A1, want to try their hand at running their own gallery.

Inside Out has now moved up the road to The Willow Gallery’s Dunbabin Room, and have already started a regular programme of exhibitions there. Since June 2010 we’ve had three group shows in the gallery, and are planning more for the coming twelve months.

All of this is about using the group’s growing membership and experience to try and significantly raise the profile of the visual arts in Oswestry and the North Shropshire Borderlands region.

Join the Inside Out Art Group!

Any of this sound interesting?

Joining the Inside Out Art Group costs £30 a year. All members are invited to take part in any and all exhibitions, events and projects, including:

  • our ongoing programme of exhibitions in the Dunbabin Room at The Willow Gallery
  • our ongoing current work exhibition in the dining room of The Hand Hotel, Llanarmon D.C.
We can also help coordinate and find space in Oswestry for people interested in teaching, holding workshops or skill-sharing sessions. We can also help find studio space – long-term or temporary – for artists new to the area, looking for somewhere to work.
Inside Out members are also encouraged to use this blog, our Facebook page and our Twitter account – @insideout_art – to announce events, exhibitions and other activities that they’re involved in.

The Inside Out Art Projects Community Interest Company

In 2010, the Coordinators of the Inside Out Art Group, Diana Baur and John Swogger, set up a community interest company to help fund and organise art projects in Oswestry. The Inside Out Art Projects Company is a not-for-profit social enterprise whose aim is:

  • to create sustainable and affordable exhibition, working and meeting spaces for artists in the Oswestry and North Shropshire/North Wales borderlands region.

The Company has helped to fund and establish the shared working space in Studio A1 at the Cambrian Building, as well as promote the Cambrian Studios Building as a space suitable for artists’ studios. It continues to work with local property owners and the tenant artists in the building to help create further studio spaces within the building, and to transform the building into a regional art and design centre.

The Company is also now working in partnership with Shropshire Council and local entrepreneurs on a further large-scale which will create a flagship green-energy Creative Enterprise Centre for Oswestry.

We believe that Oswestry has the potential to become a regional hub for the arts and the creative industries, and that making studio and working space available in Oswestry to artists will benefit the town economically, socially and culturally. Inside Out Art Projects is always looking for additional funding as well as opportunities to further our aims of bringing artists into Oswestry.

If you are an arts funder who can help, or a local property owner interested in the possibilities of leasing space to artists, we’d be very interested in hearing from you. Please contact us via a comment to this blog.