Media Release: WhiteNOISE teams with top Glasgow galleries to define city’s visual arts audience

WhiteNOISE at The Common Guild (3)

A VIRTUAL Who’s Who of Scotland’s vibrant visual arts community, representing many of Glasgow’s leading galleries and visual artists’ co-operatives, have joined forces to partner with Culture Sparks in a project aimed at growing audiences for all.

The city is home to many internationally-recognised artists, including Turner Prize winners, Martin Boyce and Richard Wright.

In addition, Glasgow’s respected Tramway arts space will host the 2015 Turner Prize exhibition and award ceremony.

Entitled WhiteNOISE, the new project is a ‘sector first’ which weaves together findings from over 1,500 visitor interviews, conducted at 11 key city venues, with detailed demographic profiles driven by visitor postcode.

These have been supplemented by a series of in-depth discussions with senior figures from Glasgow’s visual arts communities.

Says a spokesperson: “The collective goal is to identify key challenges associated with increasing audiences, and to provide – for the first time – important insights into the city’s audience for visual arts.

“The scope of the project draws in organisations traditionally classified as craft and heritage venues as well as commercial and not for profit art galleries, reflecting the extent to which visual arts audiences migrate across perceived art form and sector boundaries.

“Members of Glasgow’s visual arts community, and beyond, have been digesting the findings through an ongoing series of informal workshops and are now working together to determine critical areas where future WhiteNOISE resources should be concentrated to help grow new audiences for all, laying the foundations for a range of future collaborative projects for the sector.

“Galleries and museums taking part range from national treasures including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, The Burrell Collection and St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, to educational institutions such as the Glasgow School of Art; not-for-profits including Wasps Artists’ Studios; contemporary venues such as Tramway, Centre for Contemporary Art and The Common Guild, and the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, (GI).”

The spokesperson added: “Research for the WhiteNOISE project is supplemented by detailed analysis of social media activity from over 75 Glasgow visual arts venues, culture and heritage organisations, including analysis of activity surrounding the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (GI) 2012.

“The WhiteNOISE project is managed by Culture Sparks, the intelligence and innovation partnership for Scotland’s cultural sector, and supported by Creative Scotland.”

David Watt, director, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, commented:

“Glasgow’s visual arts sector is incredibly developed, but it’s also incredibly fragile and highly diverse, with lots of small independent organisations with little infrastructure as well as some big, established institutions.

“The WhiteNOISE project provides a way for them to learn and share in a supportive environment, working together to make the sector more robust.”

Katrina Brown, director, The Common Guild, added:

“White Noise is a much-needed first step to a joined up approach to developing audiences for visual art across Glasgow, a city which has such a significant reputation in this area. We all hope to benefit from the research in our future work.”

Team leader is Dianne Greig, senior partner at Culture Sparks, who said:

“We are delighted that Glasgow’s contemporary visual arts community has so fully embraced WhiteNOISE, and are honoured by the immense trust placed in us by these inspirational organisations who have so generously shared with us their innermost workings, warts and all.

“We will shortly be repaying that trust by releasing a series of practical case studies demonstrating the range of practice that’s producing results for organisations across the sector.”

Further information on WhiteNOISE and its genesis can be found at:

For further information, images or interviews with the WhiteNOISE team, please contact:

Pamela Bailey, ps creative communications. e:  T: 0141 248 6864.

Notes to Editors:

Interviewees represented a range of disciplines within the visual arts, and included curators, marketers and artists such as David Watt (Glasgow Sculpture Studios), Katrina Brown (The Common Guild) and Sarah Munro (Glasgow Life). A full list of participants is available on request.

Research was undertaken in the following 11 venues:

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow School of Art, Gallery of Modern Art, House for an Art Lover, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Roger Billcliffe Gallery, St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art, the Burrell Collection, The Lighthouse, Tramway                                                                 and Trongate 103.

Culture Sparks is the intelligence and innovation partnership for the cultural sector. Creative organisations across Scotland work with us because we unlock innovation, encourage experimentation, promote collaboration and make knowledge about people as audiences, visitors, producers, participants and creators real.

The WhiteNOISE project is a collaboration with the visual arts sector in Glasgow. Through the project, we’re working to define and grow audiences for the visual arts, city-wide.

Creative Scotland is the national lead and development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.

Key contacts at Culture Sparks:

Dianne Greig, senior partner – Marketing and Digital Development (WhiteNOISE team leader)


Jo Cowper, senior partner – Marketing and Sector Development, e:

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Contact: Pamela Bailey
Phone: 01412486864