It was around this time last year, on a bitingly cold and dark Tuesday evening that Bella Jewell, the award-winning 2018/2019 Arts Editor for The Mancunion, announced her idea to put an end-of-year exhibition that explored student art.
No one knew or anticipated what was going to become of the passing comment that Bella made on that Tuesday evening. This idea, however, would establish a name for itself: ‘Art in Mancunia’.
The word ‘Mancunia’ was incorporated in the exhibition name to yield to ideas of a ‘utopia’ – a place of creativity, openness, possibilities, and opportunities in the world of art. The premise of the exhibition is therefore designed to go beyond conventional formats of art, and give local student artists a platform to showcase their work through the Manchester Media Group (MMG).
This is achieved in two ways. Firstly, through intimately exploring the art and the artists in written articles, and secondly by showcasing their work in a celebratory exhibition. This year’s ‘Art in Mancunia’ was held at the renowned Antwerp Mansion on the 9th of May 2019.
‘Art in Mancunia’ 2020 combines an array of different teams within larger parts of MMG. These include Fuse FM radio, the Arts Section of The Mancunion paper, and a publicity team which is a hybrid of members from Fuse FM and The Mancunion design team. Yet, ‘Art in Mancunia’ engages students beyond the University of Manchester. Indeed, ‘Art in Mancunia’ works closely with Manchester School of Art students whose members have been integral to the publicity team, as well as a larger demographic of potential applicants.
This year’s exhibition promises to be even bigger and more exciting, as it will also include a fashion feature as well as a variety of artistic forms.
Whilst ‘Art in Mancunia’ is an end goal exhibition, it is more than just this. It is a living and breathing entity in itself. It changes and adapts to ideas developed by the team and what we experience in and around Manchester; the artists and other influencers involved; as well as the types of art that feature in the exhibition.
‘Art in Mancunia’ is developmental. It grows in size and changes shape and form. It is important to not forget that the process and the story of the ‘Art in Mancunia’ experience are much of what the exhibition is itself. For many of the organizers involved this is our final year and we are going out with a bang. We are here to celebrate student art and here to demonstrate that art is for everyone, not just for the elite and established few.
‘Art in Mancunia’ already exists, it lives and breathes the streets of Manchester. We just need to open our eyes to see and curate it.
The 2020 exhibition will be on show for one date at the end of March next year in a venue soon to be announced. Follow us on Instagram @artinmancunia to follow the story from this year’s exhibition to March 2020. Email us at [email protected] if you wish to apply.
We look forward to celebrating the achievements of Manchester’s diverse student art scene with you, our peers.