(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Gifhorn Connection

From the Belle Doyle, Nithsdale Area Arts Convenor

Artists from Nithsdale are being invited to bid for research money, which would hopefully be followed by an exhibition, in Dumfries’ German twin town of Gifhorn. It’s a great opportunity to build up links with members of Gifhorn’s own flourishing arts community.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is covering the cost of initial research trips and may later be able to provide funds for a short exhibition during Gifhorn’s Old Town Festival in September. The initiative is being organised by the council in partnership with DG Unlimited – Dumfries and Galloway’s independent arts charity.

Full details of the invitation and what you need to do to apply are given below – and the deadline is 5 January, so you’ll need to be quite quick. If you have any other questions drop me an email at

Gifhorn Exhibition Project - opportunity to research an exhibition of Nithsdale Artists in Gifhorn, Germany
a full-scale replica windmill in Gifhorn that is modelled on our Dumfries one (Mayor of Gifhorn is standing outside it)


The town of Gifhorn in Germany has been twinned with Dumfries and its surrounding area since 1984. There are many active voluntary links in place between community groups, schools and sporting clubs in both towns. Gifhorn also has an active group of visual artists, Art 38, who organise biannual open studio events and regular exhibitions. There are a few exhibition spaces available in the town that are regularly used by artists, including a busy space in the town hall. 2015 sees the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, in which soldiers from both towns fought side by side against Napoleon.

In 2012 a delegation of Art 38 artists came to Dumfries for a week long summer residency at Gracefield Arts Centre, following an exploratory visit from Art 38 Chairman Gerd Schlueter. The artists brought with them several artworks and created more pieces on site and as a result of visits around the region. This work returned with the artists to Germany was exhibited in Gifhorn on their return.

The town of Gifhorn is now keen to invite artists from Dumfries on a reciprocal visit. The Council is currently making available some funding for a preliminary visit to Gifhorn for up to two artists/exhibition organisers for planning purposes.

Subject to further funding being available in 2015/16 to meet travel and transport costs, a further visit and short exhibition in Gifhorn is envisaged to coincide with the town’s Old Town Festival in September 2015. There are likely to be opportunities to engage with schools and members of the Art 38 Group during this visit. The long term aim is to create lasting links between artists in both towns and where possible reciprocal links between Art 38 and artists’ organisations in Dumfries and Galloway. We also want to make the most of what these links can do boost our local economy and benefit schools and young people in both countries.

Gerd Schlueter and Maren Panke of Art 38 in Gifhorn
The details

We are looking for one or two artists/exhibition organisers to:

1. Travel to Gifhorn for a 2-3 day research trip during the period February – March 2015. Accommodation may be available with fellow artists from Gifhorn and links with Art 38 artists and other key contacts will be provided

2. Following the trip prepare a plan with estimated costs for an exhibition in Gifhorn at an appropriate time (preferably during the September 2015 festival in Gifhorn). This must be submitted by 1 April 2015 for consideration by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Nithsdale Area Committee.

3. Once funding is agreed, take an active part in organising and taking part in the September visit

We are looking for artists with the following knowledge and experience:
• Organising group exhibitions, preferably in an international context
• Planning, budgeting and reporting on projects
• Working productively with schools and communities
• Knowledge of and contacts with visual artists and makers working in the Nithsdale area

There is a budget of up to £500 for each artist to cover expenses for this initial stage of the project.

To apply for this opportunity please send us a letter of interest explaining how you meet the above criteria and please also send your CV. We will be looking for evidence that you have the knowledge and experience required.

Please send your submissions to by 5pm on Monday 5 January 2015. We intend to let people know the outcome in early January 2015.

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