Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith
Apart from 2008, Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year, 2017 was Art in Liverpool’s most popular year. But while the indulgent side of me would like to think we’ve just been doing things right, I think that’s far from the truth. The reflection that’s asked of us as we stand on the verge of the New Year leads me to believe that our efforts were vastly overshadowed by the artists and galleries we love to promote.
Without their work we’d have nothing to write about, and nothing to share, and where would we be then. As a city, we certainly wouldn’t be looking back on 2017 wondering why we need to spend time in 2018 acting like it’s bigger than any other year. 2018 is a chance to reflect on a brilliant year of culture and increased funding, which won artists in the city a huge audience for twelve months. But since then, from January 1st 2009, artists have been busier and busier each year, every year giving us more events to list, and putting on more exhibitions than the year before.
In fact, artists contributed 552 events last year, some of them festivals, generating events themselves, and some I’m sure still didn’t list with us. That’s over 1.5 events every day, and with that looking to increase next year, you need to keep sharing it all with everyone you know, as your readership is what keeps it moving. We can’t work without your interest, and they can’t exhibit with no one to see their work. So for however many thousands of shares you gave us in 2017, double it in 2018 and keep Liverpool the capital of culture it is.
And I write this as the editor, thinking about all the wonderful writers we’ve had join the team this year, all volunteers, all writing for their own interest, and driven by a passion for telling the story as they see it. And the few spontaneous reviews I received the night after an exhibition opening from visitors who loved what they saw and just had to put pen to paper. The joy that the contributors bring to the readers, and the irreplaceable human insight is just another thing that makes this website work.
So while 2017 was a wonderful year for culture in Liverpool, for once I find myself looking back, thinking that you probably know this already, that you probably saw a healthy amount of work on show, new and old, and agree that this city is brilliant just as it is. This year, for once, I look back and think that all of the successes of the art in this city have had an immeasurable benefit on Art in Liverpool, and we will strive to do even more to bring you the news of 2018 as it happens.