BALTIC 39 | Common Room is an opportunity for bi-monthly meetings of artists and arts professionals to have peer led conversations about arts practice, to share practical advice and talk through common questions.

Each session takes a different focus to stimulate dialogue on developing, managing and sustaining a professional practice. There will also be a chance to share news and promote upcoming projects to a peer network.

See below for confirmed dates:

Socially engaged art with Hannah Hull

Friday 6 June 2016 /  10.00-12.00

Friday 5 August 2016 / 10.00-12.00

If you would like to propose a topic/speaker please contact learning@balticmill.com

Friday 1 April 2016



Artist Hannah Hull joins BALTIC 39 Common Room to lead a session on socially engaged arts practice. Hannah is interested in empowering individuals to creatively and critically intervene with their world. Her social sculpture and political interventions are situation-specific, often dialogue-based and temporal. Hannah also consults on creative practice for social change. Her specialist interest is the use of a critical, contemporary art model for ‘socially-excluded’ groups such as recovering addicts, ex-offenders and the homeless. She is currently developing a new web based platform for socially engaged artists, Critical Spaces.

The session will begin with an introduction to Hannah’s personal approach to the definition and parameters of the term ‘socially-engaged art’, followed by a series of mini-discussions that address key issues with the contemporary practice of socially engaged art including:

Models of collaboration;

Political nature of socially engaged art;

Managing boundaries, life/work balance;

Starting a project/ending a project;

Thinking about usefulness or uselessness.

Hannah will draw from art historic references including Dada, Situationist International and Fluxus and examples of her own work. As always, attendees are invited to bring their own experiences to the discussion.

1:1 Opportunity

Hannah Hull will be offering 1:1 mentoring sessions to three artists in the afternoon. To apply, please contact learning@balticmill.com for an application form. Deadline for applications is Monday 21 March 2016, 10.00

Eventbrite - BALTIC 39 Common Room: Practicing Socially Engaged Art with Hannah Hull

Friday 19 February 2016

Art writing with Sally O’Reilly
FREE / Booking essential

Writer Sally O’Reilly joins BALTIC 39 Common Room to lead a session on art writing. Sally will draw from her rich experience of writing, publishing and distributing text in conventional and expanded forms: from art magazines and exhibition catalogues to performance lectures and opera. This event is suitable for anyone who is interested in developing their own writing practice or who wants to get a better understanding of how the world of art writing works.

  • What are the differences in writing for essays, reviews, articles, features, interviews?
  • How do you start getting your writing out there? What art writing platforms are available?
  • How do you balance critical writing and creative writing?
  • What can you expect from an editor?
  • What can you get paid for?
  • What are the many ways that text can perform in galleries?


1:1 Opportunity

Sally will be offering 1:1 mentoring sessions to three artists in the afternoon of 19 February 2016.

To apply, please contact learning@balticmill.com for an application form.

Deadline: 12.00, Monday 8 February 2016

Find out more about Sally O‘Reilly

Friday 30 October 2015

BALTIC 39 Common Room: Developing and Writing a Proposal with Judith King

This month we are joined by Judith King, co- Director of Arts & Heritage. Judith is a contemporary art curator, initiating and devising projects and exhibitions usually for heritage organisations. Judith will share her experience of both sides of the application process, how an artist’s brief is developed and what commissioners expect from a proposal.

That afternoon Judith King will be offering 1-2-1 mentoring sessions to four artists. To apply, please contact learning@balticmill.com for an application form.
Deadline: Midday, Monday 19th October 2015.

Proposal writing skills all sorted? Watch out for the announcement of BALTIC 39 I FIGURE THREE, an open submission exhibition to be held at BALTIC 39. Sign up to the BALTIC 39 mailing list to be amongst the first to hear about this opportunity

Further Info
Judith began working for English Heritage in 1995, as part of a curatorial panel for Living at Belsay, refurnishing an historic house with contemporary design. Her role included finding artists, managing thirteen new contemporary design commissions and co-ordinating the loan of over sixty smaller works from artists and designers. From being part of a curatorial panel to curating major projects for Belsay Judith has brought together artists, designers, performers, architects and fashion designers to realise six major commissioning exhibitions for Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens. In 2006 Judith set up Arts&Heritage, an agency that specialises in working with both the arts and heritage sectors , developing unusual commissioning opportunities for artists. Arts&Heritage works nationally with national organisations such as the National Trust and national and regional museums.

Timothy Ivison & Julia Tcharfas, Metropotamia, 2011 (Hilary Crisp Gallery)

Do we need to grow up?
in collaboration with The Newbridge Project

Friday 11 September 2015 / 10.00-12.00
FREE, booking essential, deposit required

This event is programmed in collaboration with artist led initiative The Newbridge Project as part of the programme, Do we need to grow up?, which examines ‘artists ecosystems’ across a 2-Day Conversation and accompanying exhibition.

BALTIC 39 Common Room will host a discussion which considers the role of universities and larger galleries in the ecology of artist-led communities and workspace. BALTIC 39 is home to BALTIC’s Project Space in addition to 33 artists’ studios and Northumbria University’s post-graduate community. This setting presents a unique opportunity to unpick the relationships between artists’ education and research, workspaces and public programme. The conversation will feature contributions from colleagues at Northumbria University, Newcastle University, and BALTIC and will be chaired by John Tomaney, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at University College London.

Questions to prompt discussion:

– How do institutions interact and engage with the artist communities/studios where they are based?
– What role can institutions play in these communities and how can this be achieved?
– What is the potential for partnership, collaborative, consortium working between institutions and artist-led initiatives and how can this support the transfer and sharing of knowledge?
– What is the institution’s role in creating more national/international opportunities for artists locally and how this can be shared?
– What role can these relationships play in the development of the creative economy in the region?
– What is the role of academic research in artist ecologies? How do we translate academic research into broader civic terms/for artistic benefit?
– How can institutions and artist led initiatives work together towards improving/maintaining graduate retention?
– What role can institutions play in providing transitional support post-study, e.g ‘incubator’ models for artists CPD, critical dialogue and peer learning?
– How does the arts community engage with ideas about the future of the city and what kind of city we want to live in? How can we articulate those questions?
– More broadly how do ‘citizens’ do that, and to what extent could arts/culture be part of that debate?

Angela Kennedy: Artists Union England


On 26 June 2015, we will be joined by Angela Kennedy, a founding member and executive member of AUE (Artists’ Union England), a new Trade Union to represent Visual and Applied Artists’. Angela will talk briefly about the founding of the Trade Union; why it came about and why cultural workers need representation now more than ever. This will be followed by a group discussion and we ask that all attendees come prepared to participate in this discussion by visiting the Artist Union England website and considering some of the following questions in advance:

What is a Trade Union? How can being a member of a trade union help you as a working artist? What other cultural workers have trade union representation and why? How do you become involved and have a say in the Trade Union movement? How do I become an activist in the union?
What changes to your working conditions do you want to see?
Trade Union Certification, what is it? What are the issues we as artists need to campaign on?


Matt Price

Matt Price will lead a discussion about managing a multi-faceted practice drawing from his own experience working in curating, writing, publishing, editing, printing.

With a degree in art history from the University of Nottingham and an MA in curating from the Royal College of Art, Price started out as an editor for Hans Ulrich Obrist before being appointed Managing Editor of Flash Art International, Milan. He has since worked as Deputy Editor of ArtReview and Publications Manager at Serpentine Gallery. In addition to Flash Art and ArtReview, he has written for A-n, Art Monthly, Frieze, Modern Painters and The Guardian. He regularly curates exhibitions, including: ‘Sound in Z’ with Jeremy Deller for the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; ‘Works on Paper’ for Adrian Ghenie at Plan B, Berlin; ‘The Witching Hour’ with Matthew Collings for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; ‘Under the Radar’ for Serban Savu at Pitzhanger Manor, London, and ‘Some Domestic Incidents’, the exhibition of British painting for the Prague Biennale 5.

Price has edited publications for international publishing houses including Phaidon, Rizzoli, Hatje Cantz and Koenig Books as well as for public and commercial gallery clients. He edited Phaidon’s international anthology of contemporary painting, Vitamin P2 (2011) and the drawing anthology, Vitamin D2 (2013), and was project editor for Hernan Bas’s monograph from Rizzoli (2014). He has edited titles for artists, architects and designers including Gerhard Richter, Ai Weiwei / Herzog & de Meuron, Jitish Kallat, Justin Mortimer, Dani Marti and The Campana Brothers. He also provides editorial services on selected projects, including for Rizzoli’s publications on Marc Jacobs / Louis Vuitton and Valentino, and for the survey from Thames & Hudson / Walther Koenig of the projects of David Chipperfield Architects (2013). He continues to work on editorial projects for Hans Ulrich Obrist and the Serpentine Galleries.