Set up by two Glasgow art school graduates, GRID has been mapping the galleries and institutions of city for over a year now. We chat to creators Sebastian Kalvik and Arron Sands about how it all came about
Launched in September 2010 by Sebastian Kalvik and Arron Sands, GRID is a map showing contemporary art events across the city of Glasgow. With events listings on one side and the pinpointed locations on the other, GRID provides a concise guide to Glasgow’s rich cultural landscape. Currently on its ninth issue (January–February 2012), it is distributed in alternate months across a variety of venues and institutions in the city and is available for free.
It was back in 2008 that the foundation for GRID was first laid. “We both came to Glasgow at the same time and were lucky enough to arrive when Glasgow International Festival was on in 2008,” says Sands. “The GI map was available, which gave us immediate insight into Glasgow’s contemporary art institutions – and the offsite and one-off events that Glasgow has on a regular basis. But after GI it was more than obvious that there was a gap, and for anyone coming to Glasgow, this information wasn’t available to them.”
"You see, there are lots of pop-up spaces in Glasgow – exhibitions that happen in temporary spaces. Something was needed that gives a bit more of a geographical context,” adds Kalvik.
GRID, Kalvik and Sands like to stress, is not solely for the art community. It’s about reaching out to a broader audience. “The importance of having map is to show people that it’s not just in the West End or the city centre that contemporary art exists,” explains Sands. “I like the idea that someone can pick one up in a cafe near their house and realise that there are two or three galleries just around the corner from where they live.”
GRID Glasgow is produced with the support of Creative Scotland through the Own Art scheme. Creative Scotland’s support of GRID reflects a continued investment in Glasgow’s arts infrastructure by helping the production of a high quality product to help locals and visitors alike enjoy the scope and scale of Glasgow’s visual arts scene which aims to encourage the public to be more adventurous, and to consider new directions, in contemporary art buying.
In April 2011 the new GRID website, www.glasgowgrid.co.uk, was launched containing regularly updated listings of art events in Glasgow. The website uses the GRID map as the main navigation tool and a preliminary version of the mobile site is available for iPhone and Android devices.
Own Art is also supporting the development of a special edition of GRID Glasgow for the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012 whiCh will be launched In March 2012.