I’ve decided to discontinue the iCal gallery feed, partly because my glamourous assistant no longer has time to keep it going, and partly because the calendar format can’t do justice to the enormous amount of good stuff out there without looking jumbled up, even if we’re selective about what we include.
But all is not lost! There are a number of sites whose job it is to do what we can’t:
www.artrabbit.com is my favourite because it has so much stuff: pictures, links, printable maps, discussions, rankings, articles… You can log in and they’ll email you when events you’ve chosen are about to close. It’s free to list exhibitions and events (though it looks like they still some have editorial control), and the whole thing is very much in keeping with the wonderful world of Web 2.0 with its forums and user-defined favourites. The design is so wholeheartedly mac-inspired that you do start to think all there is out there is iArt, but it’s a small price to pay for a very comprehensive site which is constantly adding new features.
www.a-n.co.uk has now made their monthly What’s On listings page free, so non-subscribers can use it too. You still have to pay to be listed in it though, which means it isn’t a thorough representation of what’s out there. Either way the a-n site is worth getting to know if you’re not already familiar with it.
www.artmonthly.co.uk/list is just the cryptic listings page of Art Monthly pushed into a tight column online. It does the job in a very unfrilly way – no links, no nothing – though it does list shows from over the world. It’s free to advertise but limited space means they’re selective.
www.newexhibitions.com are better known (to me at least) for their printed map you can pick up for free in galleries. The website isn’t as pleasing but it’s very comprehensive, goes all over the UK, and lists other events like talks too.
www.artupdate.com leave their (much nicer) printed maps in galleries too, or you can pay for a subscription here. They’ve got 95 London galleries listed at the moment, and a miserable 2 in the rest of the UK.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, the ‘Exhibiting and Selling’ section of the brilliant www.artquest.org.uk site works the other way round, listing descriptions of the kind of work venues show to give artists an idea of how (and whether) to approach them. It’s nice to see ‘Live Art’, ‘New Media’ and ‘Lens Based’ in categories all of their own, for instance, and though the site doesn’t set out to tell you who’s showing when, if you find a place that interests you there are links to all the gallery sites.