At the same time as the flurry of activity for organising the third Pace exhibition and then installing it, I contacted all the participants in the Fast Friends Event run in conjunction with the second Pace exhibition.
The idea was that volunteers from BIA would be 'fast friend' paired with Pace artists, first meeting and chatting at the Fast Friends opening, with the possible aim of keeping in contact over a longer period of time. It was an experiment to see what might come of it, no right or wrong outcomes. Thank you to everyone who responded very promptly, and summed up what had occurred in the approximately three months since the opening.
Everyone agreed that the initial meeting event was a success and that they found themselves able to talk easily with people they hadn't met before.
They thought the name tags were a great help in that, and so there will be tags to identify the LV artists and write-your-own name tags available at the Local Velocity opening.
Carrying on the connection with a new 'fast friend' after the initial face-to-face was more difficult - partly because of the pace of life. But some people did it and continue to be in touch. Others were in contact for some of the time.
With permission, here are some of the comments:
"When I first heard about Fast Friends I thought it sounded a bit like speed dating. As someone who isn't naturally extroverted I felt a bit uncertain about the idea, but I also thought I might be pleasantly surprised by the event. And I was! [my fast friend] and I have been emailing back and forth since the last exhibition, and I've really enjoyed having her as a pen pal. It's been fascinating for me to hear about how she balances such a busy family life with her art practice (all the while maintaining her great sense of humour!) and we've introduced each other to some books, films and blogs about women artists - which I've found really interesting. I've very much enjoyed our 'fast friendship'! "
"I am still in contact with [my fast friend] and hoping we can meet at an
exhibition somewhere again soon, as we've only managed an email fast
friendship so far. It has been a bit sporadic, as she has been away a
bit, but still beneficial I think. We've discussed each other's practice
a bit, but probably more other artists of interest to each other, and
found some connections between them. So hopefully it will continue..."
"I have been having some great email conversations through Fast Friends parallel to discovering and researching what make artistic/sensitive/intuitive people tick."
"didn’t catch up - things got away from me (and maybe the others too?)"
"I always thought the Fast Friends project was a great idea, congratulations again for all the energy and inspiration you represent to many [curatorial blush]. I did enjoy connecting via email with like minded people thanks to your initiative."
"... although the concept was inspiring, the reality of engaging in the activity was a little overwhelming as I have several other areas of related interests as well."
"I was only overwhelmed with the task of staying connected due to my studies and family commitments. I like to think I can do it all but find I can't. Sorry to those I found a strong connection with and couldn't keep up with emails. A special thanks to [our fast friend artist] for getting us started and thinking. I think it is just what I need to be inspired by the lives others who create around making their art and the deep connections that brings on many levels."
and a last word:
"Thanks [curator]…I’m having fun with my fast friends"