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Norwich Arts Centre is independently owned, located near the center of town in Norwich, and has been supporting the more interesting side of art & music in the area for many years. The NAC offers a diverse year round program of live music, theatre, visual arts and multimedia events, and has a long standing commitment to support and develop new talent across the spectrum of the arts. It is a multi-media space housed in a beautiful old church, and features a stage/auditorium, plasma screens placed throughout, and is considered to be a major venue in the area. In addition, the NAC also provides a full bar & restaurant, which always makes for a more enjoyable opening reception!
Mothersbaugh's opening reception coincided with the Norwich Arts Festival, a city-wide celebration of the arts, which hosted a wide variety of music & art events throughout the week.
This show marked the first major exhibition of Mark's artwork in the UK, and the very first time that both his bodies of work, the Postcard Diaries and Beautiful Mutants, have been displayed simultaneously.
Upon my arrival to the UK, I was immediately impressed with the NAC staff, as they proved to be a very professional, friendly group to work with, and I was quite pleased with their attention to detail and proper promotion. Many flyers were posted in Norwich, and Mark Mothersbaugh's art was featured prominently on the cover of the Norwich Arts Festival brochures found all over town.
The reception was free of charge, but visitors were asked to register for admission tickets in advance. Over 200 tickets were already spoken for as the doors opened on reception night, and another 50-100 tickets were issued at the door.
This event was packed full of entertainment, including a 20 min. movie made from recent footage shot at Mark Mothersbaugh's home & office in Hollywood, CA, a live performance by UK electronic artists, Globo (their first gig in 10 years!), and a live video conference with Mark Mothersbaugh himself. To top it off, a few lucky attendees were presented with a pass enabling them to have a live one-on-one video chat with Mark later in the evening. See Mark Mothersbaugh's entire live video chat at Google Video.
Globo's performance was top-notch; a 20-30 minute set which included songs from their circa 2000 release, "This Time It's Globo", as well as video projections in sync with the music. The audience loved it and even demanded an encore, which was technically impossible, as the band had already performed everything that they were able to remember after a 10 live show hiatus.
Many thanks go to Mark Wernham for being my main UK contact in setting up this show, to Stuart Hobday and the rest of the NAC staff for being such a pleasure to work with, and all the folks who came from near & far to attend the opening reception. Also to Steve Appleton, Paul Thompson & Emily, and the Wernhams for making me feel so welcome in Norwich. Cheers to Paul, Kev, and Lee, a few people who I'd known via email for years, but had never met face-to-face until reception night.
The NAC will be showing Mark's art until June 28th, so be sure to check it out if you are in the area.
Art Project Coordinator
The Visual Art Of Mark Mothersbaugh Gallery Tour 2006