Overview of NNEP
North Norfolk Exhibition Project (NNEP) is managed, run and delivered by a core group of highly dedicated and energetic volunteers with an independent chairperson and additional support from a broader pool of artists. Its primary funding is from North Norfolk District Council.
NNEP was established in 2000 in direct response to the lack of exhibition opportunities for contemporary visual arts in North Norfolk, which has a much higher than average population of visual artists, being home to over 300 practitioners. Whilst the many excellent commercial galleries in the district offer some opportunity for exhibiting contemporary art, they are not able to support this volume of artists by showing the wide range of quality work being produced.
After an independent study was commissioned in 2000 to look at ways in which the visual arts might be better profiled within the district, NNEP was set up to:
Since the very first exhibition down-to-earth in the summer of 2001, NNEP has annually staged a quality month-long exhibition in the beautiful setting of Salthouse Church. To complement this unique exhibition, a lively and varied programme of supporting performance events is held. In addition the project endeavours to engage with local schools and communities by offering participation in a range of art and craft workshops and guided exhibition visits. Over the years the number of visitors has increased, as have expectations and the project’s reputation for excellence and innovation.
In Autumn 2003 NNEP was awarded a three year grant from Arts Council of England, East. This enabled a different curator to be selected for the project each year, each one bringing his/her own distinctive style and personality to the exhibition.
Year-on-year artists living and/or working in Norfolk have risen to the challenge of the project and produced thought-provoking work inspired by and reflecting the local built and natural environment. In the absence of a dedicated non-commercial gallery in North Norfolk, NNEP plays an invaluable role in the promotion of contemporary visual arts and is recognised as a key event on the region’s arts and cultural calendar.
In 1999 an open meeting was convened by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in response to:
The aims of NNEP were established:
In response to this brief, The Jeni Walwin Report was published in September 2000. This report identified five locations within the area which met the criteria:
Salthouse Church was selected because:
The programme for the first project was agreed:
In 2011, the popular exhibition moved to St Margaret's Church in Cley, which has more space and allows the integration of a trail around the village of Cley, and it has been the home of Cley Contemporary since then.
Mary CROFTS (Chair)
Registered Charity Number 1156869
Project co-ordinator and publicity