The store into the Serpentine Sackler (Serpentine

The Serpentine Gallery in London Hyde park was established in 1970 by the London Arts Council with the aim to provide an exhibition space for emerging UK artists. However, some of the world’s most renowned international contemporary artists such as Jimmie Durham and Rachel Rose have also exhibited there. The gallery not only shows an eclectic selection of works ranging from Sculpture to video, it also offers innovative ways for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with modern and contemporary art (Serpentine 2018). Since its transformation from the 1934 Pavilion tea house to a gallery, the Serpentine gained more recognition as a gallery that is always “pushing new boundaries” (Bloomberg 2016). Whilst the former Co-director Julia Peyton-Jones oversaw the reconstruction of the Serpentine between 1998 to the early 2000’s, she also helped launch a pavilion scheme, which provides an open experimental space for Architects to exhibit their designs each year. Pritzer Architecture winner Laureate Zaha Hadid designed a second Serpentine gallery, and with the guidance of the current director Hans Ulrich Obrist, she (Zaha Hadid) renovated an 1805 gunpowder store into the Serpentine Sackler (Serpentine 2018). The gallery officially opened in 2013 along with its restaurant called The Magazine, with an overall project cost of £14.5 million (the independent 2013). Apart from these changes the galleries also has a Koenig bookshop situated within the main Serpentine gallery, all of which  sustains the gallery’s economic revenue whilst raising awareness towards the art industry. This report will delve deeper than what is on the surface and investigate the administration of the Serpentines’ educational programs that engage the public in order maintain the galleries’ success.The serpentine’s relationship with its funders makes it an institution with responsibility to artists and the public. The galleries are able to raise their annual income through trusts, partnerships, public funding and private philanthropy. According to their website, the Serpentine raises  £6 for every £1 of public funding, therefore, public engagement and donations are vital to the up keeping of the galleries. A reccouring Trustee and patron to the galleries is Bloomberg Philanthropies and their goal within arts funding is to “strengthen communities, drive economic growth and serve a vital role in education” (Bloomberg philanthropies 2017). Bloomberg largely supports the serpentine galleries because of their “commitment to expanding its reach through education” (Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017). The galleries’ educational programs like the Pavilion scheme, aims to connect artists to the public, whilst providing a backbone for both parties to interact with the galleries. With the most recently installed Pavilion by Diébédo Francis Kéré, the artist was inspired by a tree in his village of Gando known for bringing communities together. This sense of community underpins the  interest of Bloomberg philanthropies and the Serpentines goals as a charity. Like previous pavilions, Kéré’s exhibit included a panel talks and a ‘build your own pavilion’ workshop. The talks enable first hand knowledge of the art work whilst the workshops enables young individuals  to learn about architecture through digital softwares such as 3D CAD (Build your own pavilion 2018). The Serpentine also provide educators in design technology with the resources to incorporate the processes into their own classes through their website.These opportunities contribute to the growth of the galleries in its public interaction, visitors and its funding . It also allows publicity on the artist; in this case Kéré went on to do a lecture at World Architecture Festival 2017, further educating the public on his practice.The Serpentine’s artist and public group programs gives scope to everyday life through art whilst acknowledging the challenges that different groups are facing. The galleries’ aim to interact with these groups by  organising programs fit for everyone’s needs. On a microcosmic level, one of the programs run is  titled Rethinking Schools and Schooling. Within this program schools can self-organise trips to the galleries as a form of primary research as learning. There is also a Youth Forum working in partnership with Westminster academy where young individuals work with artists to discuss social issues and opinions on solutions through art. Additionally the Serpentine work with artists, teachers and students in Moving up workshops to explore the transition from primary to secondary school. On a wider scale, The galleries seem to offer support to all groups within the community. They organise the Children and the right to play workshops, family events organised to teach children artistic and cognitive thinking through play. The gallery also engages with elder groups, and with the help of resident artists and care workers, they discuss their experience of the care system. Other groups include Language and Power workshops that involves working with refugee and migrant groups within the local area. These interpersonal arrangements offer support for those who may not have the status or support system from other areas through artistic engagement. It is clear that the programs provided truly strive to understand the community which mirroring the fact that the Serpentine galleries welcome all groups of people. Education is a key factor in moving forward and the galleries aim to support this notion within all groups . Alternatively, tackling these groups also mirror the goals of Arts council funding. The galleries fall under the category of organisations eligible for Change Makers fund, Sustained Theatre Fund, Bridge Organisations fund and more. Despite the aim to strengthen communities, it can be argued that the serpentine may organise the educational programs as a way to sustain their economic income by meeting the needs of this criteria.Public visits enable the Serpentines to remain open and free. The Serpentine not only hold educational  programmes to generate public engagement, it is through by their location within the world widely recognised Hyde Park that provides recognition. Tourist attractions, such as Kensington palace give visitors a consciousness of the free public spaces open to them such as the Serpentines. Hyde park alone brings in a staggering 12.8 million visitors each year (Royal Parks Annual Report 2015-16 page 9), it is therefore incredibly beneficial to the galleries’ visits. With the London Arts council’s aim to “deliver artistic work and cultural experiences that represent the height of ambition, talent and skill”, the Serpentine galleries provides accessible information on events to draw more attention. An example of this is their website information on the current exhibitions. The Serpentines utilise their over 200 thousand Instagram followers and website platform to increase publicity.The works of American artist Wade Guyton and Rose Wylie at the Serpentine and Serpentine Sackler were on show during my visit. Guyton’s work “explored the impact of digital technologies on image production” (Exhibition Guide 2018 page 1) through new media painting by manipulating inkjets printing methods. The work is organic in its approach whilst being relevant to our current technologically rich society. Wylie showcased playful paintings with an eclectic energy to everyday life and her childlike illustrative paintings. Despite the work being vivid and spontaneous, there are clear historical themes deeply rooted to the location of Kensington gardens. I deduced the works themes are prominently resonant to the gardens whilst informing the public about art, history and the location. The gallery assistant explained that the council is responsible for picking artworks. It is evident that some decisions granted to the council may largely influence the selectivity of exhibiting art . Apart from its location, the interior space offers more than just exhibited artworks. Their Koenig bookshop offers affordable  books and expansion of artistic knowledge. Located within the main Serpentine building ,the bookshop collects publications from multiple sources as a partnership to the galleries. The cosy bookshop has a range of freshly printed books in the entrance, further in, the shop reveals a smaller room containing discounted books. The store provides educational resources and interviews and books on a various of artists, some of which previously exhibited at the Serpentine galleries such as Rose Wylie and Wade Guyton.This flexibility generates a source of economic revenue for the galleries and the publishers, whilst enabling them to share their customers. Having a publishers like Koenig confirms a wider reach of an audience, the books can reach those who interact with the different branches of the bookshop and possibly extent the attention to the Serpentines. Apart from the networking culture through books, the Galleries also generate economic income with their restaurant. The magazine is a futuristic space sells a”fine dining” (Tracey Mcleod 2013) experience. These additions to the Serpentine appear as a brand or extensions to  what can be called seen as a gallery, the restaurant strays away from the traditional ways of appreciating art and encourages coffee culture as a form of marketing. For the galleries to remain open, its public engagement, It is clear that additions such as the restaurant are necessary in fueling publicity.The Serpentine as an institution provides a lot of educational benefits, in its free admission alone it is suitable for everyone. Engagement with art and the books opens a space of learning. Their public programs provide a collective understanding of the communities through art world, whilst each workshop enables artists to merge with their audience. Although it  is clear that areas of the galleries feed their economic revenue with the visitors time and interaction, it is also  important for the community to experience real connections between art in their everyday lives. As a charity the Serpentine galleries are  enthusiastic and as a business venture they understands  the hidden system within funding. Although the funding can be perceived as excessive, the public engagements organised by the Serpentine galleries break the boundaries on art for the elite and instead encapsulates a real dream for a harmonious community, education and togetherness of the people through art