‘Norwich has a very vibrant music and visual art scene’ - event organiser, Brian Korteling on his work

Artist Brian Korteling with the 120 paintings, laid out on the table, which he painted in 120 minute

Artist Brian Korteling with the 120 paintings, laid out on the table, which he painted in 120 minutes, called For What It's Worth. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Each week I speak to a Norwich local making an impact on the arts in our city. This week, event organiser, Brian Korteling.

How would you best describe your role within the arts community? 

As an event organiser I have been organising independent exhibitions for artists to participate in for many years, but recently I have decided to concentrate on two main events – The Spring Art Show, which is my creation and Art Fair East, which I organise with my business partner, Will Teather. 

I am also an artist myself, which is where the impetus to create exhibiting opportunities comes from. 

It is hard to find opportunities to get your work out there sometimes so it’s a great idea to create your own.

Paint Out Norwich. Artist Brian Korteling.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Paint Out Norwich. Artist Brian Korteling. - Credit: Antony Kelly

2. What do you love so much about the Norwich art scene? 

Norwich has a very vibrant music and visual art scene, which becomes more apparent when you compare it to other towns and cities. 

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I’m not sure I would be able to do what I do in other locations, so I guess the very existence of a vibrant art scene is what I like most about the Norwich art scene.

3. How did you get where you are in your career? 

Hard work and a tolerance to not earning a lot at times.

Try and hide, oil on canvas by Brian Korteling.

Try and hide, oil on canvas by Brian Korteling. - Credit: Brian Korteling

4. What advice would you give to aspiring creatives? 

Be adaptable and persistent. 

It’s not easy forging a career as an artist and having other ways of making a living is kind of essential, especially in the early day.

5. What does an average weekday look like for you? 

That depends on so many things, I don’t think I have an average weekday. 

6. Where is your favourite spot in Norwich? 

Anglia Square and the surrounding area. 

I am biased because I live in that area, but I love all the independent shops and businesses. 

Kintsugi landscape by Brian Korteling.

Kintsugi landscape by Brian Korteling. - Credit: Brian Korteling

7. Can you name one East Anglian creative whose work you admire? 

I know loads of living East Anglian artists, whose work I admire, but if I had to choose one artist it would probably be Henry Bright. 

His landscapes are incredibly dramatic and powerful as well as beautifully painted. 

8. What’s the best exhibition you have been to in East Anglia recently? 

It’s not that recent anymore I guess, but the Reality exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, on the campus of the University of East Anglia in 2015 was incredible. 

Being a painter, it was right up my street. There were some great pieces by Lucian Freud, David Hockney, George Shaw and Paula Rego.

The Spring Art Show is now open for submissions. To show your work, applications close on March 6 and work can be in any form, including 2D or 3D, prints, reproductions and cards - visit springartshow.co.uk. The show will return April 6 to 10 at the Atrium at the Forum, Norwich.