LOTTERY balls were bouncing at Gateshead Quays yesterday as Baltic’s campaign to win a national competition got off to a buoyant start.
Staff at the Centre for Contemporary Art sported Vote for Baltic rosettes as they urged the public to vote for their local giant gallery in this year’s National Lottery Awards.
The venue, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is on a shortlist of three in the arts category of the competition which highlights the most popular good causes to benefit from the lottery.
The winner in each of seven categories, to be determined by a popular vote, will receive a trophy and £2,000 and will also feature in the awards ceremony to be screened on BBC One.
As staff posed outside Baltic yesterday, voting booths were being constructed inside. But a spokeswoman revealed that there will only be one name on the voting slips, and no prizes for guessing which it is.
Meanwhile, the latest series of exhibitions at Baltic has been announced as the venue aims to end the year as it began, with bumper crowds queuing to see work by the Turner Prize artists.
They include a show by Berwick-based artists Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich called The Encampment of Eternal Hope which will involve public participation.
Described as “a post-apocalyptic Garden of Eden survival camp, field laboratory and evolving community”, it was inspired by predictions that, according to the Mayan calendar, the world will end on December 21.
The exhibition will climax in a two-day Festival of the Apocalypse. In keeping the spirit of optimism on display yesterday, it is due to take place on December 21 and 22.
Also due this autumn is a major exhibition dedicated to the American artist Jim Shaw.
To vote for Baltic in the National Lottery Awards contest, people can ring 08448 369671 or visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards