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Preston art studio is tripling in size

Posted on - 6th February, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, What's On in Preston
The Birley Studios in Birley Street Pic: Google
The Birley Studios in Birley Street Pic: Google

A Preston city centre art studio is about to triple in size.

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The Birley, in Birley Street, neaar the Town Hall, was founded in 2014.

Regularly featured in art guides, the Birley has been gaining a reputation for being a very creative space.

The studio has expanded to take on the first-floor of the building.

Founded by graduates of the University of Central Lancashire the studios say they have been oversubscribed since the first year of opening.

The studios are used by Turner Prize winning artist Professor Lubaina Himid CBE.

Read more: New free arts club for kids is a hit from UCLan

Studio directors Stephanie Fletcher and Benedict Rutherford said: “We are the only artist-led studios in the city centre, and have had more demand for affordable artist spaces than we ever anticipated.

“We are passionate about supporting contemporary art practice, and really excited about having more artists joining us – and the new opportunities and events this will bring.

“We have worked closely with Preston City Council, who own the building we occupy, as well as other arts organisations and artists in the city, and are grateful for all the support we’ve had along the way – in particular from Lubaina Himid and In Certain Places.”

The first floor of the building is due for a major refurb Pic: The Birley
The first floor of the building is due for a major refurb Pic: The Birley

Other artists using the space include Rebecca Chesney, Faye Spencer and Tracy Hill.

Read more: Fears for future of Preston creative youth group

Cabinet member for culture and leisure councillor Peter Kelly said: “We’re delighted the council can support the growing artist community in
Preston by providing this extra space for the Birley.

“It’s a great example of keeping graduates in the city and adds to the vibrant
and diverse cultural offer the city is delivering.”

Work on the expansion is due to be complete by the summer.

Turner Prize winning artist Lubaina Himid said: “Contemporary art is flourishing at the Birley and I am delighted to be part of this brilliant project in Preston.”

Have you visited the Birley studios? What do you think of the news? Let us know in the comments below

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