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Crowdfunder launches to bring art to the streets of Preston

Posted on - 27th February, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Campaigns, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Proud Preston
Artwork will feature on the hoardings outside BHS. Pic Enjoy the Show Garry Cook
Art on the Streets of Preston hopes to give local artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in central Preston. Pic Enjoy the Show/Garry Cook

A new project to put art on display outdoors in Preston City Centre has launched.

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Local arts organisation, Enjoy the Show, has created Art on the Streets of Preston as a way to give local artists somewhere to exhibit their work.

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“When you display and promote the work of people who live locally you encourage a feeling of pride in the city,” said Enjoy the Show’s Garry Cook. “You only have to look at the success of the Harris Open to see how the people of Preston love seeing their own art exhibited.

“It’s totally depressing for any artist not to have the opportunity to display their work. In Preston, there is no gallery space offering this opportunity that can be accessed easily. The Larder, The Birley, and Shop on Syke Street support artists brilliantly with exhibitions but none of these are open every day. Accessibility is a huge problem in Preston. It’s really simple – if artists have an opportunity to display their work, they are more inclined to be creative.

If the crowdfunder is successful a call out will take place for artists to sumit work. Pic Enjoy the Show Garry Cook
If crowdfunding is successful a call-out will take place for artists to submit work. Pic Enjoy the Show/Garry Cook

“Just having work on public display is a huge boost to an artist – it’s massively encouraging. For some, it could possibly change their careers. Not all art is created to be seen in public but when it is – and people get positive comments about it – they get a huge confidence boost.

“We are told time and time again that research shows that arts and culture boost local economies and can lead regeneration in city centres but I don’t think enough is being done to support local artists in Preston. I hope this project can be the start of something bigger.”

Enjoy the Show's Garry Cook
Enjoy the Show’s Garry Cook would like this project to support the brilliance of Preston’s artists and give people pride in the city. Pic Enjoy the Show/Garry Cook

Enjoy the Show’s Art on the Streets of Preston project is part of a fundraising campaign run by Lancashire County Council, who will pay half of the costs if enough of the public pledge support. Pledges can be from as little as £2. Projects with the most single pledges, no matter what the amount is, will win match funding from Lancashire County Council.

If the crowdfunding campaign is successful, there will be an open call out for artists who wish to have their work displayed. Around 20 artists will have their work put on display. The only restrictions on work will be that they are two-dimensional and able to be printed onto A0-size boards. The majority of the artworks are expected to be installed on the hoardings of the former BHS building on Fishergate.

“I want this project to celebrate the brilliance of Preston artists,” said Garry. “I would like it to give people a reason to visit the city centre and feel pride in Preston.”

Enjoy the Show also brings spoken word and theatre performances to Preston. Pic Enjoy the Show Garry Cook
Enjoy the Show also brings spoken word and theatre performances to Preston. Pic Enjoy the Show/Garry Cook

Enjoy the Show has previously run Lancashire Fringe Festival and the Lancashire Photography Festival. The organisation also regularly brings spoken word and theatre shows to Preston. On Thursday 30 March, acclaimed poet Tony Walsh returns to The Ferret. Comedy theatre from spoof erotic fiction writer Pamela DeMenthe arrives on 25 April. Storyteller Oliver Lavery, who first performed in the city as part of Lancashire Fringe Festival last year, returns with Celtic Tides at The Stanley Arms on 16 April, and poet Matt Abbott is doing a special one-off gig at The Ferret on 23 May. On Bank Holiday Monday, 29 May, Rowan McCabe’s touring show Door-to-Door Poetry: Nationwide is at The Continental.

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Pledges to the fundraising project can be made at the Art On The Streets of Preston fundraising page here.

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