Artists respond to call to help revitalise Warwickshire's high streets - The Leamington Observer

Artists respond to call to help revitalise Warwickshire's high streets

CREATIVES from across Warwickshire have responded to the call to take part in a public art project to revitalise the county’s streets.

Over 60 artists expressed interest to the Warwickshire ‘Our Spaces’ project led by art production agency Creative Giants, in collaboration with local authorities across the county.

The project aims to create eight public spaces, in Rugby, Leamington, Stratford, Atherstone, Coleshill, Nuneaton, Bedworth and Polesworth, reinvigorated with unique pieces of public art.

The scheme is designed to help create a sense of place, and encourage shoppers and visitors to the county’s high streets and town centres.

A selection process is now underway which will choose a shortlist of 16 artists to go forward to the next stage of the process.

Leading the selection panel is Creative Giants – which has worked with artists to create installations for Glastonbury Festival and Coventry City of Culture – along with a guest curator from the Royal Shakespeare Company and representatives from Warwickshire County Council (WCC), and the district and borough councils.

The project is funded with £150,000 from the county council’s Place Shaping Fund, and £194,000 from the Government’s Getting Building Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

Shortlisted artists will go through a series of interviews and workshops to test and develop their ideas before the final eight artists are chosen.

Each artist will be matched to a site – each with its own unique brief created by Creative Giants and informed by the opinions and stories about the towns, provided by residents who took part in a recent survey.

The artists will be mentored by Creative Giants to work with a specialist delivery contractor who will design, build and install the installations in each of the towns. The installations are expected to be in place for up four years.

WCC spokesman for economy and place, Kam Kaur, said: “We are delighted so many local artists have responded to the opportunity to take part in this exciting project which will transform public spaces across Warwickshire and help to create vibrant and attractive places for people to visit. Businesses and communities are working incredibly hard to adapt to the impact of Covid and this project is one of many initiatives to help support their efforts.”

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