Artists invited to put Tamworth in the frame in pop-up galleries

Friday, 13th March 2015

PROFESSIONAL and budding artists alike are being invited to put Tamworth in the frame as part of an exciting project to turn the town centre into an art gallery.

Empty shops and spaces will be given a new lease of life as pop-up galleries, providing a platform upon which hidden local talent can be showcased to the public.

I Am Visual Art is the latest instalment in the ambitious 12-month I Am Tamworth project and will see disused spaces given over to art THREE times this year.

The first exhibition is set to go live in vacant units and buildings throughout the town centre for two weeks from May 30 with the theme of ‘Tamworth: The People and The Place’ and submissions are now being sought.

Visual art in any two-dimensional media is welcomed, from paintings to photography, depicting the people and places of Tamworth. This could be a self-portrait, a landscape, or any other interesting interpretation of the theme.

For this project Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team has joined forces with local artist Andy Nash who will be deciding which pieces make it into the show and arranging them into the empty spaces to create a stunning trail of art throughout the town.

Andy, who leads the Level 3 Art and Design course at South Staffordshire College, will also be on hand in Ankerside Shopping Centre on Saturday May 2nd for a live, drop-in, free art workshop where people can gain the confidence and skills to prepare their own work for the exhibition.

Participants will also be invited to contribute towards a collaborative piece that will be displayed in the town.

Glascote resident Andy said: “I’m really excited about the I Am Visual Art project. There is a lot of talent in Tamworth, but there hasn’t been a public platform for this to be shown for a very long time.

“This is an opportunity to put visual arts in Tamworth back on the map. The hope is that we will really make a mark with this initiative and that it will lead to something more permanent.

“The other exciting thing is that it will get people talking about art, while increasing footfall to the town centre.

“The workshops running alongside each event will be designed to give encouragement and praise to all artists, whatever their age or ability. Everyone is an artist; it’s just that not everyone knows they are.”

A maximum of two art pieces can be put forward per submission. They must be no larger than A1 in size and in a two-dimensional format.

All work must be handed in to Tamworth Tourist Information Centre in Corporation Street by Saturday, May 23. It will then be judged by a panel of art professionals to ensure it is appropriate to the theme of the exhibition.

Submissions must include the artist’s name, title of work, type of media used, email, phone number and address on the back. Tamworth Borough Council cannot be held responsible for any damage and artwork can be collected once the exhibition is dismantled.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “This is another really exciting I Am Tamworth project which will hopefully get local people involved in the arts. I Am Visual Art is something everyone can be a part of; whether it’s having a go at one of the workshops, creating their own piece of artwork to be considered for the exhibition, or simply viewing the work once it’s on display.

“It’s also a great way to revitalise and bring colour to empty shops and hopefully encourage more people into the town and we’d like to thank Ankerside Shopping Centre and Peer Group Plc for allowing us to use their shops for the project.”

I Am Tamworth is a massive free project which aims to inspire, excite and get people across the borough involved in the arts. It has a number of elements, such as drama, dance, events, words and music.

More information is available at www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/i-am-tamworth/i-am-visual-art or from the Arts & Events team on 01827 709314.