In recent years Blackpool ‘art scene’, had somewhat dwindled, but with new and upcoming ventures embracing the town, that scene is putting Blackpool back on the art map. Abingdon Studios, Blackpool’s newest contemporary art studios housing an array of local professional artists has now received an amazing accolade of securing Arts Council funding.
What this means for Abingdon Studios and the Blackpool art scene (which could now be described as thriving) is that artists who are based here can further their ventures, and develop the studios model as a space for production.
Alongside securing the Arts Council funding Abingdon Studios and the artists will also open the space to hundreds of aspiring art students as part of a partnership with Blackpool and the Fylde College. As well as aspiring students being welcomed to the studios, eight short term residencies will be provided to artists from across the UK to visit and work with Abingdon Studios and its collective of artists.
Garth Gratrix, Places for Art Project Manager, said: “Securing the funding from Arts Council England is a huge vote of confidence in the model we’re developing at Abingdon Studios. It will enable us to grow the skills and knowledge of the artists who are currently in the space and offer learning opportunities to local students that they wouldn’t otherwise have”.
The five artists who are currently based at Abingdon Studios will also visit other studios across the region in order to explore their own practice. Bearing this in mind they then hope to achieve a more regional notoriety, and hence put Blackpool back on the art map by creating a sustainable model for art production in Blackpool.
Garth added: “It is an investment in the future of art production in the town – retaining and developing talent is key to a brighter and more creative future in Blackpool. We have a highly respected and nationally recognised gallery in the Grundy and now we have investment to ensure that an equally high standard of production can take place just a stone’s throw form it’s door”.
The Grundy Art Gallery is a key partner in the studio space and it is hoped that the artist who are resident in the space may exhibit work there.
Of the exhibition events which have taken place to date at Abingdon Studios the works on show have always been impressive, shown variety of specialisms in the art field, and have had great responses by the public. It is especially fantastic that local artists have proven their studios worthy of Arts Council England funding and are continuing to go from strength to strength.
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