As the Christmas fast approaches the Blackpool arts scene brings an abundance of cultural entertainment that is free for all to enjoy tonight. Six creative venues are opening their doors to welcome late night shoppers in from the cold and feast upon the best of Blackpool art, craft and design this festive season in Blackpool.
The evening begins at The Grundy Art Gallery on Queen Street where from 5pm until 7.30pm there is an opportunity to see it’s two fantastic exhibitions. The first exhibition entitled ‘Companions’ sees contemporary artist Ben Cain respond to some of the Grundy’s prestigious collection, inviting artists and craftspeople throughout the North west to respond to the pieces he has selected.
The second continues the gallery’s recent offer of showcasing local talent, and sees photographers from the Fylde Coast explore the notion of community in the stunning exhibition ‘Civic Photography’.
There will also be an opportunity to do a spot of Christmas shopping whilst visiting the gallery with a new range of artistic gifts from the Grundy Shop.
Also starting the evening’s creative proceedings at 5.30-8.00pm is a recent collaboration between art forms, which saw Blackpool based artist Sam Simpson and local dance troop FY Wingz showing to the Fylde Coast how drawing and dance can come together in rhythmic harmony. Artist Simpson spent research time with the dance company who have inspired her to create a figurative and emotive exhibition. The exhibition opens on the evening at Café Fresch Victoria Street and it comes complete with music to complement the show, and original artwork & prints available for purchase.
Abingdon Studios above Abingdon Street Market also takes part in the cultural offering hosting a hotly anticipated TestBed from 6pm-8pm. The exhibition has been organised by Abingdon studio artist Ann Carragher as part of the wider global festival ArtCOP which focuses on climate change.
The exhibition promises to showcase a variety of work that has been submitted through its open call. The artwork will reflect upon the ethos of the wider festival, and with organiser Carragher being a lecturer of Fine Art the exhibition will also provide opportunity for thought provoking conversations around climate change.
If you are after a bit of retail therapy but with a creative twist then two art hubs have plenty of festive offerings.
Blott Artist Studios on South King Street are opening their Christmas shop until 8pm with a range of high quality items created and designed by artists. The shop has a range of original drawings, limited edition prints plus a wide selection of vintage Blackpool designs on ceramic and china mugs, cotton tote bags, postcards and T-shirts. All proceeds from Blott’s Christmas shop will be going towards the studio’s next contemporary art exhibition.
Over at independent retailer Charabanc on Coronation Street the creative collective will be throwing open their doors for a Christmas Shopping Party with free festive refreshments from 6pm-9pm and a plethora of handmade and locally produced gifts. With products from over twenty five designers and makers they have something to suit even the trickiest of people to buy with including jewellery, homewares, clothing and accessories. So for that unique and personalised creative gift Charabanc is worth a visit.
Also eagerly anticipated during the evening is a very special pop up art show from creative collective Arrested ReDevelopment .
The Pop up show entitled ‘Herrods’ can be found in an empty retail unit in St John’s Square, which has been transformed into a contemporary art space that will showcase a wealth of local talent from 6pm-9pm.
The pop up open until Christmas is the brainchild of Robin Ross from local creative epicentre The Old Rock Factory, and the much celebrated illustrator John Marc Allen from The Tangerine Art Company.
‘Herrods’ also exclusively features a range of work on exhibition for sale from Blackpool based artists including Bertia Pottery, Dawn Mander Photography, and Elizabeth Ward.
With the local art scene literally buzzing about the evening, Duncan Hodgson, Marketing & Audience Development Manager at LeftCoast, feverishly festive said:
“It’s great to see the arts scene coming together in this way to provide late night shoppers in Blackpool a creative contrast to the traditional high street offer. There is a wealth of artistic talent right on our doorstep here in Blackpool and these events demonstrate that beautifully.”
Also equally excited about the evening Councillor Vikki Singleton, Lead for Arts at Blackpool Council, said:
“There are some great local artists in Blackpool and this is a great chance for people to see some of the fabulous work that they do, as well as picking up some Christmas presents at the same time.
“With our special £1 parking offer, we’re encouraging shoppers to visit the town centre and spend their money locally this Christmas, either at the different art exhibitions or with any of our other great town centre businesses.”
Those wanting to visit on the night can also take advantage of parking for just £1 after 5pm at the Hounds Hill Multi Story, West Street, Central, Talbot Multi Story and East Topping Street car parks.
With so much talent exhibited and for sale during the evening, the night promises not only to be an entertaining spree of talent, but an incredible retail experience all of which is for free. Christmas has certainly come early for Blackpool.
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