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Image by Hannah Campion

Stockton is fast becoming a real haven for artistic talent in Teesside; with an already well-established music scene at venues like the Georgian Theatre, Green Room, Ku Bar and Musiclounge, and cutting-edge theatre increasingly finding a home at ARC, the Teesside town is becoming a cultural hub.

Thanks to the Stockton Contemporary art trail, extraordinary visual art will be given a platform throughout the town from Thursday 12th-Saturday 21st July. Aiming to showcase diverse and original art from practitioners in the Tees Valley and the wider North, the art trail will show off varied work in dozens of venues.

The project has been organised by The Auxiliary Project Space. Liam Slevin, the project’s creative director, explains the ethos behind it. “What so many up and coming artists really need is a chance to exhibit work. What we’re doing here is giving those artists a chance to exhibit, while also inviting the public to see the wide variety of contemporary art on offer from the area.”

Earlier in the year an open call was put out to artists to get involved in the art trail, with submissions received from a variety of mediums. “There has been an amazing response to the open call,” Liam says. “What people are really getting behind is to show Stockton – and Teesside – as a place where great art is produced.”

What so many up and coming artists really need is a chance to exhibit work.

Among the artists showcasing their work are Teesside University graduates Jenni Dixon, Gemma Tierney and Charlie Wood, established local painter Emma Bennett, painter and sound installation artist Stephen Irving, large-scale site-specific artist Hannah Campion and Ritchard Allaway, whose striking artificial light installations create an immersive sensory experience. Paintings, projections, sculpture, installations, video work and performance will all feature and exhibitions will be free to view, with many taking place in venues which aren’t usually associated with visual art.

It’s hoped that visitors will get a chance to see Stockton reimagined in exciting new ways, whether it’s through paintings in local shops to immersive installations in slack space around the town. Amongst the venues hosting works will be award-winning micro-pub The Golden Smog, Wellington Square and Castlegate shopping centre, Cotton Cloth sales and Leinster Property Services, Whole Latte Love, artistic hub ARC – which will be taking part with their Words Bare exploration of LGBTQ people’s experiences – and there will even be artworks displayed on the newly refurbished Teesside Princess boat, which will cruise the River Tees.

Visitors are encouraged to get involved and interact with the art trail; the public will be invited to vote on their favourite works, with prize money totally £750 going to one artist to help fund their practice, and there will also be a prize draw with one voter winning an piece of original art.

Pop-up and associated events are also expected during the 10 days. To stay up to date and for more information, head to the Rediscover Stockton shop on the High Street, or visit the Auxiliary Project and Stockton Contemporary Facebook sites.

 

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