NEWS: Cornerstone Community Arts Centre Launch Weekender | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Art by Mary Griffiths, who will be exhibiting with her daughter Merlyn Griffiths, who sells her lino prints as The Littlest Falcon

Darlington residents and artists Louise Maddison and Pete Nicholson have keenly felt the loss of a permanent, dedicated arts centre in the town and the community spirit such a place can nurture. When the opportunity came up to take over the old Marks & Spencers building, they jumped at the chance to occupy the massive shop unit and repurpose it to serve the needs of the local arts community.

Despite the considerable challenges lockdown has presented, Cornerstone Community Arts Centre is now ready to become a hub of creativity run, as Louise so succinctly puts it, “by the people, for the people”. The centre will have multiple, flexible gallery spaces, performance space, areas for teaching and workshops and will host several artist studios, not to mention housing community radio station Darlo Radio. Plans for an outdoor stage and onsite cafe are also in the works.

To celebrate the centre’s completion, a launch weekend will take place over the August bank holiday, featuring exhibitions from artists including The Northern Echo’s cartoonist Cliff, aka John Longstaff; illustrator Brian Lee; mother and daughter artists Mary and Merlyn Griffiths; sculptor Andy Boylett and Darlington film company Broken Scar Productions will screen their short film, The Curator. Throughout the weekend a variety of events and workshops will be on offer, with a multitude of artists demonstrating their craft.

The launch of such a space will be a real game changer for artists based in Darlington, providing a creative home for practitioners and art lovers alike.

Cornerstone Community Arts Centre’s launch weekend takes place from Friday 28th-Monday 31st August at 70 Northgate, Darlington

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