Twelve emerging young artists are set to arrive in Blackpool this Friday for a residency weekend exploring popular culture.
The weekend has been organised as part of a pilot to explore new ways for artists aged 18-30 to come together to learn and share ideas.
Born out of an ongoing collaboration between UK Young Artists (UKYA) and town centre space Abingdon Studios above Abingdon Street Market, the long term hope is to create a national scheme allowing young artists to develop new work.
Garth Gratrix, Abingdon Studios Founding Director, said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming some of the UKs best emerging young artists to Blackpool for the weekend.
“The weekend has been born out of an ongoing collaboration between Abingdon Studios and UK Young Artists, building on previous residency programmes we have hosted.
“Through residency opportunities such as this we are continuing to put Blackpool on the map as a site for visual arts production, using its unique popular culture backdrop as a tool to inspire new work.”
The visiting artists were chosen through a rigorous selection process from applications which were sent in from across the UK.
While they are in town the artists will be hearing from industry professionals including Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast who have supported the project, and well established artists and curators including Richard Smith, Tom Ireland, Andrew Gannon, Thomas Small and Claudio Zecchi.
Michelle Bowen, Strategic Director of UK Young Artists added: “After several visits to Blackpool, we are very excited about bringing a national collection of artists to connect and collaborate in new ways on the coast.
“The culture is rich and unique here and we want artists to engage with the place and continue to progress their development here.
“Working with Abingdon Studios makes perfect sense as it gives artists a chance to explore new possibilities in a new studio space.”
The artists will also be spending time exploring Blackpool’s spaces and culture, with visits to the Grundy Art Gallery and The Blackpool Tower, and collaborating to create new site specific work in the town.
On arrival, the artists will work together in a matter of hours to create a pop-up exhibition in Abingdon Studios project space which will be open to the public from 6pm.