Local artists makeover Stockport's empty stores

11 Jan 2019 12:39

Closed and empty shops in Stockport's old town are set to go from eyesore to eye-catching with local designers teaming up to redecorate hoardings, shutters and empty spaces.

The new 'Open Spaces' project will see disused council-owned building in Underbanks and Hillgate transformed by artists and illustrators.

A non-profit and self-funded scheme, phase one of Open Spaces saw shop fronts themed in 'Remembrance' to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Open Spaces was conceived by Jane Crowther, Paper Consultant at GF Smith and Vicky Carr, co-founder of Manchester graphic design agency Textbook Studio.

Jane Crowther says: "Stockport's beautiful old town has been loved by many generations, we wanted to breathe new life into the area by using unused ships as a canvas, as there are so many young creative enterprises locally.

"We approached the council for permission and were delighted to get their full support. Stockport is an amazing town full of history and charm, we hope to show people just how creative it is too."

Phase two of the project will see two council-owned spaces become Creative Work areas, places where up-and-coming artists, designers and illustrators can grow their practice and confidence amongst other like-minded creatives. Phase three will involve establishing a social creative scene, with events and lectures including a planned print fair in the Hat Works.

"Open Spaces is an on-going process, a constant cycle of growth and creativity," says Jane. "We are very excited to be working with Stockport's incredible local talent to make it happen and have had such an amazing community response from people of all ages and walks of life, who are happy to see creativity and beauty blooming in the town."

Artists involved in Open Spaces include Ian Parkin and Paul Allen, Graphic Designer lectures at Stockport College, art student Keirah Spalding; artists Yasmin Lever, Josh Wayles, Ben Harrison and Paul Hallows; illustrator Maisy Summers and creator Liam Hopkins.

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