Art in the park event finds Common Ground with residents

UniQ - The University Quarter

A WEEKEND of creative activities is set to take place at the heart of the University Quarter (UniQ) as artists from Staffordshire University, the local area and the wider UK prepare to showcase their work.

Workshops, live music and performances will be held over the two day Common Ground event at Hanley Park – on June 26 and 27 – when visitors can also explore for sculptures, paintings and other artworks.

Organised by Airspace Gallery Studio Artists, in Hanley, and sponsored by the UniQ project and Urban Vision, the event is a response to community feedback from a Quality Streets public consultation held earlier this year.

Residents were asked about what living and working in the vicinity of Hanley Park is like and one of the key responses was that more public activities should take place to make it more welcoming and interesting.

Anna Francis, senior lecturer at Staffordshire University and Airspace Gallery artist, is the event manager and has worked with the community on the research project, which helped to secure funding from Regional Action West Midlands.

She said: “This exhibition is an opportunity to prove that we really listened to the people that took part in the consultation. It’s also a great chance to showcase some of the local artistic talent in the area, while continuing to forge meaningful links between the University and the community.

"Hanley Park is an important part of the UniQ project and events like these help to demonstrate how the area is being developed. A stand by the bandstand in the park will tell people about these developments and how people can get involved.”

Eighteen artists will be exhibiting their work during the event, which aims to highlight different aspects of the park and its history.

Marc Tittensor, a first year fine art student at Staffordshire University, has created life sized stickmen who will be playing a game near the canal, demonstrating the fun side of the park.

And Kate Lynch, an Airspace Gallery artist and a graduate in fine art, will be running a workshop where people can help to create a “Green Man”, an embodiment of the park’s wildlife.

There will also be angling demonstrations for children, run by Stoke Angling For Everyone (S.A.F.E.), and a brass band concert in the bandstand, among various other activities.

Anna added: “When the park was designed by Thomas Mawson it was an arts and crafts park so we’re trying to go back to that. We want to see how people react to the artworks and how they are received over the weekend.”

The exhibition runs from 11am to 4pm on June 26 and 27. For more information visit or call 01782 261221.


Maria Scrivens
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