Spalding artist calls for more support to showcase work
A Spalding abstract artist is calling for more support for alternative artists, like himself, to be able to showcase their work in the area.
Joey Lowe (29) has organised an online art exhibition for those whose work is a little more ‘contemporary and unique’ after being frustrated with the lack of opportunities to display their work.
The exhibition will run from April 4-7 and he’s hosting it for free on his website: www.joeyloweartsales.co.uk to give sculptors, graffiti artists, cartoonists, fluid artists and more the chance to shine.
“At the moment there is so much currently unavailable in Spalding. It has always been tough in the area,” he said.
Among those taking part in the online exhibition is street artist Karl Barfoot who Joey got in touch with after seeing Karl’s tribute to Captain Tom Moore in a tunnel behind the Spalding Rugby Club building on St Thomas’s Road.
“I thought what he did was really clever and endearing. It was the right time in our town for it to happen,” Joey said.
“I want the arts and culture in the town to be open to everyone but it is not open to everyone; and there seems to be a certain age or kind of community group and you are either with them or against them. We are missing an opportunity to see some really new and really exciting, talented individuals.
“I know with the South Holland Centre, they are not sure what is going to happen with it and they were talking about opening it up to the community. I said we need a community-run arts hub.”
Joey has tried to make contact with the district council but has heard nothing back. He also contacted the community-focused arts programme Transported.
Transported has since got in touch with Joey to see how they can support him.
Its programme director, Nick Jones, told us: “The pandemic lockdown has made it even more difficult for artists to share, show and sell their work. The closure of public buildings, galleries, and venues, such as Ayscoughfee Hall and the South Holland Centre, has pushed artists online, but it’s not easy then to reach your audiences.
“The challenge is especially steep in rural areas, with thin cultural networks. As more and more shops close, we have to work together to reinvent the high street and Spalding’s public spaces, and arts and culture has to be at the very centre of this.”
A spokesperson for South Holland District Council added: “As part of the improvement plan for Spalding town centre, we are working with numerous partners, including art organisations, to find ways to showcase the variety of great local talent and help to make the town centre a vibrant and attractive place to visit as we emerge from a difficult period of national lockdowns and the wider impact of COVID.
“We always welcome thoughts or feedback from our residents that can be adapted into these long-term projects, and apologise that this individual’s comments have not yet received a response from our team.
“We want to work with anybody who shares the same aspirations as us in developing the future of our town centre as an appealing place to spend time in.”