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Spalding 'on the verge' of embracing its underground arts scene

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An abstract artist feels Spalding is on the verge of a change in the way in which celebrates its arts scene.

Joey Lowe, whose latest exhibition is running at Ayscoughfee Hall, is trying to get the area to make more of its underground creative scene.

In recent weeks, Joey has made contact with a couple of local councillors and is set to hold talks with them on how to get a pop up art gallery somewhere in the town – an ambition of his.

Joey Lowe with his work at an exhibition in 2020 at the Geest Gallery in Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding.
Joey Lowe with his work at an exhibition in 2020 at the Geest Gallery in Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding.

He’s also been commissioned to create some sculptures to be placed in a public space - although further details are still under wraps.

Joey was heartened by these positive steps - and says this news follows the success of street artist Karl Barfoot and the strength of feeling shown by the Keep SHC a-LIVE group in defending the need for live performances at the South Holland Centre.

He said: “I think we are on the verge of there being a bit of a change in the town.

“I do believe there’s going to be a change - I think we are approaching the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Since launching New Normal - the first solo show since Ayscoughfee re-opened - Joey has been approached to run workshops with pupils at University Academy Long Sutton.

He will work with pupils on ways to make art without a paintbrush.

Joey supports the recent calls for a new Spalding Town Council and says he would be happy to put his name forward to sit on a new body.

He said he accepts people can be too critical of the district council - but feels he doesn’t want them to ‘fix’ everything, just offer support and advice to those willing to bring about changes to the town.

Of any new council, he said: “We are just looking for someone to take the mantel and other people will follow. I do think it definitely should not be run by the district council, that makes no sense.

“It needs to be separate.”

Joey, who wants to build an arts community, pointed to the fact that many of the ideas raised in a recent Spalding Guardian feature about how to improve the town relate to live events and the arts - showing the importance of culture to reviving its fortunes.

He said: “For the last year or so we have had people moaning about the fact that there’s no community spirit.

“There are are groups that will come into town but we have to offer them something.

“We can’t just expect them to come.”

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