The woman who’s co-ordinating things at the new Creative Village Arts Project in Derry city centre says there’s been a huge response to it from the artistic community locally.
The newly-refurbished two storey building dedicated to the arts officially opened its doors to the public over a week ago. The premises, in the Pump Street courtyard area of the city, is geared towards providing affordable studio space and a fine art print workshop for artists.
Co-ordinator Janet Hoy said; “Since announcing the coming availability of low cost artists’ studios in the city centre, we have been inundated with applications from local artists looking for a professional environment in which to work.”
Creative Village Arts and Derry Print Workshop were awarded £135,000 and £49,650 respectively from Ilex through the City of Culture Capital Infrastructure Fund, operated by the Department of Social Development.
The money has helped Creative Village Arts with the refurbishment of artist studios and a workshop at the Pump Street Courtyard including a large end studio on the premises which is being kept for creative groups, lessons and events.
Money awarded to Derry Print Workshop has helped fund specialist fine art printing equipment including relief presses, etching presses, a nipping press for bookmaking, photo etching facilities and also a large Giclee Printer, for the production of fine art digital prints up to 44” wide.
Ilex’s Cultural Broker Caomhin Corrigan said these complementary projects continue the good work done by the One Plan regeneration project in the city.
“Together, these two projects will add to the regeneration of the Cathedral Quarter. Taken in tandem with other projects under the scheme, they maintains the momentum we have established in regenerating our city in line with the One Plan.”
The fully-equipped fine art print workshop is the first of its kind in the city and aims not only to service professional artists but also to promote printmaking in the wider community.
Artists with limited knowledge of print workshop practice are welcome to use the facilities under supervision and there are plans afoot for training sessions aimed at those who wish to learn more about the printmaking craft.
The lunchtime launch of the project was on Friday week last, and was attended by members of the artistic community and those who supported the project from its inception, including Bishop James Mehaffey, who stressed the importance of such a project, saying “the art and cultural side of life are becoming more and more important to the city”.
Speaking at the event, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said the projects will help local artists develop skills and leave “a legacy for young artists of the future”.
The studios in the Creative Village are priced at £25 per week, all inclusive, and they allow for a studio to be shared between two people if that proves more cost effective. Each studio comes with electricity, heating, light, sink and broadband access as standard and the studios will be accessible 24hrs a day. There is a minimum lease period of 3 months, for those who would like to trial renting a studio before committing to a longer lease.
Creative Village Arts will be holding open days to show prospective tenants around the studio spaces ahead of finalising their first tenancy agreements. Those interested in attending are encouraged to contact the organisation through their website at: www.creativevillagearts.com