Beverley Road is to get a new gallery called GROUND in 2016, during a steady build up of arts and cultural provision, as we move towards the City of Culture year. Taking Martin Green Hull2017 CEO at his word when he said at a public meeting, ‘You don’t need permission to be part of City of Culture,’ – a group of Hull artists have grabbed the opportunity with both hands and are due to open Ground in the new year.
Ground is located at 60 Beverley Road in the old HIHAC office, towards the city centre. The three-storey building currently being refurbished and decorated by the artists – when complete – will boast eight in-house studio spaces, with an exciting new public exhibition space and a shop front, selling books/zines and promoting new work.
I first met Lilly and Mike, Will and Matt from Ground, at a Creative Development workshop run by Arts for Hull, where the recent graduates, spoke excitedly about their plans for the gallery.
They told me the gallery/collective’s name can be interpreted in many different ways, but they see it as signifying creative enrichment: like fertilising the soil ready for sowing.
Six months on they have become an unincorporated association – leaving the door open to develop their company status later on. There is a core team of five who deal with the day-to-day decisions and general operation of the gallery, but a full compliment of eight artists. Those artists being: Lilly Williams, Mike Sprout, William Vinegrad, Matt Collier, Pelle Hjek, Joe Johnson, Emma Crick, and Ella Dorton.
Ground secured seed-funding to pay for essential building costs and now, are in the process of putting together a successful Arts Council Bid, ahead of the planned launch next year.
These hard-working and talented artists hope, that through exposing visitors to the gallery, to new ideas and philosophies, it will have a transformative effect, not only on the individual, but also on the surrounding area. Ground are determined to make their mark on the city, not just for 2017 but in the years to follow.
It is this kind of creative spirit and entrepreneurial attitude, that Hull is becoming synonymous with, particularly in industries where a more creative approach is required.
Ground also hopes to have a fully operational printing press: providing a range of printing services and artisan publications. There are plans in the pipeline, for a programme of artists workshops, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experience the new.
When I was invited by the collective at Ground to a painting party, I had imagined I’d be white-washing a wall or dripping taupe on the skirting boards…. as you can see from the mural image I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I look forward to experiencing more of the gentle warmth and positive enthusiasm from this intriguing mix of characters, disciplines and creative energy. Website: http://www.groundarts.co.uk
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