New venue for artists to share in Preston

Four UCLan graduates have set up a new art space in the city centre.
Four UCLan graduates have set up a new art space in the city centre.
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A group of university graduates are bringing a touch of creative culture to Preston by opening up a new studio in the heart of the city for local artists to use.

The quartet are all graduates from the University of Central Lancashire and have set up Birley Art Studios and Project Space for local creatives to develop their arts practice and showcase their work to the public.

The project is the brainchild of UCLan MA fine art graduates Mat Birchall, Jane Bennett, and Steph Fletcher along with former film and media studies student, Benedict Rutherford, who together set up a social enterprise called the POST POST earlier this year with support from the university.

The new space was officially opened by the Mayor of Preston Coun Verionica Afrin.

Steph Fletcher said: “Although there are already a few great options for artists to exhibit in Preston, such as Oxheys Mill Studios and the Harris Stairway, we felt that Preston could still benefit from more in the way of professional art space and opportunities.

“We want to keep creativity in Preston and encourage local artists to share their work with the community.

“Essentially this project is about starting a space with our own identity, sharing contemporary and visual art by emerging artists and recent graduates.

“We would love to hear from artists, makers, writers and creatives from the area who might want to get involved and help grow our creative network.”

Email thebirley@gmail.com via Twitter @the_birley and through Facebook by liking The Birley Artists Studios.