'Chocs Away' at The Yard

An art exhibition will take place this weekend to launch a brand new studio complex in Winchester.

The Yard – a project part funded and assisted by Winchester City Council – aims to provide affordable studio space for un-established artists living and working within the Winchester area, and provide them with an environment in which creativity can flourish.

In doing this, it is hoped that Winchester will retain some of the creative talent which might otherwise flow into London or other large cities.

Marilyn Michalowicz, Arts Development Officer for Winchester City Council, said: “There is huge demand for affordable workspace in Winchester district, and we are delighted to help the Yard artists get started. Many of them, at the beginning of their creative careers, have been so proactive and enthusiastic and we are sure they’ll be an asset to Winchester’s rich cultural life.”

To launch the new organisation and venue an exhibition of art work will be held at The Yard, in Wharf Hill, with pieces from Winchester School of Art students and some by more established artists with local connections.

The many artists include John Gibbons (Head of Sculpture at WSA and curator of Year of Sculpture), Andrew Carnie (a tutor at WSA), Steven Cooper and Ian Dawson.

Artist and project organiser Chris Carter said: “The project is very much in its infancy, but we hope to grow the studio into a hub for new creative practices, and develop further opportunities for new artists to gain a foothold in the city.”

Local artist Ed Gillibrand added: “It's given me a reason to stay in Winchester and will allow me to pick up from where my degree show work will leave off. I planned to move to London before this opportunity came up, and it probably would have taken me a while to earn enough money to be able to afford a studio.”

Help in establishing The Yard came from Winchester City Council’s estates, economic development, and arts development teams through the provision of affordable accommodation, funding of £2,000 to get the building fit for purpose, and advice and support to establish the group.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 3 May to Monday 5 May.
Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: Noon-4pm

The closest parking is at Chesil Street car park. For more details and a map go to: www.myspace.com//the_yard_winchester