The Birley - Studio Expansion
This month The Birley Artist Studios & Project space will more than triple in size.
Established by locally based contemporary artists in 2014, all graduates of UCLan, the studios have been oversubscribed for space since their first year of opening. The takeover of the first floor of the building they currently occupy on Birley Street in the city centre will enable new members to join.
The studios - a volunteer-led project - will develop gradually throughout the year, with building improvements taking place alongside exhibitions, workshops and events. A launch celebration event is planned for Summer 2019.
"We are the only artist-led studios in the city centre, and have had more demand for affordable artist spaces than we ever anticipated. We are passionate about supporting contemporary art practice, and really excited about having more artists joining us - and the new opportunities and events this will bring. We have worked closely with Preston City Council, who own the building we occupy, as well as other arts organisations and artists in the city, and are grateful for all the support we've had along the way - in particular from Lubaina Himid and In Certain Places." - Stephanie Fletcher & Benedict Rutherford, Studio Directors.
New members will join from February onwards, including Turner Prize winning artist Professor Lubaina Himid CBE and Making Histories Visible project ; alongside Rebecca Chesney, Faye Spencer, Tracy Hill, & more. Further members will be added from the current waiting list, and there will also be opportunities to get involved through associate membership.
"Contemporary art is flourishing at the Birley and I am delighted to be part of this brilliant project in Preston" - Lubaina Himid.
Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Preston City Council, said:
“We’re delighted the council can support the growing artist community in Preston by providing this extra space for the Birley.
“It’s a great example of keeping graduates in the city and adds to the vibrant and diverse cultural offer the city is delivering.”