High Town Art For All

Posted on by Ben Hodson

As part of my on going investigation into these ideas, I have been working on some practice led research.  One of the projects was called, High town art for all, which was a series of community arts “pop-up” galleries and events.  The purpose of the project was three fold; Firstly, to help promote artists that were  mainly local and included some people from further a field. Secondly, to help bring more cultural benefit to the town (Luton) and help develop the growing arts scene.  Finally, to directly help in the social regeneration of a run down area (High Town Road).  The project appears to have succeeded at all of these levels. It has received direct positive feedback from the council, landlords, letting agents, the public and the artists themselves.  Over 40 artists were involved, with around 20 events, workshops and private views being held.  Two out of the three shops that were used have now been let out as a direct result of the project.  The third shop is currently in discussion with buyers.  The project shows a direct and tangible positive change in the lives the local residents and shop keepers who felt that the area was being ‘improved’ and highlighted. The artists involved gained exposure for their work, found others to collaborate with and some even sold some of their work. Whereas the landlords and local council saw a direct commercial benefit as a result of their involvement in the project.  It may not be as dramatic as a change in human history such as bringing peace to a region, but it certainly started to have a redemptive affect on that part of town.