InvestSK, South Kesteven District Council’s economic growth and regeneration company, has worked with local artists and landlords to breathe new life into an empty Stamford retail unit by creating a weekend ‘pop up’ shop showcasing local art.
The temporary shop, which featured as part of the SKDC and InvestSK Arts Around Town event last Friday, was occupied by three local artists: metalsmith Shalini Austin, felt artist Eve Marshall and stained glass artist, Cathi Prince of Shedglas Design. There was also a display of work from Art For All group at Dementia Support South Lincs.
Steve Bowyer, chief executive of InvestSK, said: “InvestSK is here to support local businesses, boost our town centres, and drive cultural and artistic growth. Bringing forward this arts pop-up shop was a great way of delivering all of those aspirations, and showcasing Stamford’s thriving arts scene.
“Our cultural strategy conversation events earlier this month had given us great insight into what local artists are looking for in terms of support, and there was a recurring theme around space – to create new art and showcase their pieces. We listened to that feedback so wanted to trial this pop-up shop concept and I’m thrilled with how well it was received.”
Shalini Austin, a local artist who makes hand-crafted decorative copper items, metal and wire jewellery and sculptures, said: “The pop-up shop was fantastic and I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to take part. The shop was really busy all weekend so it gave me great exposure to new local customers. I’d love to do something similar in the future.”
Andrew Harrison, owner of 5 Red Lion Street which was home to the pop-up shop, said: “I was delighted to work with InvestSK to make the artists’ pop-up shop a reality. I’m keen to support the local community and what better way than to help fledgling businesses and showcase the fantastic arts offer we have in Stamford.”
Councillor Matthew Lee, the Leader of South Kesteven District Council and ward councillor for St Mary’s Ward, Stamford, added: “I am delighted that we were able to respond so quickly to the call from local artists to bring forward exhibition space onto our high street. Stamford has vibrant retail and creative industries and I am keen that we continue to work together to make our town centres exciting and interesting for the benefit of residents and visitors to our town.”