A month-long showcase of local arts talent is returning to Banbury for a second year.
We’re Here Now launched in May 2014 to celebrate the work of art and design students at Banbury and Bicester College.
More than 2,000 people engaged with the initiative, which included pop-up shops, exhibitions and community activities held across the town centre.
Following this success the team behind We’re Here Now are preparing to re-launch with a new collection of student work covering graphic design, illustration, print, film, photography, ceramics, metal work, sculpture and textiles.
The first exhibition space will open in Castle Quay on Saturday 16 May to showcase the work of students on higher education arts programmes. A second exhibition and pop-up shop will open on Saturday 6 June, featuring work by further education students and including space for community workshops. Both will open Wednesdays to Sundays until 20 June.
Louise Williams, one of the organisers, said: “We’re Here Now is designed to celebrate Banbury’s young creative arts talent and provide local people with more opportunity to engage with the arts.
“Organised by the artists themselves, it is indicative of the emerging grassroots movement taking place across the country which is finding new and innovative ways of raising the profile of the arts.
“We were delighted with the response to last year’s events and are looking forward to engaging with many more people this year. We are grateful for the support from Castle Quay and from Travis Perkins, which is providing paint and other materials, which is helping to make it possible.”
Banbury town team co-ordinator, Neil Wild, said: “As a town team we are very keen to see arts and crafts playing a much bigger part in the mix of businesses in our town centre.
“It’s very encouraging to see how much energy college students and staff have put into securing this opportunity as a showcase for their creativity, and we very much hope we’ll see their creative talents in other town centre pop ups and as part of our Banbury presents... performance thread in the coming weeks and months.”
The showcase will feature work, to view and to buy, from students on a range of creative arts courses. It will precede the college’s end of year shows, taking place at Banbury and Bicester College’s campus in Broughton Road, which open on 25 June.