A Walk of Art: Wantage town centre shops host Student Art Trail

Jan Coleman at Coleman and Coleman jewellers

Jan Coleman at Coleman and Coleman jewellers

Pictured: Jan Coleman at Coleman and Coleman jewellers

The creative and artistic talents of students at Wantage’s King Alfred’s Academy are on display in town centre shops as part of a new art trail initiative. The Wantage Town Team and the Academy’s Creative Arts and Design Department are working together on the project, which will see student art displayed in 11 shops during the local Oxfordshire Artweeks (16-25 May).

It’s the latest in a number of initiatives supported by Wantage’s Town Team that involve young people in the Town Centre vitality project, including student and toddler art displayed in Victoria Cross Gallery, primary and secondary student art displayed in ‘The Mix’ community space on Mill Street, and young people playing their part in the “Wantage presents…” music in the marketplace performance series.

Art Trails 2015 web

Town Team Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, says: “Students at King Alfred’s are producing art that definitely deserves a wider audience, so it’s great that we have Artweeks providing opportunities to display their work. We need to say a big “thank you” to the local retailers involved who are supporting the project by letting us use their wall space for the two weeks.”

Nick Greenwood, Head of Art at King Alfred’s Academy, said: “I am very proud of our students’ dedication to art. King Alfred’s is delighted by the opportunity to exhibit the work outside school and we greatly appreciate the continued support and interest of the wider community.” Student Murran Harvey, 18, whose work will appear in Caroline’s Angels on Newbury Street, says: “I am really happy that I have the chance for my work to be shown in Wantage. It is exciting to be able to show people the wide scope of what King Alfred’s art students can achieve.”

The full list of stops on the art trail is:

  1. Figs Health Store, 20a Wallingford St
  2. The Racket Factory, Post Office Vaults
  3. Caroline’s Angels, 19 Newbury St
  4. Arbery Emporium, 10 Church St
  5. Wild Wickets, Unit 1 Arbery Arcade
  6. The Curiosity Shop, 14b The Market Place
  7. Cotswold Kids, 25 Market Place
  8. Coleman and Coleman, 27 Market Place
  9. Cartridge UK, 13-15 Market Place
  10. Valentina’s, 18 Mill St
  11. Hazel Interiors, 1 Mill St

Coleman and Coleman jewellers owners, Jan and Mark, say: “Not only is this a great opportunity to enjoy local student art exhibits, whilst doing so you get to call into some of Wantage’s ‘must visit’ shops. We are overjoyed to be part of the Wantage Art Trail 2015.”

Gabriella Turnbull, proprietor of Wild Wickets, Wantage’s new sport shop specialising in cricket equipment, says: “I am proud to participate in this programme aimed at promoting young talents. It’s a great idea to connect shopping with cultural activity.”

Cotswold Kids owner, Janette Reed, says: “It’s brilliant that the creative young people of Wantage are reaching a wider audience through this initiative. I look forward to welcoming visitors to our baby & children’s boutique. I’m sure our customers will appreciate the display, and we value the opportunity to attract people who may not have yet discovered us in our very special corner of the Market Place.”

Wantage Town Team is part of a town vitality initiative being delivered by the Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF), supported by Town Team Co-ordinators Mim Norvell and Iain Nicholson.