A new community arts initiative that showcases local artists’ work in St Albans City Centre ‘City Summer Scapes’ has launched with artwork displayed on railings outside the Museum + Gallery, the parklets in High Street and the Cathedral.
Launched this week, it is part of a new and ongoing community arts project, run by St Albans BID, that creates vibrancy and supports local St Albans artists by exhibiting their artwork in outside spaces where they can be seen and enjoyed by the public.
Founder of Collective, the unique community artistic hub on Holywell Hill, Aisha Adi says:
“Collective is a unique gallery built on a vision of inclusivity. We aim to engage new audiences in contemporary arts particularly underrepresented groups and those who have barriers to participation. We offer a relaxing space for workshops, exhibitions and events and we are proud to be very approachable.
“So, I immediately said ‘yes’ when I was approached by St Albans BID as the whole idea behind the project resonates very strongly with our vision here at Collective of giving emerging local artists a voice and providing opportunity to get their artwork seen.
“I put out a call for vibrant work that is thought-provoking and that people are drawn to. I was delighted by the response and the calibre of work submitted.”
Helen Lack is one of the local artists whose works are displayed on the High Street. Helen is an extremely successful and well-known contemporary artist whose energetic and vibrant style made her a perfect contributor. Helen has seen huge success and acclaim with her works exhibited in many prestigious galleries in London and New York. Devastatingly, Helen was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and is currently in Watford’s Peace Hospice.
Aisha from Collective added:
“I felt very passionately that an area should be dedicated specifically for artist Helen Lack who currently has a solo exhibition at Collective gallery. I wanted as much of our community as possible to view her work- it’s a fitting tribute to her talent and mesmerising art.”
Denise Parsons, Manager of St Albans BID, says:
“We hope our new community arts initiative will enhance our city centre, bringing it to life and giving it vibrancy, colour and beauty. We aim to make art inclusive for all and give people joy in the most unexpected of places.”
The first instalments, by 28 local artists, are displayed in the three areas across the city on A3 and A2 Foamex weatherproof boards.
Chris Blanch, project lead at St Albans BID, says:
“This project is all about inclusiveness. We wanted to create a stunning piece of external artwork which is accessible to all, as opposed to being inside a building. Community artwork is a passion and I love the idea of people seeing these wonderful artworks when they are wandering past, perhaps on their way to work, or whilst shopping. It’s unexpected and it makes people stop and think.”
St Albans BID approached new local art gallery, Collective, whose aim is to nurture creative talents and build a community of artists and local residents alongside engaging new audiences in contemporary arts, to work with them on the project.
City Summer Scapes, the first of the pop-up public art exhibitions runs until Sunday 29th August. There are plans to move the exhibition to Verulamium Park for September to allow for a new pop-up linked to the St Albans Food & Drink festival.
Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project is back for 2022
Returning for the first time since 2019, this year sees the return of Wycombe Swan’s Summer Youth Project. Running since 1993, numerous participants have gone on to have successful careers both on and off stage. Join us on our next adventure! Build confidence, develop skills, have fun, and make long-lasting friendships.
About Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project (SYP)
Over the two-week project, Wycombe Swan comes alive to the sights and sounds of 150 young people doing everything they can to put on a full-scale musical in time for curtain up!
Participants have the option of taking to the stage as a performer, or to make magic happen as part of the Technical Team.
All performances take place on our main stage in the 1,000 seated Wycombe Swan Theatre.
Only those wishing to have a principal/speaking role or be a dance captain need to audition.
Big Fish The Show
This year, the show is BIG FISH. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton.
AUDITIONS (FOR THOSE WISHING TO HAVE A SPEAKING ROLE): Sunday 22 May
DATES: Mon 15 to Sunday 28 August
AGES: 9-21 (performers). 14-21 (technical team)
It is our wish that no young person misses out due to financial constraints. For this reason, we offer bursaries of up to 100% so that anybody can take part.
TO APPLY, AND FOR MORE INFO: Visit https://wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/summerproject
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday 13 May
The Chequers in Woolmer Green reopens after refurbishment
Wells & Co’s Hertfordshire based pub, The Chequers, is opening its doors after an extensive refurbishment. Completed works include an entirely refreshed bar and dining area, redecorated throughout to create a modern and chic look and feel to the pub located in the civil parish village of Woolmer Green. The cosy interior boasts an intimate lounge area, large dining area and an extensive garden makeover inclusive of heated spaces and high table fire pits, perfect for those late-Summer evenings.
Upstairs has been reconfigured to make room for four en-suite bedrooms for guests to book, as well as a private dining room holding up to 20 people. The new dining room is perfect for all event needs, whether its a private party, private function or even to host a work meeting.
The updated food menu features seasonal and fresh dishes inclusive of much loved pub classics like fish and chips or the ever popular 21-day aged beef burger, where the team will also be donating 25p of every burger sold to local primary school St Michael’s. Aloingside the classics the full dining menu at The Chequers includes more indulgent dishes such as cajun sweet potato, okra, and black-eyed pea gumbo, wild porcini mushroom, truffle and ricotta filled mezzaluna pasta and new daily specials.
There is also a great new range of drinks behind the bar including a range of tasty Brewpoint beers brewed just down the road in Bedford, as well as a full wine and spirits list for guests to enjoy.
Greg Knox, General Manager for the Wells & Co. site said, “The Chequers has, quite simply put, been a transformational refurbishment. The pub is ready, our food is prepped, drinks will be flowing, and our team are on hand to welcome the people of Woolmer Green and beyond, back to their much-loved pub. I can’t wait to personally welcome everyone back.”
To book a room or table at The Chequers visit the website here: https://chequerswoolmergreen.co.uk/
Ware Festival’s Rock in the Priory line up has been confirmed
After a two year break, Rock in the Priory 2022 is back and will be at its usual location on the Priory Island on Sunday, 17th July.
Showcase auditions were held at Southern Maltings on the April 10th and helped determine the line-up for the main event. The organisers are grateful to all the musicians who came along to perform.
The high standard of performances made the selection process difficult. The seven bands and three acoustic acts who will be entertaining the crowds on July 17th are listed below.
Quivering Lip are a two-piece originals and cover band playing rock and brit pop anthems. Quivering Lip wrote and recorded their first 5 track album Generation Panic in 2018, following it up with a new release “Ashes” in April 2019.
Uptown Punk are a high energy, 5-piece pop/punk band, covering fan favourites from 90s to present. Their set is full of well known pop/punk tunes, with a bit of Rock thrown in. Artists covered include; Blink 182, Green Day, The Offspring, Foo Fighters, Sum 41 and many more.
Grace is a singer, pianist and songwriter based in Hertfordshire specialising in acoustic pop, golden oldies, jazz and much more. Take a moment to listen/watch her Thinking Out Loud cover.
Other artists performing at Ware Festival’s Rock in the Priory include Adam Fearn, Mr No Face, Back to the 50s, George Croucher, Junkyard Dolls, Second Bite, The Routine.
Ware Festival and Rock in the Priory
The last Rock in the Priory was held in 2019. This annual event is known for its excellent atmosphere and energy. It takes place in the unique setting of the Island bandstand, nestled within seven acres of picturesque riverside gardens of the 14th century Ware Priory building. Tickets in advance are £5 entry or a family ticket at £15 for two adults and up to four children. Further details about Ware Festival and Rock in the Priory can be found on rockinthepriory.co.uk