Participatory and Community Arts Group

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The Big Picture - large scale drawing project for artists.


Bernie Velvick from ArtFull consulted artists in Preston about what we need to continue to develop our creative practice in competition with the everyday pressures that take over our time. From this consultation comes a project supporting artists to spend time together participating in an ambitious creative activity. Bernie was successful in gaining funding to organise and facilitate the project and provide materials.


The Big Picture provides artists in Preston with the opportunity to take part in a series of three large scale drawing days. Sessions will be based on a peer support model of reinvigorating professional practice, inviting new and established artists to experience the physicality of working in a different scale to their normal practice. Drawing is such a fundamental part of the development of innovative ideas and many graduate artists do not have the opportunity to work with scale once their degree is over. Artists who have not been through a degree may never have had the opportunity at all.


The drawing days provide large scale paper of different qualities, cheaper paper to experiment with and high quality paper for developing lasting drawings. We supply basic drawing materials for artists to experiment with and encourage artists to learn from each other’s use of different media in extending their own practice. Networking opportunities will be developed to explore possibilities for a self-funded programme in future and also for opportunities to exhibit.


Bernie Velvick from ArtFull has longstanding experience of facilitating art sessions that focus on the needs of the participants. She brings these skills to working with her peers to make these sessions accessible and useful to artists with a wide range of skills and experience. Her wide networks will ensure that the opportunity is publicised and made available to artists at different stages in their careers.


We based the first day at the Harris in the permanent collection galleries on the second floor and offered the opportunity to 10 artists. Our next session will be a Life drawing session in August. So far all those who took part want to continue to explore drawing on a large scale and the list of new artists who want to join in is growing.

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We are meeting online in the current situation and every month instead of bimonthly. This has opened the group out to include many far flung artists as well as Preston based. We will continue this after we can return to the birley so please sign up if you would like to join us. It's all about supporting each other to create.