A project that inspired more people to visit Scunthorpe has been crowned the winner of ‘Best Arts Project’ in the national Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022.
The council fought off strong competition from across the UK to triumph for the presentation of artist Luke Jerram’s ‘Of Earth and Sky’.
The installation saw local people’s poems appear in a stunning art trail across Scunthorpe, including town centre landmarks like Central Library, Britannia Corner and Market Hill.
The project won universal acclaim from a stellar judging panel that included Deborah Meadon, Samuel West, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, Shaparak Khorsandi and more.
The accessibility, creative use of technology and strong community participation were all singled out for special praise.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“This award is a fabulous achievement for North Lincolnshire and the talented writers that contributed their poems to the project.
“Of Earth and Sky is a great example of our ambition to welcome more people into Scunthorpe town centre for new reasons in action. Seeing visitors exploring the trail and re-discovering these locations in a new light was fantastic.
“I am pleased the judges recognised our determination to engage more and more people with the arts in new and exciting ways – something we are really passionate about.”
Stand-up comedian and writer Shaparak Khorsandi, said:
“I absolutely loved the commitment in this project to reach people who may sometimes feel apathetic when it comes to the arts. Drawing self-expression through poetry during a time when so many felt the most isolated and vulnerable was a vital effort.”
Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, author, speaker and supporter of music education, said:
“I like the emphasis on taking art (poetry) physically to the community. Workshops and poetry submissions make up the public engagement part of the art. Showing it outdoors with geographical spread increased connections between gallery and the town. Outdoor presentations and online engagement reached audiences in new ways.
“I liked the determination to combat isolation and the different groups by targeting issues of health, well-being, children, literacy and outdoor life.”
“A beautiful idea, beautifully done”, added actor, director and trustee of the National Campaign for the Arts, Samuel West
People still have the opportunity to join in 2021 Visual Arts Centre’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
The venue’s biggest ever Open Exhibition is on display until 23 April, where people have the chance to admire more than 300 artworks by local artists that wowed judges with their quality and variety.
To stay up to date with all the exhibitions and news from 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, visit their website.
The Hearts for the Arts award is set to be presented to North Lincolnshire Council in a special online ceremony on 7 March 2022.
For a full list of winners visit the For the Arts website.
Of Earth and Sky was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. In addition to the sculpture trail the funding of £48,830 enabled new digital commissions to take place exploring wellbeing and involving our local communities.
Photograph shows, from left to right, local poet, Kat Spence, Arts Development Manager, Amy Grundy, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Rob Waltham, author of the Dreaming of the Ancestors poem, Ann Liles, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities: urban, Cllr John Davison and Transforming and Activating Places student volunteers, Lily Carlton and Emily McNaught.