A ‘summer of art’ truly took hold of Launceston during those balmy days between June and September, and it has been lovely to reflect on all the wonderful local talent we are lucky enough to have here in our lovely community.
Towards the end of this year’s Causley Festival, a 95-metre long strip of community printing was rolled out along the whole length of Church Street and up to the porch of St Mary’s. The Mayor looked on, artists guided the roll-out on its way, people marvelled, children ran about, cars stopped politely: this was the first exhibition of Maddy Meaden’s ‘Sprint Print’ and a fitting climax to a wonderful couple of months when our local artists have really taken to the streets of Launceston.
Three projects were in progress in June and July and all three gave a clear impression of the impact that local artists can have on our town. Maddy was one of a dozen artists involved in the Tresorys Kernow ‘Studios on the High Street’ project which created temporary studios at 17 and 22 Church St and the White Hart Hotel. At no 17, Swanskin Printers and the Hello Project ran free drop-in print workshops daily for two months and hundreds of people dropped in, made a print or a picture and chatted to people from town they’d never met before. No 22 was a base for Janie M McDonald who was helping people to discover their favourite parts of town and for Richard Hudson to run workshops with school children. Sam Akroyd was at the White Hart, painting his ‘Portrait of Launceston’ - 20 superb portraits of people in the town.
Meanwhile, the fourth Shop Window Exhibition was again placing another 20 artists’ work in shop windows throughout the town centre and Launceston Camera Club - in 2021, the leading camera club in Britain - held a summer show in the empty ‘Jag’ shop on Castle Street, all of which turned the town centre into a free open-air gallery!
Transforming the town centre into a showcase for local artists - a place where people can come and make art themselves, be encouraged to discover and share what delights them about their own town - has breathed some new life into the town centre; signposting, perhaps, some elements of what we need more of in the life of Launceston of the future.