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Empty shops in Haverhill totally transformed by eye-catching artworks




The impressive end products of a project that invited local artists to help brighten up empty shop units in Haverhill is now available for all to see.

Haverhill Town Council set out last year on a journey to turn the ‘forlorn empty shop units’ in the town centre into something more positive.

It also wanted to send a signal to existing and prospective businesses that whilst High Streets are evolving, commerce still plays an important role in Haverhill town centre.

Cllr Aaron Luccarini, left, and Jamie Hall from Stylize Display Graphics who printed the work. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk
Cllr Aaron Luccarini, left, and Jamie Hall from Stylize Display Graphics who printed the work. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk

The council has said it received a ‘tremendous response’ to its call-out to local artists to send in their art work, with almost 70 individual artists’ works being chosen, from both professionals and amateurs.

They included a range of artforms from painting to photography and carpentry to quilting with contributors aged from eight to 90.

The town council collaborated with Haverhill design company, Stylize Graphics, to produce large vinyls of the artwork.

Debby Dyson, owner of Snobby Eddy Crafts and Isabella Brown, 9 with Isabella's artwork. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk.
Debby Dyson, owner of Snobby Eddy Crafts and Isabella Brown, 9 with Isabella's artwork. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk.

Jamie Hall from Stylize said: "We were very happy to play a part in such an original initiative to showcase the artistic talent in the local area.

"It’s fantastic to see almost 70 artists’ work represented in such a unique way.

"We hope it encourages the artists who contributed, the council who initiated and the passers by who get to slow down and enjoy up-close the inspiring creativity within the community."

Mayor, Cllr John Burns said: “Thank you to all our generous artists for allowing their work to be used free of charge.

Darrell Rawlings and Amber Rawlings, 11 with Darrell's artwork
Darrell Rawlings and Amber Rawlings, 11 with Darrell's artwork

“They are testament to the creativity and community spirit of our town.

“The town council and all those involved hope our High Street Gallery will brighten your day that and provide a little light relief in these difficult times.”

Sara Marsh, Haverhill Art Centre’s customer experience manager led the project.

Sue Phillips with her artwork in Haverhill High Street. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk
Sue Phillips with her artwork in Haverhill High Street. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk

She said: “Whilst we couldn’t find room for all the contributions – we got far more than we anticipated – we are on standby to replace vinyls if necessary, so having a reserve stock is really useful.

“One of the challenges of this project is that the shop windows we started with are not the ones we end up with – there is still turnover of shop units and some of our vinyls will come down, whilst unfortunately other opportunities will come up.

“Now we are up and running we can respond faster to change. We really do thank the landlords for allowing us to do this work.”

A catalogue of the exhibition will be available from participating shops and online here.

Join the Facebook group Artistic License, Haverhill to connect with local artists and crafters.

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