Plans for a new gallery to assist artists in Flintshire left ‘frustrated’ by a lack of places to do their work have been given the go ahead.
An application was submitted in February to transform a building currently used for residential purposes on The Highway in Hawarden to include a creative space and a cafe.
Planning officers from Flintshire Council have now ratified the proposals, which will see both floors used to exhibit art on the walls with bookable space for workshops and for art groups to meet.
Karen Bell, who is behind the project, said she would also reach out to young people battling with mental health issues.
In a planning statement, she said: “We have a growing list of frustrated artists who work in a variety of industries outside the creative world who are looking for a place to paint, make sculptures, draw, sketch and meet other artists to form an inspirational art community.
“(There will be) a support group for young people battling mental health issues.
“We have been in touch with Flintshire County Council to discuss the service and how we can work together.
“We have two young women who struggle with different degrees of anxiety who will be involved in the organization of the group, both young women are artistic and have enjoyed creative workshops with us.
“Our objective is to reach out to young people who struggle to fit in, lack confidence and find it difficult to open up socially.
“We have seen very positive results from the workshops we have run so far.”
The first two exhibitions will be with local artists from Hawarden.
Meanwhile, students from the University of Chester’s art department will create a time lapse video to document the setting-up of the art gallery from scratch.
Karen added: “We have a number of qualified artists in sculpture, contemporary watercolour, oil painting, life drawing and urban art who are looking for space to create art, run small groups and show their work.
“We have performed small scale stress-busting and team building workshops with several different businesses on a trial basis.
“The companies who took part completed an art challenge, enjoyed a healthy light lunch and finished with a discussion and green tea.
“The feedback from the trials has been incredibly positive.”
The scheme was approved by council officers using delegated powers.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).