Billboard art could return to Sunderland

Some of 'Civic' art on display in Sunderland.

Some of 'Civic' art on display in Sunderland.

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AN international art festival which saw students’ work displayed on advertising billboards across Sunderland could become an annual event.

The Civic exhibition involved work by University of Sunderland students, along with British and German artists, being posted on 13 commercial billboards in the city’s St Mary’s Way and Livingstone Road.

The work, which highlighted the importance of civic responsibilities and values, was seen by thousands of motorists and pedestrians using the busy route.

Now, organisers at the University of Sunderland hope the event, which was held for the first time this year, will now become part of a regular celebration of billboard and poster art.

John Kippin, professor in photography, said: “It seems to have created quite a lot of public interest. People are excited by the fact that they can get involved and take part in it. We really hope we can make it into a regular festival in a couple of years time.”

Exhibitions were also held at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, in Fawcett Street, the Reg Vardy Gallery, in Backhouse Park, and thePlace, in Athenaeum Street.

Esme Fletcher, who recently graduated from the University of Sunderland with a photography, video and digital imaging degree, took part in the exhibition.

“It was amazing to take part in the project,” said the 22-year-old, from Grangetown. It seems to have been a big success.

“It really seems to make people stop and think.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho