Inside the empty Bridges shop transformed into a new art gallery for Sunderland
An empty Bridges unit has been transformed into an interactive art gallery.
Artist Ken Devine teamed up with the shopping centre to breathe new life into the former Collectables site next door to Thornton’s.
Reborn as Frederick Street Gallery, it’s a sister gallery to his original site in Sunniside, on the corner of Frederick Steet and Athenaeum Street, and is aimed at bringing fine art to the masses, while also showcasing and supporting emerging local talent.
One of the first exhibitions is Local Heroes Music and Sport, running until August 31, which features artworks depicting Sunderland heroes created by local artists. Those featured range from footballers, such as Jordan Pickford, Jordan Henderson and Jermain Defoe, to musicians such as Emeli Sandé.
Ken said that in the first few days of opening the new gallery, which The Bridges have said he can have indefinitely, is attracting attention.
“Some times there’s a couple of people in, other times there’s 20 or 30 people in,” he explained. “This site is a lot more visible than the original and there’s a lot more footfall so it’s a great way to introduce people to new artists. And it’s absolutely brilliant that The Bridges have given me this space. Apart from Mackie’s Corner, there isn’t really a space like this for artists in Sunderland.”
Walls are dedicated to monthly changing exhibitions as well as a wall that showcases the work of Sunderland University students. One of the windows is also a space for people to paint in view of the public who are invited to take a seat at tables and have a go themselves in between shopping.
Ken added: “The next exhibition we’ll be inviting people to take part in is called Angry, Annoyed and Frustrated. People can submit their artworks and, as we do at the other Frederick Street Gallery, we’re inviting people to write on the wall about their frustrations, whether it’s about local or global issues. This is very much an interactive gallery for the general public to be involved in.”
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*For more details on exhibitions visit https://www.frederickstreetgallery.com/