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We Create arts action group celebrates five successful years

At the beginning of March, the We Create art action group will celebrate five years of working together. We Create is a collaborative partnership between the University of Gloucestershire’s Hardwick Gallery and residents of St Peter’s and St Paul’s, Cheltenham, in association with Take A Part.

We Create, which recently became a Community Interest Company, develops ambitious projects and public events with residents, artists and allies. The team aim to stimulate interest and understanding of the area’s rich heritage, connect residents, and catalyse opportunities for people to engage with creativity. In doing so, the team hopes to change perceptions of St Peter’s and St Paul’s and encourage further investment.

We Create Arts Group

The art action group’s first project, in 2017, was Love St Peter’s, Love St Paul’s. Local residents were invited to take part in creative activities (led by artists) such as film-making, baking, foraging, and modelling with locally-dug clay. Children from Gardners Lane Primary School, Cheltenham, visited ‘The Wilson’ and created objects for the Museum of St Peter’s and St Paul’s.

By 2019 the art action group, now called We Create, set up the Creative Network with local artists and makers, meeting socially to listen to and discuss each other’s artistic journeys. The group also worked with artist and educator Rachel Dobbs to present the Creative Enterprise Programme, a series of workshops for people interested in running their own arts and community projects.

In February 2020 artist-collective Paam were commissioned by We Create as artists-in-residence in St Peter’s and St Paul’s to work with residents on a series of Mudlarking projects and events celebrating DIY creativity in the area. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mudlarking adapted to become a community newspaper that showcases the wealth of creativity, passions and interests of residents and is very much rooted in the local area.

Sarah Bowden, Hardwick Gallery Curator said:

“We Create’s next project will combine the Mudlarking newspaper with a community planting project to revive lost skills in the community and cultivate and forage ‘useful plants’ in the green-spaces, gardens and wild places of the local area, working towards a community gathering.

“We Create always welcomes new members to its steering group – anyone living, working, studying or with a connection to St Peter’s and St Paul’s can join in. For further information please visit the We Create website.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions the Hardwick Gallery is currently closed and has temporarily moved online. The current residency and events can be seen on the Hardwick Gallery website.