Stirling’s Business Improvement District has launched an appeal for artists to contribute to a ground-breaking project aimed at tackling the city’s empty shop units.
The team at Go Forth Stirling, working in conjunction with the city’s arts and culture partnership Scene Stirling, is seeking Stirling artists to help deliver the scheme which will transform vacant shops into vibrant points of interest.
They are calling for local artists to submit existing work to be featured on eight shop windows, including the former BHS and Argos stores, for the BID’s ambitious Street Stories project.
Street Stories will introduce and celebrate Stirling, its people and heritage through artwork which will be given an added dimension by incorporating interactive Augmented Reality (AR).
The AR twist will bring the artworks to life with multi-sensory animation which can be triggered by a free downloadable smartphone app.
Go Forth Stirling BID Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “This is an exciting project which will transform and enhance the city centre while giving local artists the opportunity to see their work come to life through animation.
“We’re looking for eight to ten artists, who either live in Stirling or have a connection to the city, to collaborate with us on the project by submitting work which we can use to brighten up the city’s empty buildings.
“We’re open to all kinds of ideas and all styles and mediums and are calling for artists to come forward and show us their work.”
She added: “Street stories is a creative and innovative project which will improve the look of the city centre, help highlight the commercial spaces which are available and give both residents and visitors an insight into Stirling’s heritage.
“The Augmented Reality feature will add a spectacular dimension to the artworks and introduce an interactive trail which all ages can engage with and which will encourage footfall across the city centre.
“The project also comes at a time when many artists have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus outbreak and will help support some of those affected by the loss of exhibitions.”
Artists who are interested in the project should submit a CV and a maximum of three pieces of work, which reflect stories from Stirling, by Monday December 14.
More details about the project and a full brief are available on the Go Forth Stirling website – www.goforthstirling.co.uk/street-stories
There will also be an opportunity for anyone who wants to find out more about the plans to take part in a Zoom Q&A with Scene Stirling and Go Forth Stirling this Friday December 4 at 10am. An Eventbrite link will be available on the Go Forth website and social media channels.
Once all the applications are in, creatives from Scene Stirling, Stirling’s Place Partnership programme funded by Creative Stirling and Stirling Council, will help select the artworks which work best for the project.
Kevin Harrison, Manager of Scene Stirling, said: “We’ve been working hard to create commissioning opportunities for local artists and creatives affected by the pandemic through our digital commissions and grants scheme.
“So, we were only too happy to get involved in this new project which will not only showcase Stirling’s talent but also draw people to our city centre at a time when retail needs a boost.
“I’d encourage all interested artists to come forward and submit their work as soon as possible.”
Artists can submit their creations via firstname.lastname@example.org
A decision on which artwork will go forward for the project will be made in mid-December and the artists selected will receive a fee for the use of their work.
The artworks will be printed onto vinyls to go onto shop windows and the Street Stories project is due to go live at the end of February.
Go Forth Stirling BID represents close to 400 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve the area’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
The BID was set up in September 2017 following a vote among the city’s traders and runs for an initial five-year term.
For more details visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk
Image: Danielle McRorie-Smith, Project Director at Stirling BID, and Jitka Fleglova, Business Engagement Officer, in Stirling (supplied by Blackburn Communications).