Updated: Apr 22
A Timeline of Our Development over the past year, focusing specifically on the time period August 2020 - August 2021
In August 2020 we began conversations with HBC (Halton Borough Council) about expanding into the building next door (71 High Street).
Included below is the the feasibility study for 71 High street - which is the building adjacent to our current building, situated upstairs, at 73a High Street. The report was created with Hazlehurst Studios being the preferred new tenant, so it includes the specifications we would like as a studios, with space for more studios, meeting rooms, print facilities and toilet access on the ground floor. Having a ground floor that is accessible to the public, would be hugely beneficial to us going forward.
To support ongoing conversations with Halton Borough Council, we created a document highlighting our plans - These have changed over the past few months, but we have mainly followed the original timeline we set out last year.
Applied for Arts Council R&D grant.
Started conversations about extending our Work Experience programme in partnership with Riverside College - from two students, to four students, if successful with the grant.
Support HBC with High Street consultation, you can read an article on their version here - Share our vision
Awarded funding for R&D grant.
Hazlehurst Print - Participated in HotBedPress 20:20, this proved difficult as we had to limit access to our facilities, so many of the print members had to print from home. Although this allowed us to experiment with different techniques. Going forward, more space and ground floor (accessible) access to our print facilities would allow our print group to grow and develop.
Halton Primary Arts Network - In October 2020 we produced three videos for Halton Primary Arts Network. This would normally have been an in person Teacher Development day, but due to Covid19, it was decided a series of video tutorials would be the safer option.
Started R&D project -
Created Draw on Halton 2 with our work experience students and started consultations with Hazlehurst Resident Artists.
The consultation focuses on what our individual artists want to develop in their own work and how they want to be instrumental in the development of Hazlehurst Studios going forward.
Draw on Halton 2 started and continued till March 2021.
Draw on Halton outdoor exhibition - Due to Covid19 we decided to hold our exhibition outside in our community garden project 'Old Town Bloom'
November also saw us asking our community garden volunteers and those that use the garden regularly, for some feedback about what they would like to do more of in the garden, we did this via google forms. This indicated that, as well as back to basic garden skills, there was also an appetite for heritage walks, traditional barge style painting (nod to canal culture we are surrounded by) and other heritage art and craft forms.
Supported HBCs submission for Town Deal funding project for £25 million for High Street - indicated on this webpage - Runcorn Town Deal forming part of the Digital and Creative centre mentioned within the bid.
Lockdown - Change of plans for R&D to online
Online Public/organisational questionnaires developed/Zoom sessions to consult local artists.
Continuing of R&D Project
Halton Makefest - Studio Artists Rachael Prime and Claire Rachael Pitt took to the online world as part of Halton Makefest This was due to be an in person event, which we were going to use as part of our consultation process, but due to covid19 in was turned into an interactive online event, which had people attending from around the world.
Launched our visual art survey - using google forms, we created a series of questions aimed at both individuals and organisations, about how they view visual arts, visual arts in Halton and what they would like to do more of. We shared this survey across our networks and social media accounts - The full results are shared here, and this has definitely influenced our plans going forward 'Results of the Hazlehurst Visual Arts Survey'
As part of introducing more people to Hazlehurst Studios, who we are, what we are and where we are - we produced this short video. It shows our location on Runcorn High Street, the proximity to our community garden project and the space we currently have. It also highlights the accessibility issues we currently have and the lack of ground floor access, which restricts who can interact with us.
Resident Artists Claire Pitt takes over Culture HQ space -
Culture HQ is an artist led space situated within Runcorn Shopping City, it was a former unit that has been converted into a gallery and workshop space as part of Halton's Borough of Culture ( open to the public May 2021 to October 2021).
Claire plans and leads the programme of events, and curates the exhibitions with support from fellow artists at Hazlehurst Studios.
Hazlehurst Studios were invited to be part of the conversation with Liverpool's Independents Biennial - Which you can listen to hear Hazlehurst Studios talks Spaces this allowed us the time and space to come together as a collective to talk about what having a studio space means to us, as individuals and as a studios.
End of submissions for Draw on Halton 2
Our community Garden Project 'Old Town Bloomers' went online with 'Old Town Bloom Connects' with funding from DCMS - we had previously been approached by Halton Carers about session for their Adult and Young Carers groups - so we used this funding to create some sessions for them, as well as staying connected to our usual volunteers. The themes for the sessions were based on feedback from the Old Town Bloom garden survey that we had conducted in November. This led to working with Andrea Ku from B4Biodiversity, who is an expert in urban gardening/beekeeping.
Begin to curate work at Culture HQ with Work Experience students and develop Culture HQ space - this was the first opportunity to meet our work experience students in person, after months of 'Zoom/Teams/Skype' - The students embraced the hands on tasks of putting an exhibition together, from prepping walls, plinths and curating an exhibition for the first time.
After successfully working with work experience students from the Art and Graphic Design course at Riverside College - May saw the start of our garden project 'Old Town Bloomers' welcoming its own set of students - learning hands on gardening experience.
The ''Draw on Halton 2' Exhibition opened the Culture HQ exhibition space on the 20th May and was in place till the 12th June.
Feedback from Cronton College (part of Riverside College) - Feedback
Pulling together consultations and work created from R&D project
Working with our friends Halton Libraries - we ran a cyanotype workshop with a small group, our first foray into in person events. It highlighted that people want to connect with local spaces and create something - we also left with more local connections in form of U3A (University of the Third Age).
Began partnership with Norton Priory setting up our residency for the Summer 2021, with an exhibition planned for October - follow along with this project via social media with the hashtag #drawonnorton
Continuing conversations with local artists at Culture HQ
Successful result from Town Deal funding of £23.6 million continue to develop work with HBC - £23.6 million to make Runcorn Vision a Reality which will include the redevelopment of the Camden Buildings and 71 High Street
Image is the Front and Rear of the Camden Buildings on Runcorn High Street
Application to ACE for Hazlehurst Creates
Started the process of forming a Runcorn Town CLT (Community Land Trust)
Letter of Support from Norton Priory