Art pops up to breathe new life into shop

Empty shop at Bridge Street,  Blyth, being turned into an art workshop by dot to dot Community Interest Company and guests at the opening including Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell (centre) are seen with (front two-left to right) Stephen Pritchard-Director of dot to dot and Daniel Weatheritt-window designer. 'REF 2706130218

Empty shop at Bridge Street, Blyth, being turned into an art workshop by dot to dot Community Interest Company and guests at the opening including Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell (centre) are seen with (front two-left to right) Stephen Pritchard-Director of dot to dot and Daniel Weatheritt-window designer. 'REF 2706130218

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A community arts project which aims to breathe new life into an empty shop in Blyth was officially launched last week.

The Old-New Curiosity Shop in Bridge Street is a ‘pop-up’ art space where local people will work alongside artists to tell their stories, develop their skills and create an ever-evolving public exhibition.

The former travel agents has been brought back into use as part of a project involving social enterprise organisation dot to dot active arts.

It will be open every week throughout the summer with drop-in workshops run by eight experienced and challenging participatory artists, including music artist Mariam Rezaei, who was a winner in this year’s Journal Culture Awards.

The new venue was opened last week by Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell .

He said: “I think it is a brilliant idea, especially for shops that stand empty.

“It will make the town a lot brighter.”

The project has been funded by Arts Council England, Queen’s Hall Arts, Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure and Northumberland County Council.