The Lichfield City of Sculpture Project is an ongoing initiative to develop the visual and new media arts in the city of Lichfield. Based around the idea of mapping the art of Lichfield and the surrounding towns (such as Burntwood, and Shenstone) the project aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the art which adorns the areas streets. This however goes further – with the project looking to expand into the development of new media and digital public art, soundscapes and the creation of opportunities to develop new physical public art. The project will look to develop walking tours of the area, sound tours and more over the coming years.
“The City of Sculpture ” TM, “The City of Sculpture Project ” TM, “Lichfield and District City of Sculpture” TM, “Lichfield City Sculpture Trail” TM, “Lichfield Sculpture Trail” TM, and other associated wording are trading terms linked to this project. These are licensed to The Sculpture and Art Foundation CIC.
The project started in 2005 after discussion between Peter Walker and his creative team to create new work, exhibitions and events in the city. Having grown up in the area with limited access to visual arts and having gone on to develop artistic work nationally and internationally the project developed in order to bring something back to the area they love and cherish.
No public artwork had been created in the city for over 50 years, and central to the project is the ongoing development of permanent and temporary work for the city. As the project grows this will expand to cover the widest possible collection of works of art for the city. Key to this is work with the community.
Primarily based on private funding and funding for the arts or strategic funding, the project continues to grow.
So far the project has carried out free workshops for over 3000 local people, and has created exhibitions and installation seen by over 100,000 people. It has involved numerous artists of the highest quality and continues to encourage people to say ‘YES’ to the arts and to engage with art in its widest sense.
To date the project has worked with local people to create 3 public works of art in different styles and approaches which are seen by thousands each year. Each group worked with directly developed the ideas for the artwork and the principle they wishes to see incorporated. Each artwork allows participation freely and participation is always advertised for anyone to apply to be involved.
The projects long term aim over the coming decades is to help from a creative and artistic standpoint to add to the cultural landscape of Lichfield and District, to represent the people of the area and to engage them in debate.
The project works with people to involve them in experiencing new ideas and understanding traditional techniques, to learn how to understand an artwork and to appreciate the values behind their creation.
The project is based on the following principles:
Visual art is the most effective means of communicating ideas freely to large audiences
Artwork should be provided free to the public
Access to the arts shall be provided whenever possible in order to increase participation
All generations shall have a voice and no opinion has more value than another
If art doesn’t cause debate and interest then it is inert and it becomes merely street furniture and not artwork
To work with aspiring artists to help develop their skills and create artwork locally
To date the project has included working with amongst others :
The Friary School, Netherstowe High School, Lichfield Cathedral School, Lichfield Poets, The Garrick Theatre, Ridgeway Primary School, Erasmus Darwin House, St Johns House, Samuel Johnson Museum, Lichfield District Council, Lichfield City Council, Tesco, Staffordshire County Council, Local Care Homes, Lichfield Cathedral, Burntwood Library, Lichfield College of arts, Lichfield Library, Burntwood Town Council