At the end of August, I announced the arrival of 70/5 Gallery and Studios, a new art space in Barugh Green.
Within weeks, their affordable studio spaces were being snapped up by all kinds of fine artists, artisans and craft makers.
70/5 is presently unfunded and is a project currently operated by Sam Dexter, Michelle and Susan Askham as a family enterprise. Project manager Sam explains ‘Barnsley has a rich and diverse artistic community. This community is fuelled by world-class College and University facilities, both of which both produce emerging artists. However, these artists have limited opportunities to follow through with their practice due to a lack of available studio space in Barnsley.’
It is true that Barnsley College’s various arts departments are second to none, but we all too often lose a lot of talent when our artists move on to other climes. However, there is a growing artistic community in Barnsley right now, based around two new art spaces; the Redbrook art space and of course 70/5 Studios. 70/5 aims to provide access to affordable, short and long-let studios where joint working, mentoring and support are readily available to studio users of all disciplines, ages, levels of experience, passionate amateurs and professionals alike.
Sam continues, ‘The gallery and studios are being run as a business with a strong emphasis on social inclusion; the provision of low-cost space for artists wanting to work collaboratively with other artists and makers is crucial to the ethos of 70/5. Our desire is for 70/5 to breathe fresh life into Barnsley’s burgeoning artistic community and to help facilitate this through a sustainable, organic and practitioner-led approach.’
The studios are already open and the gallery will be having exhibition showcasing the work of the resident studio holders. This exhibition opens on 25th October at 18:30 and will run for two weeks and provides an opportunity to visit 70/5 in the Metro Trading Centre, Barugh Green Road, Barnsley, S75 2JT.