The Art shop, situated in the Packhorse shopping centre in Huddersfield, has been established to give local people and those who have experienced mental health problems the opportunity to showcase their creative pieces of art.
The shop is run by volunteers from Support 2 Recovery, a local charity that works with individuals experiencing mental health problems to reach their goals and supported with funding from Kirklees Council‘s community partnerships development grant.
Artwork and crafts on display at the packhorse gallery have been produced by people in touch with Support 2 Recovery and members of the public. They are available to buy with 30% of the cost going to the charity. The shop also regularly features a guest artist working in the gallery and art groups are run every Monday that local people are invited to attend.
There is also a display stand in the gallery with information about different mental health conditions and all staff can offer people further information and support about local services that can help those currently experiencing mental health difficulties.
During the week, people can get involved in a number of activities at the gallery including anger management sessions, developing coping strategies, art classes and life drawing sessions.
In January the life drawing session enlisted the help of a special model – Leroy Cudjoe for the day. Leroy, who plays for Huddersfield Giants, kindly gave up his time to sit for the class, and Robbie Hunter-Paul, business development manager for the Giants also attended the class and donated his sketches to the charity.
Every Friday the Knitty Gritty group is held in the gallery – an opportunity for people to get involved in a community knitting and sewing group.
The gallery regularly hosts exhibitions by local art societies. In May the Huddersfield Art Society will be hosting an exhibition of their work and in July the Emley Art Society have planned to do so.
The gallery has been shortlisted in two prestigious awards in 2013
They have been shortlisted in the Examiner Community Awards, in the Art Award category – which recognises groups, individual performers or artists who demonstrate what a creative and artistic place Huddersfield is. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Halifax on 23 May 2013.