Students win bids for public art proposals as part of town transformation project

A number of Art & Design students from Selby College have won micro-commissions to develop concepts for public art for the Selby Station Gateway Transforming Cities Fund project.

The micro-commissions have been funded by Selby District Council and co-ordinated by the Lead Artist of the project Dr Katayoun Dowlatshahi. The initiative is intended to provide the students experience in researching and developing concepts for temporary or permanent public artworks.

Following the successful bid, Year 2 Higher Education Art & Design students Hannah Knight, Jared Robinson, Joseph Linford and Paulina Cybartowska, each received £500 from Selby District Council to develop their proposals for a temporary piece of artwork.

“I’m really pleased that the judges liked my proposal for the project and I’m looking forward to making a start on the piece. As my part of this, I plan to invite the people of Selby to write down how they make a living, which I will then record to make a short film emphasising how jobs and the industry have changed in the area, throughout history,” said Joseph.

Student Hannah Knight also plans to create a large textile piece with dissolvable fabric which plots Selby District’s land and transport routes, whereas student Paulina Cybartowska’s artwork will be a colourful piece which engages with the cultural diversity of the town. Jared Robinson will also display three design options for the bandstand in Selby Abbey as part of his commission.

The students presented their creative ideas to a panel of judges including artist Dr Katayoun Dowlatshahi; Yvette Culture, Visitor and Creative Economy Project Manager for Selby District Council; Hazel Colquhoun, an Independent Arts Consultant based in York and Mat Lazenby, Creative Director at LazenbyBrown, York.

Yvette said: “The panel was impressed by the students’ creative proposals and their professionalism when presenting to the panel. So much so, that we decided to give four of the students £500 awards for their pieces, as opposed to the three awards we had originally planned. The students clearly identified that they have a great understanding of the needs of the project and its purpose – to create a high-quality public space surrounding the station, which is rich with culture and history of the area.”

Dr Katayoun Dowlatshahi, said: “When I was assigned as the commissioned artist for the Selby Station Gateway project, I wanted to ensure that I was able to engage local residents within my work. I contacted Elaine Whitehead, Programme Leader for Art & Design at Selby College, to offer my time free and my experience to work with its aspiring students, early in their creative pathways. Opportunities that provide students with live experience in the creative industries is vital.”

Dr Katayoun Dowlatshahi recently held a workshop at the College with its Art & Design students to provide them with insight into her processes as an artist working within the field of public art. Her specialism is to create art that is integral to the fabric of a building or public realm, which reflects local heritage and identity.

The students were also introduced to Hazel Colquhoun, who explained her role as an Art Consultant and Commissioner. They also met with Alan Micklethwaithe, a specialist Stone Mason and Sculptor, who has carved sculptural and architectural features on and in Selby Abbey over a period of eight years.

“There is a real buzz about the Selby Station Gateway Transforming Cities Fund project in the local community, so it’s fantastic that our students are able to get involved and will have their work displayed as part of the public arts commission, which will also coincide with the students end of year exhibition,” said Elaine. The students received some fantastic feedback from the judges after presenting their ideas to them and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The artwork will be displayed at the Selby College’s end of year Art & Design Exhibition at Selby Abbey and across the College’s campus, which will take place from Thursday June 16th until Friday, 24th June 2022.

The College’s Higher National Certificate (HNC) and the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Art and Design (Arts Practice) is a two-year programme which is designed to provide learners with specialist vocational grounding in Art, Design and Media.

Students also now have the opportunity to progress on the College’s brand-new BA (Hons) Top-up course to gain a full degree status accredited by Hull University. The programme is designed to enable students to further develop their individual pathways, including studio practice, dissertation and enterprise.

To find out more about the College’s range of Higher Education programmes, please visit: https://www.selby.ac.uk/course-type/higher-education