Welcome to Artist Attic Trust! The founders, Gina and Eugene, are both working artists local to the Dewsbury area who are dedicated to consistently providing a safe, creative, knowledgeable and supportive environment; for all of our very diverse and multicultural community groups and the wider communities.
For us, this community aims to help everyone engage together in art programs and events for whatever reason for example; therapy, wellness, community beautification or self growth, art has no boundaries and no prejudice.
At Artists Attic we know that art can play a large part in bringing communities together so we aim to bring art to everyone:
- From the young to the elderly
- The mentally impaired to the physically disabled
- The lost and the found
And everyone in-between. Everyone can create, everyone can inspire, and everyone can give worth and hope to others.
In mid May 2023 we were able to move in to vacant premises at 44, Daisy Hill, Dewsbury. Part of the Daisy Hill regeneration project, these premises are provided rent free by the council until such time as the development project moves forward. This street level location is well suited to our purpose as it is easily accessible, highly visible to the public and includes disabled access and facilities. We want people to be curious, to see something interesting going on and to feel welcome to walk in and be offered the opportunity to 'have a go'.
From here we can provide opportunities for a growing variety of arts and crafts using all sorts of mediums. In particular they are in the heart of one of the most run down areas of Dewsbury where we can have most impact.
Art and Creativity are common threads running through all our lives.
As Albert Einstein put it: "Creativity is intelligence having fun". But, being practical, we have to address the basic question and ask: what are our priorities?
We aim to change the situation that there is nothing for our young people to do in North Kirklees and give them something to do, a new way of expressing themselves. The bus station and the market are well known trouble spots for young people. If we can engage with them and get them off the streets in a safe place as well as contribute something to their lives by providing creative workshops and leisure activities that will be worthwhile.
To provide creative activities for young people we need capable artists and the more artists engage with the centre the more creative 'buzz' there will be to keep our young people engaged. This enables us to pay the artists while they provide supervision of the young people's and other workshops and the spin off of job opportunities for artists creates a virtuous circle and enables us to support the creative community while they do what they love doing.
And once we have the venue up and running is when we can accommodate groups such as veterans in need of support using the creative arts as a way of connecting with them and supporting them through whatever difficulty they face. The same applies to any community group in need of space in which to function.
All of our activities are based around using the creative arts as a means of delivering recreation and leisure activities to those in need of support for whatever reason. To do this we need active, working artists. We have a core of three professional artists and a list of another ten who have expressed their willingness to help - but we need lots more artists living locally to come on down and support the project where we are introducing other groups to art in all its forms.
The artists group will benefit from continuing education, peer reviews and critiques (or not if you're not inclined!) and the opportunity to compete for your art to be seen in public spaces. In exchange we would like you to support the young people's workshops and pass on some of your knowledge to others. We aim to pay for your services as well, just as soon as finances allow it.
Town centre regeneration
One of the basic principles now being recognised for town centre regeneration is the need to move community activity into the town centre rather than assume it is just for shops. To make sure that people following their interests actually pass through the town centre.
With a wide range of sectors of the community engaged with the creative activity happening at 44, Daisy Hill we aim to provide some of that community activity - as well as reaching out and delivering art in Dewsbury town centre to improve the community's opinion of the place where they live and work.
About the Founders
Gina Suzette Reid
Gina is a Lincolnshire lass which is where she got her love of sky, landscapes and water as she been surrounded by it all her life.
She moved to Batley, west Yorkshire in August 2020 and acquired her first studio which has given her the freedom to create more and experiment with new techniques.
She's a self taught artist building off her knowledge from family and friends. She's always enjoyed painting but gave up doing any painting due to family commitments for over 20 years. In 2012 her personal circumstances changed and in 2014 she picked up her brushes and painted through the night on a piece that captured a holiday on the Norfolk broads. She hasn't stopped painting since and has developed immensely.
The artist she is most inspired by is 'Turner'. The use of colour, the capturing of light and freedom of expression in his work are all big influences to her.
After being thrown out of perfectly good airplanes for several years, as a Pathfinder in the Royal Parachute Regiment, Eugene set off around the world in search of a new path of his own!
He qualified as a professional carpenter but ventured into building custom Harleys, auto interiors and audio systems in the United States. He's always had an immense passion for understanding how things work; breaking and remaking anything and everything for as long as he can remember.
He spent a short time as a private soldier and bounty hunter (What else are you supposed to do in the Wild, Wild West!) but soon got back to his eccentric, creative side in Costa Rica, building custom waterfalls and fountains.
Whilst gaining knowledge in different forms of art, cultures and fabrication, Eugene got the urge to mix up his skills and started making all sorts of out-there pieces of art and functional unique products.
This brought him back full circle to dismantling those beautiful planes he used to jump out of & turning them into something new.
Regrettably, Eugene was diagnosed with a serious health issue in mid 2023 and had to leave the project and return to his family in the USA.