Friday, July 1, 2022

Local diversity reflected in series of Stamford Stories

A new photography exhibition, Stamford Stories, is gearing up to feature 20 photographic portraits of local creatives, including artists, musicians, actors, poets and more.

It will reflect diversity in the local area by focusing on people from different heritages as part of the wider Diversity Festival taking place at the same time.

The exhibition is being made possible thanks to Stamford St George’s Councillor Amanda Wheeler’s South Kesteven District Council Ward Member Grant of £500 to cover printing, mounting, and other expenses.

She said: “I’m so happy to use my ward grant to support this project, because it shows we have such a wonderful community of talented locals who contribute to the Arts scene in and around Stamford.”

The display will run at the Stamford Arts Centre gallery from 22 August to 4 September, featuring work curated by Shalini Austin and Yvette Diaz-Munoz of Stamford Diversity Group, with pictures by photographer Kingsley Singleton.

Yvette said: “Shalini and I had the idea last summer when we were organising the Stamford Diversity Festival.

“We thought it would be great to showcase the people and stories behind the art, poetry and music both at the festival and more widely in our community. There is a diverse range of super-talented people creatively connected to Stamford. We are so lucky!”

The exhibition will involve local schools in a ‘postcard portraits’ project to coincide with its launch – and thanks to a Lincolnshire One Venues Re-Invent grant, it will also form part of the wider Diversity Festival of workshops, talks, poetry and film in the Gallery and Arts Centre over two weeks.

A ‘family day’ on Saturday 27 August welcomes artist Karen Neale to the gallery, an artist/artisan fair in the ballroom and a fusion Slavonic-rooted band in the evening.

The Stamford Diversity Festival will be back on the Rec on Bank Holiday Monday 29 August, with a more ‘street’ vibe planned for this year.

Photographer, journalist and tutor Kingsley Singleton said: “It’s been a really fun project to be involved in, creatively, but the best part has been meeting all these brilliant people.”

Metalsmith Shalini Austin, originally from New Delhi, India, is a Stamford resident of more than 20 years. She said: “Stamford has a flourishing arts scene most of which does revolve around our precious Arts Centre. The exhibition is a chance to turn the focus back on the local creatives who play such an important part in making our town the arts hub that it is.”

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