Arts Council Supports Glen Re-imaging
Two new murals will be unveiled in the Glen Estate Newtownards (18 November), as the Mayor of Ards, Cllr. Jim Fletcher and Ann Ward, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, celebrate Ards Borough Council’s Re-imaging Communities Project. One mural is a colourful reflection of local Ards history, while the other illustrates the local landmark of Helen’s Tower and its WW1 links.
The new murals were developed in consultation with local young people and the Glen Community Development Association, who wanted to see old murals and emblems replaced with the new images. £25,590, part of the Arts Council’s £3 million Re-imaging Communities Programme (on behalf of the Shared Communities Consortium), was awarded to Ards Borough Council for the project called ‘The Glen Mural re-imaging’.
Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, and Chair of the Shared Communities Consortium, said, “Art has a key role to play in promoting community cohesion. Re-imaging is not always an easy process given the particular issues facing some communities. This project enabled the whole community to become involved and enjoy the arts, meeting each other socially, taking part in the consultation contributing to the themes chosen. The involvement of professional artists helps to promote the significance of art, putting it at the heart of the community. I am pleased that murals and their development have provided an opportunity for the Re-Imaging Communities Programme to support the vision of local people, as they take steps to provide a more welcoming environment and give all the participants something to feel proud of.”
Artist Betty Brown worked with the children on the local history mural. Describing the Re-imaging project, she said, “This project took advantage of the community knowledge and commitment and enabled many children and young people to get involved in the arts. The mural that we worked on is bright and colourful, not only reflecting concepts that are important to the young participants, but also enabling them to learn about, and appreciate, the rich local history of their area”.