A new outdoor art exhibition capturing the lives of Wiganers is being installed in the town centre this week.
Arts organisation, Wigan STEAM has worked with Wigan Council and local artist, April Powell, to create and install nine illustrations that make up the ‘I’m From Wigan Me!’ exhibition along Millgate.
April is a Wigan-born local designer and recent Graphic Design graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University who is passionate about paying tribute to her town and what its people love the most.
Speaking about her designs coming to life, April said: “I’m really excited to see my work be displayed in the town centre; I never thought that when I started out doing this project it would end up being displayed like this.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity that Wigan Council has given to me and I couldn’t thank them enough. It shows how they are supportive of local people and the community. It fits well as the designs are a celebration of Wigan and everything we love about it!”
April’s designs have also been transferred onto mugs, postcards and badges in The Republic of Wigan shop located in the Wigan STEAM base on Library Street that are available for purchase.
The exhibition includes references to local slang, Uncle Joe’s Mintballs, pies, Northern Soul, sport and more.
Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at Wigan Council said: “Arts and culture should be accessible to everybody and we will continue to encourage people to embrace their ambitions and talents in the way that April has so that we can make our borough even more vibrant and welcoming.
“The identity of Wigan is something Wiganers are very proud about, so it’s fitting to have a local artist to bring these characteristics out in a visual way for everybody to see.
“April’s designs are fantastic and they’ll look even better once they’re standing pride of place along Millgate.”
Wigan STEAM typically provides exciting learning opportunities, workshops and exhibitions for young people to explore science, engineering, technology and mathematics through creative activities.
They work closely with libraries, schools and charities across the borough and are home to a gallery space where they showcase commissioned artwork and exhibitions from emerging artists across the UK.
Louise Robson, Creative Programme Coordinator at Wigan STEAM said: “We’re so excited that April’s artwork is being displayed in the town. After exhibiting it our gallery space last December there was a lot of interest from visitors and we even had someone purchase prints to send all the way to Australia!
“Now they’re going to be in a prominent place in the town centre, even more people will get to see them and hopefully have a little giggle at how accurate April’s illustrations are!
“We’re so pleased that what originally started out as a personal project for April has turned into something that everybody from Wigan can enjoy.”