Kingston Canvas is our collaboration with Kingston School of Art to inject colourful and vibrant imagery into the town centre’s vacant retail units.
While footfall in Kingston has steadily increased with our town often performing better than Greater London, vacancy units around the country have continued to rise, and empty units are a problem faced by all town centres.
To tackle this and make use of these spaces in our town centre, we partnered with Kingston School of Art to commission students to design artwork for the units on the theme Kingston: Past, Present and Future. Kingston Canvas artworks celebrate our town’s rich history, it’s beautiful riverside and green areas, and our diverse and thriving population.
Three Kingston Canvas designs by students Natálie Barešová, Josephine Miller and Zsófia Mayer were installed in the spring on Clarence Street, and in October we unveiled three more: Catarina Moura’s Riverside Timeline and Ellice Thatcher’s Kingston Calling on Eden Street and our most prominent yet, Izzi Toovey’s All About Kingston on the ex-Clas Ohlsen unit in the Market Place.
Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive at Kingston First commented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kingston School of Art, one of the best art and design schools in the world, to bring these fantastic pieces of artwork to the town centre in high profile locations to brighten our streets and showcase local artistic talent. The students have thoughtfully developed their pieces to celebrate Kingston and the town’s sense of community and we hope that people working in or visiting the town centre will take time to enjoy the pieces.”
Claire Selby, Commercial Projects Manager, Studio KT1, Kingston School of Art’s newly created creative agency said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Kingston First and for our students to be given such a public showcase. Kingston Canvas will transform vacant shop fronts – instead of blank spaces, shoppers and visitors will be taking in works made by up and coming creatives. This project is a great demonstration of our commitment to developing sought after students and providing them with public platforms to display their talent, especially in such challenging times”