Kirkwall’s town centre is set to form the backdrop to a special Orkney themed exhibition showcasing the work of 30 local artists.

The Open Windows event – organised by the Kirkwall BID and local artist Laura Drever- will see paintings, sculpture and photography placed in business windows, all the way from Bridge Street and Junction Road to Victoria Street.

Exhibitors include students, recent graduates and long established artists. All of the artists taking part have generously agreed to donate 10-per-cent from any sales made during the exhibition to the Orkney Charitable Trust.

The exhibition is based on the Stromness Open Windows event, which has been running successfully since 2010. Local artist Laura Drever has been the driving force behind the Kirkwall version.

“Having been involved as an artist in the Open Windows in Stromness over the years, I saw the potential a similar project could have for Kirkwall,” she said. “One of Kirkwall BID’s aims is to encourage people to spend more time on the street and what better way to do that than with an art exhibition. The businesses have been extremely generous in allowing their windows to be dressed with artwork, while the Stromness Open Windows committee have also been very supportive, passing on advice and details of how their project was run.”

Participating windows will be identified by a special sticker, with artwork mounted on white boards alongside details of the artist. Most of the artworks will be for sale and can be purchased by contacting the artist directly.

The exhibition – available to view 24 hours a day – opens on at 2pm on Saturday 16 April and runs until Saturday 30 April. Leaflets guiding viewers through the street will be available from participating businesses and from VisitScotland at the Travel Centre. The map can also be downloaded from the Kirkwall BID website – http://www.kirkwallbid.co.uk.

Kirkwall BID manager, Carly Tait, said: “This exhibition is a really innovative way of encouraging more people to visit the town centre and it also makes great use of some of the empty window space on the street. Orkney is a creative community, with many talented artists and lots of art lovers, so it’s something we’re sure will prove extremely popular and engaging.

“We’re delighted that so many wonderful artists have agreed to take part and we’d like to thank them for their participation and for generously agreeing to donate a percentage of their sales to the Orkney Charitable Trust,” added Carly. “We’d also like to thank Laura Drever for all her hard work in coordinating the exhibition. Hopefully, it will become a regular fixture in the Kirkwall BID calendar of events and something local artists will look forward to being involved in each year.”

Mairi Fleet, from the Orkney Charitable Trust, said: “We are delighted, and honoured, that Kirkwall BID have chosen to support our general Orkney Fund in conjunction with sales from the Open Windows project. We support young people, 25 and under, in Orkney through times of ill health, disability, hardship and disadvantage. All money raised supports Orkney’s young folk in need.”

ENDS

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