Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New Card - David Nash!

You lucky Prestonians - the new Secret Preston Art card is by David Nash. Unbelievable!

We have just put all the limited edition cards in the venues around the city - so if you want one you'd better get going.

David Nash has shown work all over the world - USA, Japan, France, Spain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Korea, Hawaii, Poland and Italy and has work in many, many collections: Uffizi Gallery in Italy, Tate Gallery in London, The Arts Council Collection, The British Council, Soloman R Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo to name just a few.

He is a Royal Academician and was awarded the OBE for services to the arts in 2004.

He is currently showing work at Kew in a major exhibition

And he is also showing work here in Preston! David Nash has made new work especially for this project - so we are absolutely delighted. Only 100 in total have been printed and distributed - so if you'd like to own a David Nash limited edition post card - they are FREE!!

Get yourself down to The Museum of Lancashire, The Tourist Info Centre, Scene on Friargate, Wonderland on Friargate, The Pavilion in Avenham Park and the Continental Pub before they all get snapped up.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Wonderland is back!

We are thrilled to say that the lovely shop Wonderland is back in Preston and will again become a venue for you to collect a free Secret Preston Art card. Fab.
Wonderland is on Friargate and open Monday to Saturday 10am until 5.30pm. Independent businesses need our support right now - so go along and see what goodies you can find in this delightful little shop.

And, it'll be this week sometime that the next SPA card is released into the world. It's a really special one this time - so get ready to run out and collect it. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

New Postcard - Toby Paterson

We are absolutely delighted to announce that the most recent SPA artist is Toby Paterson - incredible!

All the FREE limited edition postcards are now in the venues - so go out and get yourself one before they all get snapped up. The venues are The Museum of Lancashire, the Tourist Info Centre, Scene on Friargate, The Continental Pub and the Pavilion in Avenham Park.

Toby Paterson was born and lives in Glasgow. He makes paintings, reliefs and constructions that reflect his keen interest in post-war modernist architecture. Some works feature recognisable architectural elements while other works express purely abstract forms.

Paterson has shown work nationally and internationally: The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Tate St Ives, Cornwall and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He has also undertaken a number of public commissions: The BBC Scottish headquarters in Glasgow and he was appointed by Docklands Light Railway as principle artist on
the design team for the Stratford International Extension.

For more information on Paterson's work please visit the Modern Institute website.

We are so excited that he has made new work especially for the Secret Preston Art Project. Paterson says of the work
"It relates to Preston and my history as an occasional visitor. The other structure is the Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee in its previous state of 2001. It's now conserved, as I hope the bus station will be..."

So, if you fancy a copy of the SPA postcard you better hurry - they will go fast!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Get Ready

We have an absolute treat in store for you: the next card is going to print today and will be in the venues tomorrow afternoon - great! And you'll not be disappointed - it's a cracker.

We'll post details when all of the 100 cards are available to collect - so watch out...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Hemali Bhuta in The New York Times

Hemali Bhuta - the most recent Secret Preston Art artist is in the New York Times!
The article writes about her work on show at the Frieze art fair in London, plus her residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park earlier this year:

There might still be a few of her Secret Preston Art cards available in the venues around town - they are FREE so go and hunt them out before there's none left.

Friday, 5 October 2012

New Card Out Now - Hemali Bhuta

We are delighted to announce that the next SPA artist is Hemali Bhuta - brilliant!

Hemali has created the artwork especially for the Secret Preston Art project and you can find one of the limited edition postcards in the different venues in town: The Museum of Lancashire, The Tourist Info Centre, The Pavilion in Avenham Park, Scene on Friargate and The Continental Pub. They are FREE!

Hemali lives and works in Mumbai, India. Her work draws on different philosophies, mythologies and folkores and she often chooses to work with mundane, organic or ephemeral materials to create simple, subtle, elegant forms.

She has shown work in Zurich, New York, Rome, Lyon and London and has attended residencies in UK, Maldives and USA.

She is represented by Project 88 where you can find out more about her work.

She is currently showing work at the Shanghai Biennial in China. And in Preston!! So, don't delay - go and get your FREE SPA card now.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

New Card Available - Katie Holten

The SPA team are delighted that the most recent card is by Katie Holten - fabulous!

Katie Holten grew up in Ireland, but now lives and works in NY, USA.
Through drawing, sculpture, books and ephemeral actions her work looks at the relationship between man and the natural world.

She represented Ireland at the 50th Venice Biennale and has also had solo shows at the New Orleans Museum of Art, USA; VAN HORN Dusseldorf, Germany; Dublin City Gallery, Ireland; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY, USA.

Currently she has a solo show at FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic. The show runs until November 25th 2012.

For more information about her work please visit her website:


If you can't make it to Prague - then you can always come to Preston and pick up a FREE Secret Preston Art card. The limited edition postcards went out today into the venues (listed below) so if you fancy owning a postcard by Katie Holten you better go and collect one asap - they will go fast!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Local Artist in Local Museum Shocker

On show at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery here in Preston at the moment is an exhibition by Lubaina Himid - one of the Secret Preston Artists (see March entry on the blog).

Moments That Matter is an exhibition of paintings revealing the hidden contribution of 45 individuals to the Olympics. There are also banners in some of the empty shop windows in the city too. The exhibition runs until 3rd November and is free.

Vibrant and beautiful, Lubaina's exhibition makes an interesting addition to an otherwise fairly dull contemporary art program this year because of the funding cuts and lack of imagination.
With the unshakable policy of 'ignore local artists and hopefully they'll get bored and go away' it makes a refreshing change to see the Harris Museum showing the work of a local artist (Lubaina Himid lives and works here in the city). Has the Harris Museum finally realised there are some cracking good international, local artists?

Monday, 20 August 2012

New Card - Adrianne Neil

We are thrilled to say that this month's Secret Preston artist is Adrianne Neil - fab!

Adrianne is an illustrator based in Newcastle and produces intricate, strange, beautiful drawings and she has produced an intriguing little drawing especially for Preston - what a star!

Her hand drawn illustrations explore imagined realities and creatures developed through a love of heavy industry, birds and Japanese woodblock prints. Recent projects include participating in Jake Blanchard’s Menagerie 3, and she is currently collaborating with Sheffield artist and designer Emma Presland.

You can see more of her work on her blog:

Adrianne's card is available now for free at the Museum of Lancashire, The Tourist Information Centre, The Pavilion in Avenham Park, The Continental Pub and Scene on Friargate. However, we're sad to say that Wonderland on Friargate is now closed - the lure of the south was too much and they've relocated to Manchester.

Get your card now - they'll not be available for long...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The next card is coming...

You're forgiven for thinking that Preston may be experiencing some weird time delay and a bit behind everyone else, but you'd be wrong.
We know it's a bit odd that the May SPA edition is being released in August but by some random coincidence all of the members of the SPA team* moved house all at the same time which then delayed the project for a couple of months. But we promise to catch up - so look out for a flurry of editions in the next few weeks.

The May edition has just come back from the printers and is being stamped tonight! It should be available in the next day or two - we'll keep you posted. And - it's a belter.

*Director, Director of Finance, Logistics Coordinator, Marketing Manager and Chief Studio Janitor.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

April 2012 - Thomas Saible

The April SPA artist is Thomas Saible - brilliant news!

Saible's work references imagined landscapes and remembered places by using washes of colour to disguise faint images and the over layering of lines and marks.  Blurring in and out of focus many of Saible's paintings and drawings seem to reveal an insight into his thoughts and unconscious meanderings through time and space.

Saible has shown work in Germany, UK, Ireland, France, Japan and Italy. His work is held in numerous private collections and also in public collections: Kreisgalerie Sigmaringen, Germany; Regierungsprasidium Tubingen, Germany; Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Munchen, Germany and Bundesamt fur Kultur Bern, Switzerland.
Take a look at his website for more information:

You can also see more of his work at the Art Archive organised by Peter Kerschgens:

Saible, who was recognised as the first official tourist in Preston, has been visiting the city on a regular basis since 2005. He lives and works in Munich, Germany.

And from today you can pick up a free Secret Preston Art card featuring a beautiful painting of Preston by Thomas Saible - available from: The Museum of Lancashire, The Tourist Info Centre,  Scene, The Continental Pub, The Pavilion (in Avenham Park) and Wonderland Vintage Boutique - full details of venues are listed below.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

a-n Review for Himid

Sorry, but you're now too late to collect a free copy of Lubaina Himid's Secret Preston Art postcard - they are all gone! However, the April card is well on the way to being ready and will be available in the venues listed below from mid month.

We noticed that the April issue of a-n Magazine has a review about Cotton: Global Threads at Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and features an image of Lubaina Himid's work that was commissioned for the exhibition.  How current are we?!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

March 2012 - Lubaina Himid

The March SPA artist is Lubaina Himid - excellent!
We've launched Himid's edition today to coincide with International Women's Day.

Himid's work focuses on themes and issues surrounding cultural history and looks at the representations of the people of African diaspora and their cultural contribution to the contemporary landscape. Known for her paintings and prints she also makes work in response to museum collections - questioning their role in the discussion around cultural histories. 
Himid has exhibited internationally since the 1980's: ICA, London; Hayward Gallery, London; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; V&A Museum, London; Peg Alston Gallery, New York; St Jorgens Museum, Bergen, Norway; and the Havana Biennial in Cuba. 
She also has works held in a number of public collections: The Tate Gallery;  the Victoria and Albert Museum, London;  Birmingham City Art Gallery and Bolton Art Gallery. 
Please visit her website for full details:

She is currently in  Cotton: Global Threads at the Whitworth Art Gallery in
Manchester until 13th May 2012

She is also currently in Migrations at Tate Britain until 12th August 2012 

And best of all Himid lives and works here in Preston - local and international at the same time - is that possible? We are thrilled she is the third Secret Preston Art artist!
All the cards are in the venues now (see below for list of venues) - so if you want a free artist card you'd better get along and grab one asap. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

What's Theg

You may well ask "what's theg?"

Well, every 20 years there is a festival here in Preston called the Guild. Apparently the first one was in 1179 and it's been going ever since.

And 2012 is a Guild year - hooray!

We are knee deep here in Preston with bunting and flags celebrating a festival that only seems to celebrate past Guilds. Nobody is sure of its identity or relevance, but what the hell: lets get all the community groups of Preston to dress up and ride a float around town and in 20 years time we can reminisce and laugh at everyones outfits and funny hairstyles.

It's because of the Guild (and in spite of it) that the Secret Preston Art project was conceived. Each of the SPA team was born in a Guild year and within the sound of a Ribble Bus horn from the top of the bus station. Even with this strict criteria, there are 5 members in total (2 aged 20, 2 in their 40th year and one aged 60).

So, for each month during this historic year we are producing a free edition of 100 postcards.
It goes without saying that all the Mark Dion cards are now gone... but have no fear, the March edition has come back from the printers and is being stamped and packed as we speak. It should be ready and available in the different venues sometime during this week....

Thursday, 16 February 2012

February 2012 - Mark Dion

The second SPA artist for February is Mark Dion - how exciting!

Dion's work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. He incorporates elements of biology, archaeology, ethnography, and the history of science and has worked all over the world. And now he's produced a special drawing for Preston!

He has exhibited internationally since 1985 with solo shows at the Tate Gallery; Museum of Modern Art, New York; South London Gallery; USF Contemporary Art Museum; and the Natural History Museum, London to name only a few.

He is represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York. The website shows examples of his work and also a full CV too:

Dion is currently showing at the USF Contemporary Art Museum in Florida, USA (in case you're passing). Troubleshooting runs until 3rd March 2012.

The Secret Preston Art edition of 100 cards with Mark Dion's drawing on has now gone into all the venues around Preston city centre - so if you want one for free, you'd better get a move on!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Michael Lewy - New York Times

All of the Secret Preston Art edition for January have all gone now, but you can see more of Michael Lewy's charts in a little book available from J&L Books based in USA.

Go to the website and scroll along until you see "Chart Sensation" and click on the book for details and to order your copy.

We're also pleased to announce that Michael has just been commissioned to illustration an article for the New York Times Book Review:


The February edition is going to print tomorrow - so it should be ready to go to all the venues in the next few days.... 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


There are a few venues around Preston where you can pick up your free Secret Preston Art edition:

Wonderland Vintage Boutique
128 Friargate Preston
Carefully sourced vintage and retro clothing, shoes and accessories.
Mon - Sat 09.00 - 18.00

The Pavilion
Avenham Park
The Pavilion was designed by McChesney Architects - it's such a beautiful building, and it houses the Preston City Council park manager and rangers and also the Riverside Cafe. 
It's open 7 days a week. 
April - Sept 10.00 - 17.00
Oct - March 10.00 - 16.00

The Continental Pub
South Meadow Lane
With a great selection of beers, wines and yummy food there's also a program of events including music, studio theatre, live literature, workshops, classes and masses more...

47 Friargate
Skatestore with clothes, footwear, accessories and skateboards.
Mon - Sat 10.00 - 17.30

Preston Tourist Information Centre
The Guildhall
Lancaster Road
The Tourist Information Centre has just been refurbished and is situated in the Guildhall.
Mon - Sat 10.00 - 17.50

Museum Of Lancashire
Stanley Street
The MOL has just re-opened after redevelopment - and it's really great! It's now free to enter, has free parking and a cafe - why haven't you been already?!
Tues - Sat 10.30 - 17.00
Sun 12.30 - 17.00
Closed mondays except bank holidays

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

January 2012 - Michael Lewy

Michael Lewy is the first SPA artist!

Lewy lives and works in Boston Massachusetts, USA and uses photography, illustration and painting in his work. 

Lewy says:

What is the first question people ask when they meet you for the first time?

"What do you do for a living?" 
I am interested in how what we do defines us and how our ideas of success and failure shape our culture. After receiving my MFA in 1996 I began working in an office in an administrative capacity. I have been there ever since. Office work is not my chosen profession but a way to make a living.

I started constructing City of Work in 2006 as a way to distill these ideas. I am constructing the City of Work by using photography, video, and computer graphics. I use blueprints to create a plan of the city.  
I have also created several different characters that I portray of different archetypes that live in the city. They are as follows: Office worker, Ceo of Omnipresent Industries , Scientist of the Human Potential Institute and a Laborer who works in the under bowels of the city. I am trying to create a detailed world of this corporate dystopia where work is all consuming. 
In this City of Work, vacations are given by lottery, jobs are determined by the Human Potential Institute and it is illegal to be unemployed. 
Its motto is "If you worked here you would be home by now".

Lewy has shown work in Boston, New York, Atlanta and Berkeley and is currently showing work at Carrroll and Sons in Boston, Massachusetts until February 18th

See more of Lewy's work here:

and more of the City of Work here: