‘We won’t let this beat us’: Manchester’s new city-wide art trail can continue despite Tier 3 restrictions

  • 50 Windows of Creativity is new art trail in Manchester celebrating the city’s rich creative culture
  • Money will be raised for artists involved as well as for a Manchester charity

A new city-wide art trail called 50 Windows of Creativity has been unveiled to inspire people during the dark days of the latest lockdown.

It features mosaics, installations, fine art, photography, craft and murals by local artists in windows, venues, businesses and spaces across the city.

50 Windows of Creativity, art trail, arts and culture
Artist Hammo at work on one of the murals                                                   Photo: David Oates

The event was created by international art producers Wild in Art, the team behind the award-winning Bee in the City event that took place in Manchester in 2018.

Ben Reed, head of creative development at Wild in Art, said: “A lot of my friends are artists and their shows had been cancelled because of Covid-19.

“In terms of outlets to showcase their work, there were no real opportunities around.

“I thought it would be positive to come up with a project that was both ‘Covid-proof’ and that navigated people around the city in a safe manner, so that they can continue to engage with arts and culture.

“This is something new for Wild in Art, so we were excited to come up with a project that would get people to connect with the city centre and reconnect with creativity.”

50 Windows of Creativity, art trail, arts and culture
Artist Caroline Dowsett installing her piece                                                Photo: David Oates

An app called ’50 Windows of Creativity’ – featuring the interactive map of the art trail – is available to download from today, with proceeds going to The Lord Mayor of Manchester Charity Appeal Trust – We Love MCR Charity.

50 Windows of Creativity, art trail, arts and culture
The interactive map which can be found on the ’50 Windows of Creativity’ app

Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture, leisure and skills, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said the art trail would “help Manchester recover economically” from the effects of Covid-19.

When the trail finishes, each artist will have the opportunity to put one piece of work into an auction on 10 December. The auction will be online and streamed live, with proceeds going to the artists and to the We Love MCR charity.

Artist CJ Taylord, whose work is on show from today, said: “Both me and the team at Wild in Art had done extensive planning, which led to an easy installation.

“Everyone maintained social distancing and wore masks at all times.”

50 Windows of Creativity, art trail, arts and culture
Artist Lazarian’s completed art piece                                                          Photo: David Oates

All visitors are encouraged to maintain a safe distance and wear a face covering when appropriate, and all regulations were followed whilst the trail was installed.

Ben added: “It’s been challenging, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

“There are hundreds of people already taking part in the trail in the rain today – there is evidence that there is a need for this type of event in the current climate.

“We won’t let this beat us.”

Some artists that have been highlighted include Benji Reid, Lauren Mullarkey and Kaper.

Use the hashtag #50WindowsMCR and download the 50 Windows of Creativity app to get involved.