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Art project aims to embrace town transformation

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Art project aims to embrace town transformation

AN ARTIST is being commissioned to work with the community to embrace and express the excitement surrounding the future of Dumfries’ Midsteeple Quarter.

The community-owned organisation behind the regeneration has joined forces with Dumfries and Galloway-based art and craft organisation Upland to offer the commission.

The selected artist will host a series of engagement events to capture the determination and ambition behind the drive to breathe new life into the town centre through community ownership and action.

Upland’s creative director Amy Marletta said: “The new creative commission is open to many possibilities and has the potential to engage a wide range of people. We have kept the project brief open to enable the artist to be responsive to the experience of spending time on the High Street, which is really important. It is also crucial that the engagement with the community is the driver for the final artwork.

“We very much look forward to seeing how artists respond to the brief and explore the potential of what could be created with the local community.”

Midsteeple Quarter executive director Scott Mackay added: “There’s a real buzz surrounding the building work that’s taking place. We are looking forward to seeing how that can be reflected creatively.

“We hope too that it will celebrate the pride of townsfolk in getting us to this pivotal point in Midsteeple Quarter’s short history and the desire of the community to take the reins in shaping a better, stronger Dumfries.”

The search for an artist has been launched, with the brief highlighting the partnership’s desire to create something “bold and eye-catching” which draws attention to both the rebirth of that site and hopes for others surrounding it.

It is expected that artists will be interviewed and the chosen artist commissioned in mid-March. Work is expected to run from April through to November. The full brief for the commission can be found at and at


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