The website Public Art Northwest was developed in 2003 as a NW contribution towards the national Architecture Week celebration by Ian Banks. Acting as ‘Public Art & Architecture Officer’ at Arts Council England NW (ACE NW), Ian worked in conjunction with ACE NW stakeholders North West Development Agency, RIBA NW and publishers Carnyx Group, to help showcase public art as creative regeneration and engagement in England’s North West. The website is sadly no longer live, but at the time, it was also supported by a complimentary guidebook of the same name, and issued free during Architecture Week as an insert in RIBA NW’s monthly Prospect magazine (both now sadly out of print as well). The purpose of both website and booklet was two-fold: firstly to highlight to potential commissioning bodies, architects and artists examples of best practice in our public art; and secondly to encourage a wider public just to get out there and celebrate contemporary art and architecture as cultural tourism. The guidebook featured evocative photographs by arts photographer Nic Gaunt and included articles by a variety of guest writers, including main introductions by writer Phil Redmond (representing the NW Cultural Consortium) and Ian Banks. Other feature writers and project advocates included broadcaster Eric Robson, developer Tom Bloxham and architect Will Alsop – amongst many others. Public art artists and their projects, as well as Ian’s actual introduction will be added shortly…
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