Students are picture perfect at the Belong Heritage Gallery 

17 JUL 2018

School is almost out for summer, but that hasn’t stopped these local graphic design students who have created original pieces of art to adorn the walls of the Belong Heritage Gallery, a feature of care village operator Belong’s latest site in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

L-R: Charlotte Gartland, Mia Tinsley, Belong Deputy Chief Executive Tracy Paine, Jessica Poole and Christian Ralph

Jessica Poole, Holly Rowley, Mia Tinsley, Christian Ralph and Charlotte Gartland all study HNC Graphic Design at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, and created artwork to be displayed in the gallery following the adaption of their coursework to encompass the history of the building. The site on Lower Street dates back to the 17th century and was listed with grade 2 status in 1972, having served under many different guises over the years including a pottery, a coaching inn, and latterly the famous ‘Maxims’ nightclub.

Posters were created using recognised styles to suit the eras covered in the building’s history, such as the psychedelic art of the 1960s, and written material was submitted to support their creations.

Daniel Turner, experience coordinator for Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: “I want to thank the students and everyone from the Newcastle-under-Lyme College Art department for lending their talents to decorate the Heritage Gallery. It is important to us that we preserve local history for future generations, and I can’t think of a better way to involve young people in exploring their rich local heritage.”

Shannon Steyn, Curriculum Leader in HNC/HND in Graphic Design at Newcastle College, said: “Belong Village have provided our students with a great opportunity to showcase their artwork after working towards a live brief set by the organisation. The students won’t just be submitting the artwork which is currently on display, they will regularly update the gallery space with new artwork so that it can be enjoyed by residents and their visiting family and friends for many years to come. Opportunities like this provide our students with real-life, industry work experience and this project will support a number of their modules in order to complete their qualification.”

Made possible by a £1.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the transformation of the Maxims building to create the Belong Heritage Gallery is part of a wider £13.5 million Belong care village development at the site, incorporating 28 apartments for independent living and six 24-hour care households. A village hub provides access to amenities for residents and the wider community, including a hair salon, bistro and exercise studio, as well as providing specialist day care.