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Warhol Croydon puts town on the international map for culture

Perception and Image
A tribute month for the world-renowned artist Andy Warhol has been an outstanding success, attracting visitors to Croydon from all over the world.

Hundreds of tourists, residents, artists and school children have taken part in more than 60 walking tours which follow a dozen giant street artworks around the town centre.

The homages to Warhol, by leading contemporary artists such as Ron English, Ben Eine and Rich Simmons, have been located at prime sites throughout the town centre and, in addition to the guided tours, an app developed by Connected Space has allowed visitors to find out more about the artwork as their own pace.

Film screenings, lectures and workshops have brought the iconic American artist to life while the award-winning RISEgallery, who have masterminded the initiative, has welcomed more than 7,000 visitors to see the exhibition of Warhol originals that it has been hosting in St George’s Walk throughout the month.

All of the activities throughout Warhol Month, which has been supported by Croydon Business Improvement District and Croydon Council, have been free of charge.

Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, founder of the RISEgallery, said: “We have had visitors from all around the world and the feedback we have had has been fantastic.

“Warhol Month really has helped people to discover all that Croydon has to offer and how it has been changing over recent years. As well as people coming from far and wide, what has really been interesting is the number of Croydon residents joining us who don’t usually venture into the town centre.”

School parties from across the borough have been among those taking part in the walking tours while youngsters have been among those enjoying workshops where they’ve created Warhol-inspired artwork, proving the leader of the pop art movement can still capture the imagination 30 years after his death.

Hundreds of feedback forms have produced a unanimous verdict – this is the kind of thing we want to see in Croydon.

Comments included:

·         “It will make me look at Croydon in a new light.”

·         “It’s really great to see something so inspiring and exciting happening in Croydon.”

·         “I wasn’t aware of Croydon’s art scene – I’m excited by all the cultural aspects of Croydon.”

·         “Enjoyable and inspiring – it makes me proud to live in Croydon.”

Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID said:

"Warhol Croydon has generated a real sense of excitement and pride throughout the town, offering a diverse range of free cultural events with feedback demonstrating a real interest and thirst for more."

With Warhol Croydon having been such a great success, plans are already being considered for a similar event in the future. Watch this space!

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