What would you do to make your mark?

Jess Rotherham
Jess Rotherham

If you could create anything at all, how would you make your mark on your town?

This is the question asked by Wigan-based artist Jess Rotherham, who is calling for the community to explore their artistic flair as part of a new visual project.

Jess, 25, is one of eight artists-in-residence as part of Wigan Council’s Imago programme and is leading on the project ‘Ideas for a town’, which encourages the residents to take ownership of the places that they live through art.

Members of the public can sculpt, draw or write about their ideas before handing them into their local library or taking a photograph and uploading to the project blog.

All submissions will then be included in Jess’ open exhibition from March 10 in Wigan Library.

Jess said: “I am really keen to work with people who don’t necessarily engage with art on a daily basis.

“Ideas don’t have to make sense and they don’t have to be realistic – I just want to give everybody the opportunity to be an artist.

“I’m excited for what is an eclectic exhibition that has been contributed to by the whole community regardless of age, gender or background.”

Sculpture packs can be picked up from the Grand Arcade or Wigan Library’s mezzanine, which have all the materials needed including a backdrop, clay and figurines.

There have been more than 60 submissions so far with ideas such as a tower of pies, a brick maze and even a spaceship.

For those who would like to work with Jess directly on their submission, there will be a free drop-in workshop on Monday, February 19, suitable for all ages at the Museum of Wigan Life, from 11am to 12.30pm.

Alternatively, visit the blog at www.ideasforatown.tumblr.com for more information or to submit your ideas.