Warhol month is coming to Croydon

By - Friday 3rd February, 2017

How Croydon plans to celebrate Warhol in the thirtieth anniversary year of his death

It’s hard to believe that Croydon’s arts quarter is nearly two years old, its official opening being the street art takeover of St George’s Walk by Femme Fierce in February 2015. Since then, Croydon has become a destination for aficionados of this often ephemeral art form, with articles appearing in both local and national media.

Much of this has been a result of the hard work of RISE Gallery, whose owner Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison worked hard to persuade both building owners and the local authority of the merits of employing this particular method of revitalising dingy areas such as St George’s Walk. So… what next?

As is my habit, I checked my phone to see what I was doing on Thursday 26th January, finding that I had an event at RISE Gallery neatly preceding the first Croydon Tech City gathering of 2017. I’d assumed that it was a standard opening night; there was some mention of Andy Warhol. However, on arrival I became aware that this wasn’t a private viewing as such but the launch of something far more ambitious.

No-one’s marking thirty years since Warhol died, so Croydon will

Andy Warhol died in 1987, which means that this year is the thirtieth anniversary of his death. Remarkably, nothing is being planned by any of the major institutions and galleries to mark this. Seizing this opportunity, RISE Gallery has secured access to sixteen giant Warhol prints which have been signed off by the Andy Warhol Foundation. These prints range from 3m x 3m to 3m x 5m and will be distributed around Croydon in the chronological order of creation of the originals.

Strategically arranged to form an Andy Warhol trail, starting near East Croydon station, the intention is to give anyone following the trail a broad and positive experience of Croydon. This will all be incorporated into a ‘Warhol month’, for which July has been selected. Free tours will run up to three times daily for the general public whilst a specialist leader will focus on school groups during the first half of the month.

However, the event will not be limited to these giant works. To coincide with the outdoor spectacular, a major show will be mounted in the gallery itself. Furthermore there will be screenings of some of Warhol’s film output both indoors and outdoors (although those hoping for all 321 minutes of Sleep are likely to be disappointed.) A programme of talks is also planned, from leading scholars together with friends of the artist.

Croydon’s expects 100,000 visitors for Warhol Month

Activities for families will range from a ‘make your own soup can’ session to screen printing workshops. The arts quarter’s roots haven’t been forgotten either: it’s anticipated that 70-100 new street artworks inspired by Andy Warhol will be created over two weekends and this in itself will attract hundreds of visitors to Croydon.

So what all of this expected to bring us? 100,000 visitors apparently, and recognition and publicity in national and international press, together with acknowledgement of our commitment to the arts and culture. If all goes to plan, July should be an extremely exciting month for Croydon.

RISE Gallery is seeking support and engagement from businesses, artists and individuals. For further details call 020 8681 1279 or .

Ian Marvin

Ian Marvin

Ian is a product designer who moved to the borough in 2003. His interests in all things Croydon stretch from being on the committee of the Constructing Excellence Croydon Club to active membership of the Croydon Clandestine Cake Club. During the day he works on his interior lighting businesses which are also based in Croydon. In the unlikely event that he has any leisure time, he enjoys creating ceramic pieces and playing bass guitar. Any opinions expressed here are personal.

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