Students from a Watford college visited a recently refurbished subway on Clean Air Day, to see their art transform it into a modern art gallery.
West Herts College students visited the refurbished subway on Thursday, June 16, at St Albans Road West.
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) undertook a works programme of cleaning, painting, vegetation cutback, surfacing and lighting improvements.
The star of the refurbishment package is however the new art display. Twenty-four frames have been fitted on the walls of the subway to display the beautiful and creative paintings, drawings and photographs from the college students. The display features a wide range of images, many with relevance to air quality and reducing pollution, such as nature, sport and transportation.
The subway provides the space for the students to display their work in a public place and for local people to enjoy the new and exciting art on their doorstep.
Phil Bibby, executive member for highways and transport, HCC said: “This project is part of HCC subway refurbishment programme to encourage active travel, reduce car use and improve the environment we live in and links in the Local Transport Plan.
“This is the second subway in Watford to be transformed, the Vicarage Road subway was refurbished with a Watford Football Club Mural earlier this year.”
HCC’s Chairman Cllr Annie Brewster was delighted to meet some of the artists and their lecturers at the event. She said: “This is such a brilliant idea to showcase the skill of these outstanding students whilst supporting a truly inspired community project. Numerous users of the subway were keen to share their delight with it as they passed by. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
Working with Watford Borough Council to identify opportunities to improve walking and cycling routes and involve the local community is the way forward for a cleaner, greener and healthier Hertfordshire.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “I am delighted that Watford Council, working with the West Herts College and the County Council, was able to help make this happen. There’s no doubt it has helped brighten up the area and I’m sure the art will be enjoyed by those travelling through the subway. Providing attractive places to walk encourages more active travel, protects the environment and helps reduce traffic congestion.”
Brett Clarke, head of school – art and design, West Herts College said: “We are incredibly proud to have had the opportunity of working with Hertfordshire County Council on this community project.
“Not only has it been an enriching experience for our students to share the creative work they produce to a wider audience, it has given them an insight into the importance of community projects and the role artists can play in the regeneration process. This has been a huge learning experience for the students and the start of a fantastic working relationship we hope to build upon.”