In 2014, two Shrewsbury based artists Elizabeth Turner and Jill Impey were offered the old supermarket in Riverside Mall as a permanent arts space if they formed a Community Interest Company to operate it. Keith Ashford, another local artist joined to form Participate Contemporary Artspace CIC.
Other local artists were keen to take up space and help with the day to day running of a busy arts’ hub. Participate grew to become over twenty two studio artists regularly working in the space, with visiting artists in the project spaces and a regular exhibition programme, with Local volunteers helping to keep the gallery open to the public by invigilating exhibitions, as well as contributing other skills to the organisation.
Since the lock-downs of Covid-19, we had to change our ways of working and as a collective we continue to adapt and part of this has been leaving our studio in Raven Meadows. We are now focused on providing quality Arts Participation in the Shrewsbury area in other community and public settings in partnership with other organisations and to widening participation through art workshops for the public, including on-line.