Photo taken on the LYT Festival opening day in Leamington by one of the shortlisted young photographers, Sinead Patching.

Leamington shop windows have been turned into an open air art gallery as part of a festival to promote young talent

The Local Young Talent (LYT) Festival is taking place until May 31 and is designed to support businesses in their recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic by increasing footfall in the town centre

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:46 pm

A festival bringing small business and the creative community together is taking place in Leamington town centre until the end of the month.

Creative Leamington has partnered with retailers and businesses to create an exhibition of some of the best young talent from Leamington, Coventry and Warwickshire to put on the LYT (Local Young Talent) Festival.

The festival, which started on May 1, is funded by Warwickshire County Council's Town Centres Tech Challenge, and is designed to support businesses in their recovery from the pandemic by increasing footfall in the town centre.

Occupied and vacant retail window spaces have been turned into an open air art gallery for the public to experience while they shop and is leading people to retailers they may not have come across before.

The public are able to experience artwork showcased in shop windows and interact via QR codes linking to a dedicated website and interactive map.

The website, developed by emerging tech company Blunt and Brave, also provides shoppers with an opportunity to redeem voucher codes and offers in collaboration with the shops and spaces involved, creating a map of businesses that provided both artistic engagement and opportunities to shop.

Stacy O'Connor, Warwickshire County Council's digital creative lead, said: "We are really excited to see the Local Young Talent Festival come together.

"This innovative project is providing new, young talent with a platform and audience they didn't have before, whilst supporting existing businesses to increase their footfall.

"The festival is helping reanimate the high-street and give shoppers something different to experience as they return. It has been wonderful to see the businesses working together in support of bringing customers back to the town centre safely."

The festival also shines a light on sustainability and how we can make things beautiful in a way that 'does not cost us the earth' by creating window displays in partnership with students from Leamington Spa College and Warwick University, mentored by industry experts from TonyG and CBGC Industries.

Local musicians are showcasing their sounds in the LYT Festival Sound Space at Nash White, while visual artwork can also be found in shops such as Cenu Cacao, Rustic Food Co, Core, Basement Browns, Spa Town Coffee, Zero Store, Indigo, Freshly Ground Ink.

Each shop is showcasing a different artist across several artforms including illustration, fashion design, poetry and painting with work from artists such as Gemma Grao, a contemporary artist based in Leamington Spa, TV Trev, a Black British photographer, film maker and community leader, and Jodie Fern, a jewellery designer inspired by the architecture and art of the places she visits whilst travelling.

More information about the festival and a full list of artists and businesses involved can be found at http://www.lytevents.co.uk

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