Gateshead Council first became involved with art in the environment in the early 1980s. By 1986 a Public Art Programme had been established, which has since gained national and international recognition, receiving a succession of prestigious awards.
During the programmes 25-year history Gateshead Council has commissioned over 80 works of art ranging from artist-designed railings to one of the most well known public artworks in Britain, the ‘Angel of The North’, by Antony Gormley.
The development of Gateshead Quays and the ongoing regeneration of Gateshead Town Centre have enabled public art to be integrated into new buildings and the surrounding environment.
This has created an emphasis on social spaces between developments whilst also providing an appropriate integration between the two major cultural facilities on Gateshead Quays, BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead.
Public art has become an integral part of the development and regeneration of Gateshead, encouraging investment and creating a strong identity and a sense of pride throughout the region.
Each artwork has been individually designed for its specific site, and most incorporate references to the local history and culture of Gateshead.
Workshops by Kate Maestri at The Sage Gateshead, Christine Constant at The Metro Centre, Lulu Quinn throughout Gateshead, the annual Family Sculpture Day in Saltwell Park (which has run for over twenty years) have all introduced local people to art, successfully bridging the gap between the commissioning procedures, creative processes and the finished artwork.