Artists’ fundraiser

ARTISTS campaigning to save a creative space in Stokes Croft have won the backing of former snooker star Steve Davis.

Jamaica Street Studios has until June 11 raise £85,000 through a crowdfunding appeal. As the Voice went to print, donations had topped £75,000.

The community interest company that runs the hub, which is home to about 35 artists, has secured more than £500,000 but has to raise money itself to ensure it receives “match funding”.

Davis, who lives in Bristol and has DJ-ed at the studios, is supporting the appeal. In a video message, he said: “These studios are vital – it is such a well-known hub of talent. Bristol has got to do everything it can to keep this space for artists to continue to make work and contribute to this incredible buzzing city.” 

Jamaica Street Studios is already working with architects on plans to protect the Grade II listed building at 35-37 Jamaica Street.

It says: “We will invest in the building; improve environmental performance, respect and restore its heritage features, and make it accessible and fit for purpose as a public building. Our mission is to make it even more of an integral part of the community infrastructure, particularly important in our area of high deprivation. 

“This means more events, exhibitions, talks, screenings, workshops, music, performances for everyone to enjoy.

“If we don’t make our target, the reality is, our project is in serious jeopardy. We only have one year to complete the building purchase. If we don’t suceed, we lose our grant and this building goes on the open market.”

The studios have provided affordable space for artists, including sculptors, illustrators, painters, filmmakers, photographers, for about 30 years. Last year the centre opened Kit Form, an accessible and inclusive creative hub for the community.