To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Power in Paint project is calling for more female artists to come forward and help put their mark on Europe’s single, largest urban street art project.

Aimi Rix, Power in Paint Artistic Director. Pic by Elliot Tomkins/Louder Collective

Aimi Rix, Power in Paint Artistic Director. Pic by Elliot Tomkins/Louder Collective

The initiative at Luton’s Power Court, created by #saveourtown and Artistic Director Aimi Rix, of Little Red Creative Studios, is a cross-community project designed to begin the transformation of a derelict town centre eyesore with colour and creativity.

The site will eventually undergo a major regeneration that will bring a new 17,500-seat football stadium, an 1,800-capacity music venue, bars, restaurants, leisure facilities and public space. That is expected to be a number of years so, until then, the plan is to revitalise the area, using the imposing perimeter hoarding as a blank canvass for artists to reflect Luton’s renaissance.

Power in Paint has burst into life in the last few weeks, initially with some eye-catching graffiti art, but the Power in Paint team is encouraging more female artists to follow in the footsteps of Aimi, Sophie Gresswell and Sharon Mitchell who have added their own thought-provoking creations.

Aimi, who painted a flower power mural, complemented by Sharon’s Save The Bees piece, wants the artwork to show more female artists that there is room for a wide range of different styles on the hundreds of boards available at Power Court.

Aimi Rix's flower power mural as part of Power in Paint

Aimi Rix’s flower power mural as part of Power in Paint

She said: “I work with so many incredible female artists and while there has been some top-class graffiti art, which is often perceived as a male dominated artform, it’s very important to reach out to women to show that they can have an equal amount of influence in changing Luton for the better.

“We’re open to any kind of paint, pasted poster, collage, and 3D art – as long as it is safe, secure, weatherproof, and not sharp. Pattern work is also welcomed.

“And, as International Women’s Day is about highlighting that a balanced world is a better world, while celebrating achievements, there’s no better time to for women to make their mark on our town.”

Sophie, who is part of Luton’s Colour the Town collective, is the creative force behind the striking new Still Eye Rise artwork, which features three eyes inspired by the town.

Sophie Gresswell painting her Still Eye Rise piece for Power in Paint

Sophie Gresswell painting her Still Eye Rise piece for Power in Paint

Sophie said: “Each painting is linked to Luton. The left depicts a corneal transplant, a procedure which the Luton and Dunstable Hospital is a tertiary centre of excellence for. The right is based on a 18th century medical diagram and shows a corneal burn linked to the sulphur dye used in the bleaching process during hat-making. The middle eye is for you to reflect upon.”

Artworks are currently in progress from Samantha Fox and George Jacobs, with Aimi adding: “We’ve had a quite a few women sign up to take part in Power in Paint and once the weather improves, we expect a flurry of activity, so it’s a great time to get involved.”

Power in Paint is an evolving project and there are some exciting ideas and collaborations lined up that are set to add even more wow-factor to Luton town centre. But even if you don’t consider yourself artistic, you can still be part of this transformative scheme.

There are many other ways to volunteer your help. We need help clearing the site and prepare boards for artists, or you could keep artists company so they’re not painting along. Most important is to spread the word and you can do this by sharing the Power in Paint Facebook page and posts, taking your own photographs of the artwork and sharing those and, ultimately, staying positive about Luton.

Nigel Green, chairman of #saveourtown, said: “Our campaign has always been community focused and the responses to Power in Paint from our fellow Lutonians has been overwhelmingly positive. Aimi and the artists she’s working with, are great ambassadors for our town and we’re delighted to celebrate their contributions of International Women’s Day and beyond.”

If you want to take part in Power in Paint, go to our Power in Paint page for more information, including how we can help provide some materials (though please be advised that these materials are now running low).

Sharon Mitchell's Save the Bees artwork for Power in Paint

Sharon Mitchell’s Save the Bees artwork for Power in Paint