It’s no secret Blackpool has had its share of bad national press.
But a group of top artists have descended on the resort intent on painting it in a very different light.
Professional street artists are visiting Blackpool for the launch of the annual Sand, Sea and Spray urban art festival today.
Now in its third year, the event gives artists an opportunity to transform parts of Blackpool’s landscape, covering the town in colourful and creative street art.
And the artists will be making their mark across the town this weekend – repainting the Jubilee tram on the Pleasure Beach loop in South Beach, painting part of the boarding in front of Blackpool Tower, taking part in a community painting project on North Pier and adorning other sites across the town with their work. Organiser Robin Ross said: “We’re getting people looking at art in the resort in a different way. We’re giving residents and visitors something different and something to attract a different kind of visitor.
“Blackpool gets painted in a bad light – this is changing that.” The much loved mural overlooking the car park on the corner of Church Street and Cookson Street is set to be given a fresh lick of paint and new look on Saturday.
And on Saturday and Sunday budding painters are invited to join a live paint at the Sun Lounge at the end of North Pier, while an open air art gallery will be created at the side of the Winter Gardens.
A number of the artists will be holding an open Q&A session in the Winter Gardens this evening.
The line-up includes those travelling from as far afield as Chile and Australia, and five Fylde coast based painters.
Mr Ross said: “Those visiting artists will leave as massive adverts for Blackpool, they love it here.”
Organisers also hope the festival will act as a springboard for the local artists to take their work worldwide.
Former Highfield Humanities College pupil Marc Atherton, aka Couch 22, said: “The festival is a good opportunity to get work out there.”
Resort ‘is one of world’s top art centres’
An internationally renowned artist has rated Blackpool among some of the world’s best cities for arts.
Parisian street artist Kashink, otherwise known as Maeva Martinez, said she rates the resort alongside Berlin and LA as an art destination.
She said: “There’s something very exotic about Blackpool for me, there’s that mix between party and everyday life. And there’s a lot of contrast between what it used to be and what it is now – how people keep it active and interesting.
“You can feel this town has been through a lot of drastic changes.”
Kashink will be painting on boards on Nando’s, off Corporation Street, Blackpool.