Photos of people’s faces from across Stoke-on-Trent will feature in five pop-up exhibitions as part of an iconic art project.
The Face of Stoke-on-Trent is a giant photo mosaic in the city centre, created from 3,550 images to reveal a main picture of 23-year-old Jozef Clark.
The People’s Picture - run by award-winning artist Helen Marshall - was commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to create the free outdoor installation and pop-up exhibitions, working alongside local arts organisation B Arts.
Jozef’s picture was chosen from thousands of submissions as the main face to represent the city and the 172-square-foot mosaic was installed on the electricity substation in Lichfield Street near Hanley Town Hall.
From Friday, 4 May until September, images collected as part of the project will appear in the separate pop-up exhibitions for the Face of Stoke-on-Trent Tour.
The displays will be available to visit for free at Longton Market, Fenton Town Hall, Stoke Market, Tunstall Market and Burslem School of Art.
A selection of people from Stoke-on-Trent - and their stories - will feature in the exhibitions. They range from zookeepers to pottery workers, with ages from six months to 82 years.
Information on the ‘faces’ from the exhibitions is available online at faceofsot2021.com and in a collectable booklet.
A vintage picture of Ivy Spragg, who was born in Hartshill, is one of the images featured. Her son, Rob Spragg, aged 47, from Silverdale, submitted the picture of his mum. He said: “It's so wonderful to see her image being used to promote the things, the city and the people she loved.”
Jozef, of Hanley, said: “I look forward to seeing these pop-up exhibitions as part of the tour. I have had so many moving messages about the Face of Stoke-on-Trent project on social media. I’d like to thank the people of Stoke-on-Trent for coming forward and sharing their stories and contributing to the exhibition. I am so proud of my city and this project helps to show off all that is great about Stoke-on-Trent.
“Being chosen to be the Face of Stoke-on-Trent couldn't have come at a better time for me. It has let me reflect on my life and set new goals to better myself; working with children, mental health and the YMCA.”
Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “This is another great opportunity to enjoy part of this fantastic art installation. Don’t miss your chance see some of the images on tour. You can also still see the main exhibition near Hanley Town Hall – and maybe try to spot some people you know among the thousands of faces.
“The Face of Stoke-on-Trent mosaic represents the whole city and everything that makes Stoke-on-Trent such a fantastic place. It shows how diverse our community is and how this is a city that is looking forward to a bright future.”
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