Following the success of Art Stops 1, I received funding from the Arts Council to fund Art Stops 2 & 3. I decided to mix the selection with International Artists and Community work.

I contacted some local community projects and asked them if they would like to participate.
My plans were to hire a workshop artist with the end result being large posters to be displayed in bus shelters. The community groups were; Investing in Children (Framwellgate Moor, Pelton and Spennymoor), RT Projects (Gilesgate) and Daisy Arts (Bishop Auckland).

The strategy was to let the participants show anything they want, or if they had something to say, encourage them to say it through the advertising medium.

Investing in Children sessions took place in their Art Cafe after school, children were very inventive and I was surprised at their minimalist approach, using drawing and then Photoshop to construct their images. I assisted the workshop leader Graham Smith who is an established illustrator.

RT Projects were lead by their team leader Beano and he took onboard the mantle of workshop leader mixing music and painting to make the all dayers more fun.

Daisy Arts had already begun their themes of local women painting on their upper bodies and face.

I contributed finances to their workshops and they developed new work from this.

The Curatorial side of the project was led my myself. Like the first intake, I scoured Social Media channels to pick appropriate imagery that would be very striking and did a call out to local Artists. One idea which may lead to a future project is I encouraged a collaboration with the poet Ian Horn and photographer Juan Fitzgerald to document ‘niche’ shops in the Durham area. This could well lead to a book project as it shed a spotlight on the diversity of independent enterprises in the area.

A fascinating offshoot to the project was one of the Artist’s Emma Poppy teamed up with Marketing director Sylvain Guéraiche organised Expo Art&Bus 2022 Rouen Métropole, using the same template as Art Stops but in Rouen, France. They organised their own ‘art stops’ mentioning the Durham project as an inspiration in their marketing campaign.

Here, the Art Stops project was mentioned prominently in the Durham 2025 bid, and we attracted local attention from NARC magazine and the local press as well as posting work in various Facebook channels. I set up Global Art Stops contributor such as the Rouen project to market their project.

In conclusion I do believe it was very successful and helped a lot of people especially children in care, residents with mental health issues and a women’s group who are dealing with the after effects of life after lockdown, to find a platform for self expression.


Due to the impact this project has had. Particularly the benefits it has bought to care experienced young people, aligned to quality life story work, confidence and self-esteem. There has been an escalation of interest in the Artstops approaches and benefits.

It has bought to young people’s artists qualities and confidence to expand in this arena. Through expression, rights and better ways regarding connecting will the world around them and what they want say about it.

It has also provided IiC with the ability to establish and learn about how community arts and culture projects can be favourable to children and young people, particularly learning how such projects can promote their rights to participate in decisions on issues that are important to them. Aligned to IiC ethos of creating a stronger focus and understanding of the importance of Article 31 of the UNCRC in it’s future work.

Article 31 sets out children’s right to rest, leisure and play, participating in cultural life and the arts, which is widely acknowledged as important to children’s health and wellbeing and was proven by the enjoyment and participation of the young people involved in this project.

IiC became more self-assured in applying for further funding in the art’s arena to expand children and young people’s ability to change things for the better in County Durham through the Arts Stop Initiative as join collaboration. With ambition to grow nationally.

Robert Johnson
Project Manger
Investing in Children
June 2022

Mental health/arts charity, one of the many things we do to support the people we work with is to improve individual self confidence. Indeed to instil pride. We use art to do this. Whether that be through public exhibitions or individual achievement.
The Art Stops project provided us with the perfect opportunity to achieve our goals. The excitement at the prospect of having their artwork on public display was tangible. The dedication and concentration that came out of this was huge.
Our ‘artists’ put in so much effort to getting it ‘right’ as they knew that the artwork would be seen by many. The emotional benefits the pride was obvious and is echoed in the reviews attached.
Many thanks for this opportunity

Beano (RT Projects)

b.u. … beautifully you’ is a body art series programme developed by artists from Daisy Arts, keen to connect with members of the community to share their stories. The programme focusses on inner-stories that have previously been unspoken. Those being painted have shared their feelings; Menopause, Mental Health, Motherhood, Living in a Social Media World and Bullying have been just a few of the stories that have emerged. The painting process and subsequent sharing of a photographic image has helped, not only those that have been painted, through the empowerment given by the journey taken, but also to the viewer of these works, that have identified with some of these stories. 

The programme shared the work, firstly by printing the earlier images painted onto postcards, then printing larger for a small local exhibition, with the Art Stops initiative being the largest exhibition to date – allowing for the sharing of this work on a wider platform on Bus shelters throughout the Durham County area.

Jane Crawford
Daisy Arts