Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre highlights the importance of visual arts and accessibility to art.

The centre, on Lancaster Road, opened in 1997 following Richard Attenborough’s idea to raise funds for an art centre in the local area.

Through campaigning and university funding, it became the first accessible art centre in the world.

Adam Unwin, Attenborough Arts Centre (AAC) marketing officer, said: “In the last 5 to 10 years, we have had more artists with special needs on board with us to produce art, as we continue to increase accessibility.”

“In the last 5 to 10 years, we have had more artists with special needs on board with us to produce art, as we continue to increase accessibility.”

Adam stressed the importance of accessibility, especially after the pandemic in which he implemented change by playing a pivotal role in developing a greater presence on social media.

When asked what the most rewarding thing in his profession was, he said: “It is great to see artists come in and react to their own art being placed in our galleries and embrace the moment.

“We have galleries dedicated to artists locally and internationally and it makes it even better, but you have to have a heart of stone to not be moved by it.”

Inside Attenborough Arts Centre [credit: University of Leicester]

There are many goals that Adam would like to reach in future. He said: “I’d consider expanding as it has been a nice challenge having a national audience and it is gratifying to see the hard work pay off.”

Adam added: “I have never been a big visual arts kind of person, but I saw Kelly Richardson’s Martian landscape piece and it had a very relaxing and emotional effect on me.”

The Attenborough Arts Centre is the hub for maximising potential and opening doors for people looking to broaden their horizons, within the creative sector.

As an organisation that values accessibility they aim to grow and become more externally focused, especially amongst the student body.

Written by Daniel Ajanaku