It’s a race against time for a Blackpool artist looking to take his work on tour with a big trip to the Big Apple.
Screen painter Robin Ross has the opportunity of a lifetime to put his prints on display in an art cafe in Brooklyn, New York next year.
But there’s a catch.
The artist, whose studio is based at The Old Rock Factory, Deansgate, has just 30 days to raise £1,500 and is relying on crowd-funding to make his dream happen.
The pressure isn’t putting him off though. In fact, he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“It has taken me nine years to get where I am now and there are a lot of exciting times ahead,” he said. “I’m having a ball.”
It has taken me nine years to get where I am now and there are a lot of exciting times ahead
Mr Ross has set up a crowd-funding page online, where investors can contribute in return for a limited edition print. And he’s delighted with the response to his entrepreneurial endeavours so far.
He said: “Within four days of asking for help, I have already made half of what I need to make it to Brooklyn.
“People have to pay £25 to sponsor me and with that they get a special limited edition print of my work.
“If I only get 50 sponsors then there will only ever be 50 prints of that piece.
“So in a way they are getting a lot more than what they’re giving.”
Mr Ross has previously visited some of his New York heroes and that was what inspired him to take his work overseas.
He said: “Going to New York made me want to get my art displayed there and I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to start to show people that Blackpool has an exploding arts scene.”
The exhibition will be featuring original prints of Blackpool, Cuba, New York and several other places he has visited.
Mr Ross added: “I’ve travelled a lot but everywhere I go I always talk about Blackpool. It’s refreshing to see its art scene growing so much independently without massive amounts of money going into it.”
Even though he is relying on funding, with more than £600 still needed before he hits his target, Mr Ross has already planned out the launch night for the event.
“I want to provide tea and biscuits and even take some Blackpool rock there,” he said.
Before focussing on his art, Mr Ross enjoyed a colourful career that included making contact lenses in St Annes and becoming a presenter on offshore radio station Radio Caroline.
He has also put on the Sand Sea and Spray festival, an event for street artists to congregate in Blackpool and turn blank walls into pieces of art.
◘ For more information and to contribute to the crowdfunding venture, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects.