A TOUCH of colour has been brought to the walls at Stroud General after bosses at the community hospital decided to team up with art students in the town.

The new partnership between the hospital and aspiring young artists from Stroud and South Gloucestershire College is already proving a masterstroke.

So far, 40 pieces of original artwork have been hung up throughout the hospital’s Bowbridge reception area and outpatients department, transforming bare walls into an extended exhibition of colourful creativity.

The display, which will be refreshed regularly as students from SGS’s renowned art department supply new works as part of a rolling programme, has been made possible thanks to Stroud Hospital’s League of Friends.

A specialist display system, costing £2,750 and featuring 28 frames attached to wires hanging from the ceiling, has been funded by the League.

For the initial display some of the frames are housing art from more than one student to enable all the work to be shown.

Helen Acock, team manager for surgery and outpatients at Stroud General, said the hospital would continue to team up with students from other courses at the college to ensure there was a steady stream of images for both visitors and clinicians to enjoy.

After a major refurbishment last year left the hospital looking new and polished but with plenty of plain wall space, she said something needed to be done.

“Looking around the outpatients department it seemed there was something missing. The walls were very bare and there was nothing for people who were waiting to look at.

“I’m passionate about younger people understanding the work that goes on in a hospital and thought it a shame not to be using the wall space that we have so I approached Stroud College and the League of Friends to see if they might be able to put on and sponsor an art display.

“We hope this project improves the experience for patients at the hospital as well as showing what can be achieved in partnership with other organisations.”

David Miller, chairman of the League of Friends, said the hospital walls would now provide a community space for the young artists to showcase their creative talents.

“Stroud hospitals are at the heart of our community and the League of Friends receives wonderful support from local organisations and people.

“We hope that this new co-operative project with Stroud College’s art department will increase community involvement with the Stroud hospitals and particularly involve students at the art college in their local hospital.”

The initial display features paintings, drawings, collages and digitally produced images and for most of the 16 to 18-year-olds involved the project represents the first opportunity for them to display their work in public.

Justin Gregory, head of the art faculty at SGS, said: “It’s a great partnership for many reasons.

“To get exhibition space for art is both expensive and fiercely competitive, so this gives our young and upcoming artists that opportunity – which will give them a lot of confidence as well as an exciting project to get their teeth into.

“It is also great to have a showcase for art somewhere so central to our community.”