posted on 7 March 2013

Wakefield Community Trust is delighted to announce local artist Mick Hand has joined Jason Wilsher-Mills in the Wildcats Artist in Residence project.

Mick Hand is now part of the Artist in Residence project.

The Normanton born artist has been commissioned to paint five pictures of the Rapid Solicitors Stadium throughout the 2013 campaign. Hand has already begun his work at the club by laying the foundations to his paintings that will be finished by the end of the year.

The Loughborough College of Fine Art graduate also studied in Spain as he progressed to exhibiting in the likes of London, Leeds and Nottingham. Hand now lives in Wakefield and you can visit his website HERE.

The Trust have appointed Hand to work as a local resident that has even worked at Wakefield Art Colleges and he explains his role at the club.

“It’s through the Residency with Jason, we go back quite a long time. As part of the residency he had a brief to make paintings because the ground is being taken down they wanted paintings to put in the new ground and that’s where I come along.

“There are a few archive paintings I’ll be doing in the future as well. Jason put me forward and I got presented to the Trust and got the go ahead.

“I was going into an empty stadium and painting which I will do again and I’ve ended up getting caught up with painting the crowd and things like that.

“At the moment I will be working for the Wildcats for the season, we’ve said five paintings are to be done but you always get more because you get involved. I’ve not even made one yet, I’ve just made a lot of drawings and sketches so if it did run over it would be at my expense because I wanted to.”

Wilsher-Mills is well underway with preparing the mural that will run along the outside of the East Stand and Hand says he has been commissioned separately.

“It is completely different to the mural. There is going to be at least five finished paintings of the ground and it will be more than likely when the ground is empty or just emptied or before a match.

“There might be more than five but because the ground is closing.  These paintings are going to stand as a record of what it looks like.

Hand admitted since joining in partnership with the Trust he has become a Wildcats fan through his artwork and explains his new role is a great way to be noticed thanks to the club.

“I wasn’t really a big Wildcats fan if I’m honest but I used to go and watch then I played football so I never really got the chance to watch. I thought coming back I’ll go and be a silent party by observing and painting but now these cheers are coming out of me and they’re getting louder so I certainly am a supporter now. I can only get to the home matches so I’m always checking up on all the scores now.

“It gives me a voice and a way of getting seen. Artists struggle around here because it’s not a capital or somewhere where many people purchase art, but in fairness, I do sell around here.

“It’s not every day you sell paintings in Wakefield though so to get the chance to be commissioned to work and get seen. Also the legacy of it is that paintings with my name on will be owned by Wakefield Trinity Wildcats until long after I’ve gone, so that’s a good thing.”

Director of Education Mark Winder gave his reaction:

“We appointed Mick due to the quality of his previous work and the fact he is a local artist of the Wakefield Community.

“The Trust are utilising his talent to reach out to the ‘Quiet Pint With The Match’ demographic which is likely to have a have a drink and watch sport, and will benefit from fine artwork.

The work he is producing to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will be of rich heritage and we really are reaching new areas and broadening horizons.”

You can visit Mick’s website here and look at some of his early sketches of his work at the Wildcats at www.michaelhandarts.co.uk.

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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