Funny faces winter planting ART CLUB

This Saturday at ART CLUB we had the pleasure and help from the amazing Cath Wade from the St Johns Centre Gardening group in planting up our pots in the alley that had previously housed our sunflowers. Cath brought a wonderful selection of bulbs and plants and encouraged the children to bury the bulbs then make a funny face with the plants on the surface.


It was a very practical and hands on session for the children where they could touch and feel all the different textures of the plants and gently divide and place them into the soil. Some very funny faces were made with all sorts of crazy hair. One child even asked to create a french Plait with some of the ivy! 2017-11-11_20.30.33.jpg

When the children weren’t planting they were making funny faces by drawing and collage…


…and decorating lovely twigs and branches with lots of different coloured wool. The children varied greatly in their approach to this task, some taking a really long time over it and others wrapping wild and crazily, some ended up with only one colour while others involved lots of different  colours!! The children even arranged the completed branches on our pallet art wall in a very pleasing and artistic way.


We had another fun, social and creative afternoon in the alley and survived the cold chill by staying active and having some hot chocolate!!!! 

The plants will continue to grow and fill out the pots so do keep taking a walk down the alley to see all the changes that are taking place.


Leafy Lanterns on a warm Autumn afternoon. 

We enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon at ART CLUB in the alley creating all things leafy!! 

We made beautiful yet simple leaf lanterns from milk cartons, leaves and sticky back plastic! And they definitely look even more gorgeous when lit up with an electric tea light once it is dark. 

Everyone had fun getting stuck in with drawing, painting printing and generally getting messy with our large leaf painting. 

It  really was an all round leafy affair; colouring and drawing rainbow leaves, playing with leaves and twigs and some autumn playdough, and the children invented all sorts of leaf face characters which made some funny pictures!!

We even had an autumn leaf coloured cat come and join us at art club and to top it all it stayed dry and warm!!! 

Next art club is on Saturday 11th November 2-3pm. See you there! 

#manchesterstones at ART CLUB

At ART CLUB this month we got involved with the Manchester Stones  project that has been happening around Manchester this summer. It involves painting stones then hiding them for someone else to find, they in turn can hide them again after taking a picture and posting it in the Manchester Stones online group on Facebook.

We had lots of fun choosing our stones and then painting all sorts of different patterns and pictures on them. ! we had hearts, emojis, flowers, rainbows, spots, minions, ladybirds and many more!!

With a heavy downpour mid art club we had to be quick to protect all our freshly painted stones under some tables and thankfully they only need a few touch ups before we varnished them!

The chalkboard gates are still proving really popular in the alley and are used by a variety of children when playing out as well as at art club where we always make sure we have chalk available!

Once the stones had dried and all the info stickers were placed on the back we varnished them several times and then got to hide them around Old Trafford! Some have already been found and re hidden, have you spotted one yet?

( here’s a clue as to where to look….Hullard Park, Henrietta Street, Prestage Street, Shrewsbury Street…)


Let’s go fly a kite…. Down the alley!! 

August’s art club was a relaxed affair in the sunshine making kites and bunting from canvas.

The children enjoyed creating their designs with felt tips and Oil pastels, then turned them into kites with straws and sting and decorated them with ribbons. 

The Alley provided the perfect place to run up and down allowing the wind to catch the kites and watch the ribbon trails fly. 

We also threaded our bunting together and had the usual chalks out, someone even created a treasure hunt on all the chalk gates! A donated cake from a kind neighbour was shared around too!  Mmmmmm…..

 Next Art Club is on Saturday 9th September 2-3pm in the alley!! 

Spotting birds, making birds, creating birds…

THE BACK gALLErY had a fantastic day being a part of and bringing together two billiant events in Old Trafford. We ran a Bird spotting Treasure Trail from the #OTpicnic to the #OTcommunitymural where we hosted a bird making workshop and gave out bird feeder prizes for the treasure trail kindly donated by HUBBUB.


There were 15 birds along the trail, each one having a word on it and pictures and names of two local birds seen in and around Old Trafford. Participants had to follow the trail, (using their decorated binoculars) collect the names of all the birds and fill in the missing spaces in the secret message  to gain the treasure which was located where the Community Mural was taking place. The secret message being the Poem by Lemn Sissay that will be part of the mural along with several different birds.

Everyone was very excited to get their treasure! All these bird feeders will hopefully encourage even more birds to come to Old Trafford. 2017-07-22_21.46.26

At the Community Mural, being painted by the amazing and local Mural Life,  there was a real party atmosphere with food, music, lots of chalking and a bouncy castle.

Lots of people ( both Children and adults) enjoyed making their own birds from Milk cartons, just like the bird trail ones, decorating them with tissue paper and ribbon at our workshop.IMG_20170722_154752IMG_20170722_144704IMG_20170722_172815IMG_20170722_133109IMG_20170722_150358IMG_20170722_172823

It was a fantastic event to be part of and the Mural will be finished off this week. Check out Mural Life ‘s page to keep up to date with the progress. Image may contain: outdoor

To see a timelapse of the first part of the Mural  being painted click here.

Its very exciting to see more Art being created and displayed around Old Trafford and THE BACK gALLEry hope to encourage more of this in the future.




We’re at the #OTpicnic and #OTcommunitymural !! 

THE BACK gALLErY are incredibly excited to be involved in the #OTpicnic and the #OTcommunitymural this Saturday 12-3pm.

We will be hosting a bird treasure trail leading from the picnic to the mural where you can try and spot 15 birds,look out for some native Old Tarfford birds, solve the puzzle and win a prize whilst getting to see the mural by the fantastic and local mural life  being created and you can even make your own bird too!! The trail also can also work the other way because you don’t want to miss out on all the fun at the picnic!!

All you need to do is pick up and decorate some binoculars at the picnic ( Seymour park school field, Northumberland road) and grab your sheet to fill in…

Follow the trail from one bird to the next, noting down the words and the birds…

Get to the end of the trail by Prestage street where you can see the mural in progress, get some refreshments and make your own bird from a plastic milk carton!

And of course see if you have won a prize!!!

So come on down this Saturday 12-3pm, rain or shine!!!

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Open gardens (or alleys) 2017!! 

THE BACK gALLErY enjoyed a wonderful day being part of Old Trafford Open gardens , showing off our lovely alley and gallery and getting everyone involved in making flowery flower pots from old plastic botttles, planting salad leaves, creating a community Tapestry and getting crafty making decorative necklaces. The children also enjoyed selling lemonade and cakes too!

We managed to raise over £70 at THE BACK gALLErY and The whole Open gardens event’s total is over £1,900. The money is going to Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without borders) which is a great cause.

Thankyou everyone who came along!!!!

Please note that due to this event and our workshop and bird trail on 22nd July in conjunction with the OT Picnic and OT community Mural there will be no art club on Saturday 8th July.

Old Trafford Open Gardens Day 2nd July 2017 11am-5pm. 

THE BACK gALLErY are really excited to be part of this brilliant community event run by Love Old Trafford

We will be hosting some great recycling crafts making flower inspired flower pots from old plastic bottles (and planting seeds in them) and creating a large woven tapestry  that everyone can get involved in. We aim to make this a real community celebration so if you would like to bring along some food to share please do. We will take donations for Médecins Sans Frontières and you can also purchase a programme for the full event from us  if you haven’t got one already so you can really appreciate all the wonderful gardens around Old Trafford. 

ALLEY WEEK- bubbles, water, facepainting and more!!

The week the weather has not been kind to us, there has been heavy rain and strong winds which stopped us getting out into the alley until Friday when we joined both this week’s activities together in one (mostly sunny) afternoon!!! 

We played with bubbles….

And water…..

Drawing targets with chalk, practicing our squirting and aiming skills as well as chucking water balloons into circles and of course ending in a water fight! 

We painted and coloured some Manchester bees that will become part of our ART CLUB group woven tapestry…

And we also had some facepainting fun!! 

It was brilliant to be out in the alley again and over the course of ALLEY WEEK  (or 2) there has been an amazing sense of community and everyone coming together! 


Unfortunately due to the weather we are postponing ART CLUB on 10th June but we will reschedule this soon to create a large scale woven tapestry celebrating all we have done in the alley!