Hi my name is Megan Dobbyn

I’m an illustrator who grew up in the Tees Valley, I studied my foundation diploma at Cleveland College of Art and Design and studied illustration at Leeds Arts University. I graduated last July and I am currently living in Leeds working on freelance illustration projects.

Being asked to create a map for the Real Tees Valley Film Trail was really exciting and it was so much fun illustrating buildings and landmarks from the Tees Valley, such as the Transporter Bridge, that I was familiar with. It was also great to make work for part of a creative project so close to home and be part of something exciting from the area.

Find out more about Real Tees Valley Film Trail here

Growing up in Guisborough, near Middlesbrough a lot of my interests centred around the amazing wildlife and coastline the Tees Valley has to offer. Some of my favourite ways to spend time in the area are visiting Skinningrove beach and walking along the clifftops to Saltburn or seeing the seals at Seal Sands near Middlesbrough.

I think the Tees Valley is a very inspiring place to be an artist and there are countless beautiful areas to visit, juxtaposed with the remnants of industry, often both in the same place, such as the captivating South Gare near Redcar. Growing up around nature has definitely come forward as a theme in my work and you can find more of my work at or on Instagram @megdobbyn_illustration.


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Online Arts

Help us find #myblueandwhite!

Girl making Willow Pattern Plates

Earlier this year Tees Valley Arts worked with River Tees Re-discovered to provide artistic engagement at the “Welcome Aboard” community launches held in Middlesbrough, Darlington, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar.

Artists Adrian Moule and Emily Hesse were commissioned and developed our River Tees Willow Pattern engagement, where participants were encouraged to interpret the River Tees informed by the traditional willow pattern.

Infographic: Zoe Bishop; Icon Gender Neutral by Matt Brooks from the Noun Project

Just shy of 300 people made plates and took there home and now we’re asking you to tell the story of the plate you made or have been given by sending us a photo via social media using the #myblueandwhite:

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Youth Centre Artwork Unveiled

What springs to mind when you hear the words ‘Youth Centre’?

I bet it’s pool, street art, dj-ing, chilling out… well, at Redcar Youth Centre, something completely different has been happening over the past few months.

Hartlepool-based glass artist Rachel Gretton has been working with students from Rye Hills School and young people who attend the Youth Centre to create work to be installed at the centre, giving the main room something of a make-over.

Youth Worker and Teaching Assistant Nicky Tucker contacted Tees Valley Arts to manage the project, as she wanted young people to experience professionally-led workshops and to create unique work for the centre, she said,

“…we didn’t just want canvases or street art – we wanted it to stand out, and what the young people have achieved with Rachel is fantastic”.

Before becoming Director of Tees Valley Arts, Rowena Sommerville worked as a freelance artist and writer and she delivered a couple of creative writing sessions with the group to inform the work with Rachel.

Jane Gray, Education Officer at Tees Valley Arts said,

“Rachel’s work is really interesting – she combines glass, glass techniques on other materials and creative writing to form totally unique pieces of work. The young people have been able to work with her to develop their creativity and skills and should be extremely proud of what they’ve created together.”

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Upsall Hall unveils new Sculpture

Upsall Hall Rural Adult Training Centre, Swan’s Corner, Nunthorpe, will host the official unveiling of its magnificent six foot high metal garden sculpture on Thursday February 26th, at 2 pm.

The sculpture celebrates the ‘Metalworks’ project at Upsall Hall – for nearly three years, blacksmith David Stephenson has been working with staff and participants there as part of the Articulate Programme, managed by tees valley arts and funded by the Health Action Zone Innovations Fund and the Northern Rock Foundation. During that time the group has installed a forge; learnt all the technical and safety procedures of blacksmithing; designed and made original goods; hosted one of the six annual international ‘forge ins’ organised by the British Association of Artist Blacksmiths in 2003 and will again in 2004; given displays of their skill; and created this marvellous sculpture which has already led to them being commissioned by various other bodies to create other sculptures.

This sculpture celebrates the garden and the wildlife of Upsall Hall and includes plant forms, insects and birds. It is stunning, and all of the group are rightly proud of it and of all their work over the three years.

Upsall Hall Rural Adult Training Centre is run by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

For more information and to arrange to attend, please contact

Derek Enderby, Upsall Hall, 01642 315481

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“Echoes of the Chapel” Local Schools Puppet Theatre Performance

tva has been working with four schools from Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, to write and perform a puppet theatre performance entitled “Echoes of the Chapel”. The children worked with drama worker Bidi Iredale, a puppet maker Lorna Moon, set designer Rachel Willis of Bravura, animator Chris Kent and musician Tim Coyte, to devise and perform a multi art form performance, inspired by local heritage site, the Sir William Turner’s Hospital, Kirkleatham. The performances took place in December 2003.

The Sir William Turner’s Hospital, Kirkleatham, has a long history as a school and almshouse for local people, and the content of the drama piece, the original music, costumes and animations, reflected something of the lives of the people who have lived, studied, worked and prayed there over the years. The project provided an innovative learning experience for the children, enabling them to creatively engage with history. The magnificent design of the Chapel and the surrounding courtyard and houses, provided an atmospheric and moving backdrop for the children’s work.

The Trustees of the Hospice commented that

“the presentation was excellent, the conduct of the children exemplary”.

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Sculptor John Clinch unveils Showtime Sculpture

A sculptor will fashion a striking new look for Redcar on Friday, July 18th with the town’s Regent Cinema as his backdrop.

Famous film legends Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne will be among the stars from 100 years of cinema bursting out of the Regent’s gable end.

The dramatic piece of work, entitled showtime, commissioned by Redcar and Cleveland Council in collaboration with the cinema and Cleveland Arts, will be put into place by the creator, nationally-renowned sculptor John Clinch.

A second phase, carrying on the cinema’s centenary theme, will be created between the Regent and the end of the Esplanade and installed, hopefully, in the second week of August.

Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Arts Development Officer Bill Sinclair said

“It will wonderfully complement the existing railing features along the Esplanade, hopefully prove a talking point and put a smile on people’s faces”.

Cleveland Arts’ Public Arts Officer John Cairns, whose organisation has managed the project, said:

“We think it’s a unique piece of work, especially for Redcar and it links in very well with the town’s Gateway feature. And hopefully it will get people talking.”

Regent Cinema, manager Niel Bates said:

“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it in position. And I’m sure it will attract a lot of attention.”

The £4,000 sculpture, made of steel and a form of glass fibre, is part of a £40,000 Public Art scheme, funded by Urban Programme money and European funding through a Resort Regeneration Pilot Scheme.

The sculpture will be unveiled at 12.30 pm on Friday, July 18th 1997.

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