Alan Birch is a printmaker with over 15 years experience working in schools, galleries and creative organisations. He is the print specialist at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. He is based at Prospect Studios in Waterfoot where he runs regular printmaking workshops. In 2007 the studio won the Creative Space Award East Lancashire from Creativity Works. Over the past three years he has worked on many projects for Creative Partnerships Manchester and Salford and East Lancashire. He offers a programme of workshops for all year groups from primary to secondary and has also worked with AS and A Level students and adult groups. He has also ran in-service training days for teachers in Manchester, Salford and Liverpool. The workshops using specialist water-based printing inks and a portable printing press provide participants with the opportunity to generate drawings, explore the printmaking process, create their own plates and print their final piece. The sessions can be tailored to suit particular themes and can explore dry point printing, relief, collograph and mono printing. Sessions can also be linked to his personal work or can be used to explore school based themes as part of coursework.

Alan has worked on many  2 Creative Partnership projects in Cheadle, working with the Whitworth Art Gallery with the Hospital Arts Service and Manchester Childrens Hospital. Numerous workshops have taken place at schools in Salford, Manchester and Blackpool together with Gifted and Talented Workshops in Rochdale, Cheshire and Blackpool. Workshops have taken place in Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth, The Harris and Touchstones, Rochdale. He has also worked in pupil referal units in Stockport as well as working for Artists in Schools, Bolton to produce 24 panels fixed to lampposts on Tonge Moor Road and fabricate an entrance feature for Blacklow Brow Primary School in Huyton.

Recent education projects have seen Alan being printmaker in residence at Marple Hall High School, working with the entire Year 11 cohort. Working with photography degree students at Cardinal Newman College, Preston.Working on the 20/20 Vision project at The Turnpike in Leigh and running numerous workshops in Manchester Museum, The Whitworth, The Whittaker in Rawtenstall and printing in primary and secondary schools throughout the North West. Alan is a regular tutor on the Age Friendly programme at the Whitworth.

“The degree of engagement and enthusiasm amongst pupils involved in Alan’s project was obvious. His flexible, responsive approach- willingness to listen, take risks and push his own practice forwards – was exactly what was needed to make his partnership project with one of our primary schools have genuine impact. I’d work with him again at the drop of a hat.”
Chris Finn Director Creative Partnerships, Liverpool.

The print workshops take place on selective weekends at Prospect Studios