A NEW app being developed will give people across the UK and beyond unique access to some of the country’s greatest art treasures.

The free app, Art Crush, is being developed as part of Sunderland Culture’s partnership with Arts Council Collection (ACC), the National Partners Programme

Last year it was announced Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens was one of only three galleries nationwide chosen to host artwork from the acclaimed Arts Council Collection, an important national loan collection of modern and contemporary British Art.

The app will showcase works from the ACC, which includes art by Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Mona Hatoum and Anish Kapoor, and will be available to download in October.

Rebecca Ball, creative director at Sunderland Culture, explained: “We’re excited to be working with ACC on Art Crush which will enable new audiences to explore and fall in love with hundreds of pieces from the ACC.

“The collection includes important and often early works by all of the most important artists working in the UK over the last 70 years, and we believe everyone, regardless of background or geography, should be able to connect with the Collection. That’s exactly what Art Crush will do.

“Art Crush will allow people to feel comfortable interacting with the collection by selecting artworks they like through an image-led platform. Users will be able to swipe left or right, and the works that are ‘liked’ will form a personal digital art collection.

“The app will also provide the user with a fun "art personality", which playfully describes the user’s characteristics as an art lover. The user will be able to share their ‘art personality’ through social media and challenges others to find theirs. Using Art Crush will be a fun experience, but one which respects the artists and their art,” she added.

Art Crush is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Art Crush is also funded through the GX Project. The GX Project is led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Innovation Super Network and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The app will be used and promoted by ACC’s two other National Partner Programme venues, Firstsite in Essex, and Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall.

Jonathan Weston, Exhibitions Officer for Sunderland Culture, said about 1,000 works from the Arts Council Collection’s 8,000 artworks will be available to explore within Art Crush. Users will also have the option to browse and filter the collection via an artist, a medium, a decade or a theme for a more engaged experience.

He said: “A number of the works featured have been exhibited in Sunderland or will be coming to the city as part of ACC’s National Partners Programme and we’ve worked with ACC to determine the selection and balance of artworks. The app has the capacity to add further works or features moving forward.

“We worked with Sunderland Software City on producing the brief for the app and then finding the right developer. We chose North East based Bloom Digital. Art Crush will be a simple, friendly and accessible introduction to the Collection and we’re hoping audiences from the North East – and people from further afield – will take the opportunity to interact with the Collection.”

The Art Crush app will be available from Google Play and Apple App store. For more information, go to www.sunderlandculture.org.uk