Call Out For Local Artists To Design Artwork And Paint New Dickensian Themed Street Furniture For Rochester

CCE Ashford:

What a terrific project, I wonder if there are any artists among us that would be interested in participating. Please pass around and spread. Thanks.

Originally posted on Creatabot:

book benches2

The Tourism Team at Medway Council are looking for artists to design artwork for and paint 3 new benches in Rochester. The benches will be in the shape of open books and the Tourist Team would like them to have a Dickens theme.

This will not include community workshops but can include community consultation, which always has positive benefits in projects such as these. For instance including some kind of community consultation via a poll/online voting system, possibly with support from the library service. 

It would additionally make sense that the artwork for the new street furniture is meaningful in relation to Medway and it’s connections with Dickensian novels. For example particular references to buildings in Rochester, e.g. Satis House/Restoration House and Eastgate House etc.

The dimensions of the benches are as follows.

Dimensions (mm)

Large: H 920 x L 1450 x W 700


Large: 36kg


The BookBenches…

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Ashford has talent

All too often residents of Ashford talk about how so many shops are closing in the town centre and how there is no life left here.  On one occasion, a comment was made in the local newspaper that the heart has been ripped out of Ashford.  we’d like to disagree with that statement and say that, in fact, Ashford has a lot of heart, and a great number of caring, passionate and talented individuals. Talent’s not always expressed in a conventional and expected way but, then again, Ashford is by no means a conventional town.

So a number of shops are closing but Ashford has the ability to keep going and flourishing.  Despite some negative views of our town, there are a number of people who, openly or behind closed doors, are working hard to build up the creative scene, and creative means a number of things: film, theatre, dance, music, art and much more. Continue reading

The New Generation Strikes Back

Today, The Creative Collective was host to 7 young people interested in arts and culture and in expanding the creative scene in Ashford.  The idea here is to get more young people involved in becoming trustees and members of The Creative and it was a massive success.  Scott, Paul, Tom, Harry, Maria, Sherri and Chloe came up with ideas to promote the gallery and the work in it and are keen to speak to schools, friends and everyone in the community about supporting the project.  It was absolutely refreshing.  My faith in the next generation has been strengthened and I look forward to working with them over the next few weeks to develop their ideas.

It was interesting to hear the group talk about how they would like to become art collectors and even offer to buy some of the art themselves for their homes.

The group then visited the pop up gallery organised by United Response charity and they came back excited to have seen the work of artists from the charity as well as pieces by Highworth School students.  They were also particularly keen on the masks produced by Ashford College students for the ArtiGras Festival this year.  Chloe (LeCarpentier) and Harry (Jackson) being photographers too, it was an opportunity for them to take some really fabulous shots of their afternoon here.  The shots will be shown at the Gallery on the evening of 26th September at our EXPOSED event but here are just a few for you to enjoy.

_MG_0441 (2)Ashford does have talent, we know that, so let’s support, nurture and develop this talent.

For Scott, Paul, Tom, Harry, Maria, Sherri and Chloe, the experience has certainly been amazing.  They are now keen to start a crowdfunding campaign to support the arts in Ashford and will be working on other projects together so watch this space, a movement is forming …

If you are 16 to 25 years old and would like to be involved, come in and check us out and have a chat about the possibilities.  You can also call us on 01233 421589 or email

Thanks for visiting.  The Team …

Special Events at The Creative Collective

On Saturday 26th September, The Creative Collective is hosting an Art Fair in Park Mall from 9:30am to 4:30pm. The Art Fair is a platform for local and Kentish Artists to showcase their work in the heart of our town centre.  Art can include ceramics, glass, sculpture, etc.

We have 30 art stall spaces and will be hosting live music to entertain visitors.  We will have a raffle for arty prizes as well as the chance to be involved in the Gallery and the work we do.  If you would like to find out more please call 01233 421589 or email us at  To book a stall please click HERE.

Enjoy a day out with the family and bring your own lunch to eat whilst listening to some fabulous local bands.

After the fair, at 6pm, an amazing event will take place at the Gallery.  Take a look at our flyer for more details.


We are still looking for more young artists, young bands, volunteers, supporters and sponsors for the event so please do get in touch if you have a couple of hours to spare, would like to make a donation, become a mentor, donate a raffle prize or simply need more information by calling 01233 421589, emailing or by visiting the Gallery in person.  A more comprehensive list of stallholders, bands and events will be published nearer the time.  We hope to see you here.

ArtiGras 2015 news in pictures

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As you may all know, we have been busy merging the Centre for Creativity and Enterprise with a new Gallery and Studios – The Creative Collective – in Ashford’s Park Mall so we do apologise for the delay in posting so late after the festival.  We are busy putting a festival photo book together and we will let you know when it’s here so you can come and have a look. The Heart of Ashford has now been taken away but we are campaigning to keep it in Ashford so get behind us for this.  It was extremely popular when it was in Park Mall and we are happy to say lots of people used the crank to see the heart beat.

We would like to once again thank Phillip Long of Nagual Creations and Wren Jones for creating this amazing piece.  Phillip disappeared into the heart to make some essential repairs, it was fun watching …

We have closed the door to our building above Cafe Nero and we are now permanently based in Park Mall.  The Gallery looks amazing and filled with work by local artists of all ages so do pop in and have a look.  The opening event brought together over 100 guests and it was extremely successful.  Bear with us whilst we are putting together a calendar of events, workshops and courses to suit everyone. We are already beginning the planning for next year’s ArtiGras festival and have an amazing new theme so, if you have any ideas and/or would like to be part of it, please contact us by emailing and we will be in touch. Hope to see you all here soon.  The Team

Prelude to a Festival

ArtiGras! LogoA week to go and ArtiGras Festival will be upon us, and we can’t wait. Will you be here?

If you are a local band and would like to play at the festival, get in touch by emailing or calling 07837 896122 as there are two venues and daytime and evening slots still available.

This year, we’ve made a whole lot of new friends, forged new partnerships, discovered amazing new artistic talents, and are about to open a new Gallery & Studios on Park Mall.  There was some sad news for our town too, when the recently opened Cafe Cloud on Bank Street decided to shut their doors due to lack of custom.  It’s always sad when a new business closes its doors so soon after opening and it does cause some concern as we’re getting ready to embark on our own new venture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Creative Collective OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Worshipful Mayor and Mayoress of Ashford, Councillor John Link and Mrs Jill Link will be with us in Park Mall at 3pm on Saturday 16th May to open our Gallery and unveil our commissioned piece for the festival.  The piece is presently being made – and with great effort as it is gigantic – by the triple award winning, wonderful and talented Phillip Long of Nagual Creations. We won’t tell you more about the project because we’d like you to come over and find out for yourselves.  But we promise it will be bigger than you imagined, huge in fact, and it will be happening in Park Mall over the festival.  I lied, can’t keep a secret so here is a sneak peak of what it may look like: Continue reading

Applications open for the “Art Market”

CCE Ashford:

Anyone interested? It sounds great.

Originally posted on artmarket:

Making Art Work* is launching the first indoor ART MARKET in Maidstone on Saturday 19 September 2015. Loosely inspired by the success of “the art car boot fair”, the ART MARKET event will be held in the historic agricultural hall in the heart of the busy market place.

The Art Market is open to Artists, Collectives, Galleries and Art Organisations. We aim to provide a platform for all art disciplines to sell their work and services to the public, building relationships with buyers, potential buyers, galleries and curators. An eclectic program of events will run in parallel with the fair building a relaxed and fun atmosphere to engage the public throughout the whole day.

The programme will include music from local bands, performance art and demonstrations from artists. In addition, famous artist, non-artists and celebrities have been have been invited to create paintings on the day, or donate pieces of…

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ArtiGras Stall Competition

61 days to festival and everything is coming along as planned.  More bands and venues have been booked and our parade is getting bigger by the day.ArtiGras! LogoSo many people have generously donated items and time to make this a very successful festival.  We do miss the volunteers who worked with us last year but who couldn’t be here with us this year and are very grateful for the hard work of all volunteers who give their time to make this fun and colourful.  Our thanks also go to the ladies at our Tuesday evening Craft Club: Melissa, Barb, Christina, Jane, Heather, Mary, Karen, Deborah and Luana, and all of those who have come, done lots of work and gone when they could.

Artigras 2014 (Friday)-4327We have decided to hold a competition for best stall this year.  We will ask a number of independent local business owners to judge the contest.  The winner will receive an amazing ArtiGras certificate, a refund for the cost of their stall, and a £50 Amazon voucher.  We had some beautiful stalls last year and hope they will come back and join us this year.  So Book your stall HERE NOW to be in with a chance of winning and getting some publicity.

Artigras 2014 (Friday)-4337Artigras 2014 (Friday)-4326Artigras 2014 (Friday)-4322 copyArtigras 2014 (Friday)-4310All stall holders and bands will receive FREE of charge a photograph of their stall or band taken by a professional photographer and will feature in our festival video. All bands will also receive a video of one of their tracks FREE of charge. There’s also a good chance your stall or band may be featured on national media so what are you waiting for, book now and get lots of publicity.

Looking forward to the party in the street, see you here.  The Team




ArtiGras 2015 Update

ArtiGras! Logo

Well, here we are again with some updates for the festival this year.  We really hope you’re as excited as we are about it and are busy telling everyone about it. This year, the festival is not organised by the CCE Gallery volunteers alone.

We’ve partnered with a number of community organisations and individuals who each will be doing their bit to make it special.  We also have a number of schools and colleges who’ll be working hard to create stunning pieces for the festival.  A group of 4 young lads from Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone (who live in Ashford) have volunteered to do an amazing mural in Park Mall so watch out for it.  They are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards and chose the festival as their community project.  We will be telling you more about them when the work is produced. Continue reading