Live music at the Gallery

The Creative Collective is now an established arts venue in Ashford offering exhibitions, events, film and poetry nights, volunteering and work experience opportunities and a hub for creative networking and collaborative working.

More recently though, live music, or jam sessions, have become part of our daily lives.  This is essentially thanks to young musicians who grace the gallery with their talent on occasion.  Ashford has a magical music scene with a great number of bands who regularly play in pubs, bars and events.  From what we have seen, it is a tight knit community of talented musicians of all ages and they make Ashford more of a great place to live and be.

With regular live performances and Open Mic and Jam nights at a number of venues across the town such as the George Pub, The Windmill Inn,  the Auction House Bar, there’s plenty for every taste.

Recently, we were introduced to a group of five local young musicians.  They are Himali Blues and we’d like you to take the time to get to know them and  listen  to their music on their website because they have a lot to say and their message is about compassion, friendships and community.  They have just recently released their EP and are looking forward to bigger and better things to come.  The EP will be on sale at The Creative Collective from next week so come and buy your copy here and support them.

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We’ve never seen a group of young men so energetic, so passionate and so keen to take their music to another level.  They’ve attracted crowds of supporters, volunteers to help with their journey, and lots and lots of fans around them.

Oh, and how about checking out the guitar that Anmol is using in the band. It’s been pimped by Stan Hollingworth so, if you fancy having your guitar get a makeover, visit Stan’s Page and send him a message or just pop into the Gallery and we will give you all the details you need.

So if you’re a local band and would like to jam in the gallery do get in touch. If you would like to join us and play at next year’s ArtiGras Festival in May, do let us know as we are starting to recruit. And if you need help with your journey, come and see us and we will help you as much as we can and steer you in the right direction.

Meanwhile, do pop in and say hello. We’re always keen to help.

Take care.  The Team

Summer at the gallery

It’s been a very busy year for the gallery with a number of exhibitions and two festivals – ArtiGras 2015 and 2016, an art fair in September last year, a Mad Hatters Tea Party, an exhibition to celebrate the music of The Beatles, and South East Open Studios for the first time, and much much more since we opened in May last year. We have decided to have a quite summer so that we can all recuperate and work on the amazing events coming up in the Autumn.

Since opening, we’ve had over 80 artists exhibiting art and photography; 100 or so volunteers working on a number of projects: have shown 8 independent films which have led to meeting wonderful, talented directors who’ve  joined us at the gallery and spoken about heir work; we’ve made many new friends in the community; have worked with talented musicians who have performed at our festivals; have collaborated with a number of local schools as well as Ashford college and been part of the success stories of some of our exhibitors.

We have also become part of a tight knit community of independent traders who have now joined us in Park Mall, namely Happy & Glorious, GlamRUs, Made in Ashford, Emporia Fabrics and Crafts, and very recently Snap Jewellery. We are very proud of the success of our projects and truly grateful for the dedication of our volunteers who are mainly young people; they’ve shown so much dedication, passion for their community and talent. We want to thanks them for being part of The Creative Collective family.

All of our marketing materials, posters, flyers, music stages, props, decorations, event and special photography are designed and produced by very talented creative young people so think about us if you’re starting a business or need materials for an event or project. We do offer value marketing and branding solutions to the community to help and promote the work and value of self employed creatives connected to the gallery. Here are some examples:

To make the summer a little more exciting, We are offering children’s Arty Sessions from 10am to 12am very Monday and Wednesday in August.  These are for children 8 years and over to produce projects over two days so they would need to attend the Monday and Wednesday of a week of your choice.  We also offer Saturday children’s art drop in sessions from 11am to 1pm, for children 10 years and older.

We have lots of exciting projects coming up from September so do subscribe to our newsletter if you’d like to know what is happening.

For now, a massive thanks to all of our volunteers, guests, followers, supporters and the very talented musicans and artists we work with. We wouldn’t still be here without all of you. We are now off to Ashford Festival in the Park to support a great cause and enjoy more local talent.  Have a lovely weekend all.  The Team

SEOS 2016 in pictures

This year South East Open Studios are celebrating their 20th anniversary.  A large number of artists in the South East open the doors to their studios and galleries to the public from the 3rd June to the 19th June.  Some even offer workshops and demos to try and interest the public in taking up creative workshops and courses.

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The Creative Collective is pleased to be part of the SEOS for the first time this year, exhibiting work by four artists:

Milan Limbu – architecture student at UCA

Morag Newens – retired full time artist

Maria Khatchatourian – (posthumous work), silk painter.

And Eric Boadu

Our Private Viewing was held on Friday 10th June from 6pm to 8pm, although we stayed until 10pm and enjoyed the great music and the wonderful company of our visitors.  The Himali Blues, a group of 5 young musicians, entertained us with their blues tunes.  Visitors enjoyed the food and drinks. Altogether, the night was a great success.  Here are some pictures of the event for those of you who couldn’t join us …

 

Do come and join us for our next event.  We will keep you posted on our Calendar and future blogs.

Thanks.  The Team

Festival goes out with a bang …

 

The ArtiGras festival brought two days of magic, music and fun to Park Mall.  Visitors flocked in to see local bands and performers and shop from a number of local makers and artists.

The festival was officially opened by the Phoenix Primary and Herne Bay Primary Schools Samba Band led by Matt Miles.

Local musicians included Harry Hayes, Orfila, Bottles, Black Roses, Invicta Jazz Orchestra, Jim McDonald, Nathan J Walker, Rude Albert and of course Ashford Folk.  There were amazing performances by the children and young people of TheatreTrain Ashford, Live2Dance and LCA Dance Academy, and The ArkWrights Appalachian cloggers.

Students from Ashford College and The North School made sculptures and art for the festival which was displayed at The Creative Collective and in Park Mall.  One dragon made by Jay Amin of Wood N Ware watched over the proceedings.

The music stage backdrop was designed by volunteer and architecture student Milan Limbu and decorated and painted by a group of volunteers in the gallery.

Nathan J Walker on the Bandstand.

The Arkwrights performing the clog dancing we all love so much with guest James Dawkins on his double bass.

Black Roses performing in Park Mall Shopping Centre

A community canvas outside the gallery gave everyone the opportunity to contribute and paint the canvas which is now displayed at The Creative Collective.

The final band of the festival, Rude Albert entertained us until closing time.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Ashford Cllr. George Koowaree & Mrs. Gloria Champion dropped in unexpectly which was a wonderful surprise as the newly elected officials saw first hand the talent of local musicians and performers and spend time meeting stall holders, shop owners and visitors.

The festival ended with a Pinata, made by local young artist Emily Lomax, AKA ‘Weaselspit’ who works with Ashford Young Artists at The Creative Collective.

Our very own Thomas Sharrock spent most of his time going around with the bucket and raise over £150.

Our main sponsors The Auction House Bar raised money for future events selling beers and refreshments in a Bar Tent.

It was a wonderful event and everyone looked happy.  We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our festival and hope that more local bands, groups and performers will participate next year.

All photographs are by our young photography students Louise Hardy and Priyash Gurung and we are grateful to them for spending the whole day snapping photos.  Some photos were also taken by Jim Ashby.

The festival was made possible by funding from KCC members Councillors Derek Smyth, Jim Wedgbury and Mike Angell and we are grateful for their generosity.

The theme for next year is ‘One Big Circus’. If you would like to get involved, please call us on 01233 421589 or email us artigras@thecreativecollective.gallery.

The Beatles event: A Volunteer’s perspective

Sebastian Lacey is a member of The Creative Collective’s team of volunteers.  He is currently studying for a Masters in Marketing and he is with us one day a week working on marketing campaign as well as writing funding bids.

Sebastian helped with the Beatles exhibition and this is his view of the event:

“The preparation for the exhibition started a full week beforehand.  Many friends, resident artists and exhibiters all came together to contribute their work. Two walls were covered with beautiful artwork from resident artists. The residents range from 18-80 their work was mainly portraitures, group pieces, a collage, a photomontage and alternative perspectives from The Doodle Man. Many mediums were incorporated including giclee limited prints, watercolour, oil on canvas and mixed media

Two walls were dedicated to the schools competition, we received 43 portraits from year 7 and 8 studentsat North School.  All needed to be judged and 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded by the Mayor of Ashford, Councillor Geraldine Dyer.

Other contributions included the original company framed certificate of registration for the Beatles.  An acoustic guitar was donated as the main prize for the raffle other raffle prizes also included 2 hours music studio time, art from The Creative Collective, succulent in a glass and a necklace from GlamRUs Accessories. The gallery was lit up with a projector and sound system displaying a Beatles compilation DVD on loop, this was a re-mastered anthology with original film restoration of Beatles backtracks.

Doodleman (Sam Cox) the ‘Graffiti Spaghetti’ specialist had his own corner to do a live painting which was due to be filmed throughout the event. There was an A2 comments board festooned with cartoon characters to be filled in with visitor reflections.

On the day large quantities of nibbles and were purchased and a lovingly prepared spread of food was made up. Janet, our volunteer, prepared cheese, ham and chicken sandwiches with salad humus and crisps. From 6.00pm people started arriving and the gallery was buzzing with music.  Soon after 6.30pm the musicians took the stage, they announced the raffle and took any song requests. By 7.00pm the gallery was full.  Doodle Man was situated in his corner producing an artwork. The resident photographer was documenting the event and judging had started for the winners of the school competition. The atmosphere was electric, bodies were spilling out into Park Mall Shopping Centre and people were getting into the spirit of the occasion. The Beatles subject was a fantastic vehicle to achieving an entertaining night of revelry. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of interest in the competition with children and their families eagerly anticipating the outcome of the judging. The raffle was also going very well with well over 100 tickets being sold, with the grand draw taking place at 8.00pm. Overall the evening was a roaring success with everybody leaving positive comments and feedback.”

If you were here on the night, please leave a comment, it really matters to us. If you are interested in volunteering for us, please call 01233 421589 or pop into the gallery.

Many thanks.  The Team

The Beatles – More than an exhibition

What an amazing and inspiring evening.  The open viewing of the Beatles exhibition attracted over 200 visitors, parents, artists and schoolchildren to The Creative Collective on Friday 25th March.

The Mayor of Ashford, Councillor Geraldine Dyer, congratulated the organisers, the artists and the North School teachers and students, for the hard work that they did to make this exhibition succesful and pledged her support for the Collective.  We are grateful to the Mayor and we will be donating Beatles themed art to be auctioned off at the Mayor’s Ball in May in aid of her two charities: Pilgrims Hospices and Find A Voice.  For more information about the event contact the Mayor’s Office HERE.

We would like to thank The Mayor of Ashford Councillor Geraldine Dyer and the Mayor’s Consort Brian Dyer who took the time to speak to everyone on the night, Ken and Mark for playing the music of the Beatles on the night, the artists of all ages, the teachers, students and parents of The North School, the visitors and supporters, and the volunteers who helped out to make the night a huge success and, without whom, the Collective would not exist.  A special thanks to The Music Shop – James and Keely – who donated the raffle 1st prize; Sam Cox, Ashford’s very own Doodle Man for his live doodle of the Beatles which is now being auctioned HERE;  Jeni Crowley who travelled on the legendary Magical, Mystery tour with The Beatles for being here and giving her time to talk to everyone: and John ‘Webbo’ Webster and Steve Monk of Radio Ashford for all of their support, interviews and music of the Beatles during the time of the exhibition.  The Beatles themed artwork will be in the gallery until 10th April so come and have a look and enjoy Ashford’s talent.  If you’re a musician and would like to play some Beatles tunes, The Music Shop have set up a drum kit and two guitars in the gallery, just pop in and play when we’re open.

We hope you enjoy the pictures of the night.  Do pop in and say hello, or join our community.  Many thanks.  The Team

 

 

Mad Hatters Tea Party

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To celebrate the festive season, the Gallery is hosting a Mad Hatters Tea Party on Saturday 19th December.

We wanted to create a special space and put on an event which would be fun, lighthearted and enjoyable by everyone.  The young artists in the gallery have worked really hard to produce props and decorations that would make the day even more colourful and special.  We have been busy making, drawing and painting all things Wonderland and we want to share it with you.

Here are some mushrooms made by a local artist:

 

But that’s not it, we have so much more we would like to show you and are keen for you to find out more about the work we do and how it impacts on the community so come and talk to us, enjoy tea, sandwiches and cupcakes – especially made by Everyone Loves Cupcakes – and take an A4 size picture of your day away with you to cherish.  The cost for the event is £10 and includes everything.  Just make sure to wear a costume and have a fab time.

Here are some photos of the china we’ve been decorating especially for the day:

So we’re ready, are you?

See you on Saturday.  The Team