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

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.

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 info@thecreativecollective.gallery 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 info@cce-ashford.org 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

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

 

 

 

A New Year, a New You?

A new year, a new you?

We hope your holidays were fabulous and that you have begun the year with amazing goals and plans for self growth and business growth.  So how about taking up a new hobby or doing something that’ll change your life?  We have a number of great workshops coming to you from this month.  All materials and refreshments are included and you’ll be learning from professionals with lots of experience. Here are some of them:

From the 13th January, 10am to 1pm, we start our Sewing Lessons for Men. So if you’re stuck with holes in your socks, have ripped your trousers and don’t know what to do, or you simply want to learn to make your own cushion covers and mend your own tears and holes, we will teach you just that and a lot more in 5 weekly sessions. Continue reading

ArtiGras 2015

ArtiGras @Centre for Creativity and EnterpriseWell friends, colleagues, crafters, artists and festival aficionados … planning for ArtiGras 2015 has now begun and we have some exciting projects and people who’ll be involved with the 2015 celebrations.

You may remember the giant urinal in Herne Bay, who could forget, it did cause quiet a stir and was mentioned both in the press and on television.  The triple award winning Marcel Duchamp Festival commissioned Nagual Creations  to produce a giant replica of Marcel Duchamp’s iconic urinal for the centenary of his historical sabbatical to Herne Bay in Kent.  Phillip Long, the artist who designed and built it will be working with us to create the ‘piece de resistance’ of the festival to honour a famous Kentish resident from the 16th Century.  Here is one of his sayings just to give you a hint: “Would you be the man who should recommend me to quit the peaceful haven where I now pass my life and launch again upon the faithless sea? You know full well what a storm my former lucubrations raised. Much better is it oftentimes to grow wise at home and in private, than by publishing what you have amassed with infinite labour, to stir up tempests that may rob you of peace and quiet for the rest of your days”. Continue reading