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 – 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

 

 

We got by with a little help from our friends

What a wonderful weekend it was.  The sun was shining and there was music in the air.

The idea to have a day of live music and entertainment in Park Mall Shopping Centre for Mother’s day came up at a meeting for ArtiGras festival. Of course, it was a last minute decision so it was difficult to put together our plan of having the event outdoors. It had to be done in the gallery so the wonderful James Dawkins of Humana Studio stepped in and made it happen.

Donations came in quickly for raffle prizes.  The Park Mall community pulled together and saved the day. Helen of GlamRUs Accessories, Katie of Happy & Glorious, Melissa of Aye Aye and other small businesses Flossy Watts, and Mini Medley (who are all selling their wares in the Made in Ashford unit at the moment), and Louis of Savers helped raised £40 towards ArtiGras Festival and future events in Park Mall.

Sadly, the business owners themselves could not be with us and enjoy the day because, like many self employed or small business owners, they run solo so can’t afford luxuries like days off although we did catch a glimpse of Katie (Happy & Glorious) dancing to the tunes of Bottles from our window, it was fun. We’re grateful for their donations.  If you’re ever in or around Park Mall do visit and support these lovely local treasure troves of handmade or British made goodies.

On the day, we were joined by Ashford Folk, The Arkwrights (Appalachian Clog Dancers), Jim McDonald and Bottles. Children and young people gathered around the table and made their own Mother’s Day cards, even some of the adults tried paiting (including Doug Harman, Ashford’s very own best selling photographer).  The atmosphere was amazing and everyone joined in for a bit of folk dancing too.  Here are some pictures of the day.

Our next event is The Beatles Exhibition and we are working hard to make it very special.  If you know any artists who would like to submit work, please give them our details.  The exhibition starts othe 21st March, with a private view and live music – songs by The Beatles – The Beatles Antology on big screen and some surprises in store for you on Friday 25th March from 6pm so do come and enjoy it with us then.

Many thanks, The Team