World in a Tent Festival

Dear friends,

We’re pleased to announce that we will be part of this amazing festival on Saturday 8th July with a stall, selling local art by young Ashford artists.  A young artist will be at hand to talk to you and will have everything you need to try your hand at drawing or painting so come and join us there.

For more details of who will be there visit the page HERE.

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Art & Coffee in a new venue

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Well, it’s been a long while since our last blog and we do apologise for that.  We were busy planning our new venture and moving out of our premises in Park Mall.  We’re now all settled and are open for business.

The gallery in Park Mall, although a wonderful space for art and creation, was never really the right venue for us.  We felt we needed a space that would allow visitors to enjoy tea or coffee, have a bite to eat and be able to take time to view the lovely work by local artists without having to rush to the door.  Well, we believe we’ve achieved just that with our venture, Bauhaus Cafe & Art Gallery.

The Cafe/gallery is situated on the first floor of the old Merchant Chandler’s building in Ashford (2 North Street).  The whole building has gone through a lot of loving care and is looking fabulous.  We are one of a number of tenants in what is now called The Collection Ashford.  The art has moved in with us too and many of our artists are the same but we also have new artists who’ve joined the gallery to display their work.

The Cafe is a CIC (Community Interest Company) and is a hang out for artists, musicians, techies and budding entrepreneurs.  Wi-Fi is free, but Saturdays are our Wi-Fi free days so we leave our phones behind and, instead, make new friends and work on ideas and projects together.

As I am writing this blog, Bisal is playing his bass, and Michael is designing our very first quarterly magazine.  They are both part volunteers. part paid staff.  We’re just had our first live music evening with Dulcie May Moreno in this awesome space. The event is one of many we will be running, and is funded by The National Lottery Celebrate programme.

Here are some pictures of our new space.  We’ll be back soon and tell you more about our evening, our menu, special offers, events and ArtiGras, our May festival.

We look forward to welcoming you here.  The Team

 

Dystopia: The Exhibition so far

We’re happy to say that the Dystopia Exhibition has had a lot of positive reviews so far.  We are very proud and honoured to be exhibiting work by more local super talented artists and we hope you can all come and have a look before the 20th March when we will be replacing the work for the new Exhibition: The Beatles.

Our visitors have left some comments in our exhibition book and here are some of their views of the collection:

DC: “Thought provoking, rarely have I seen such thoroughly original work in an Ashford gallery”

DL: “A lot of hard work and talent on show”

D: “Great to see so much talent, long may it continue”

Here are some photos of our Private Viewing which was very well attended.  We sold a few pieces of work and hope to sell some more before the end of the exhibition.

Thanks to all of those who attended and who continually support the work we do at the gallery.  Don’t forget our next exhibition is The Beatles and starts on Monday 21st March. As usual a lot of work has gone into organising the exhibition and many of Ashford’s school children and Ashford College students will be exhibiting as well as local artists of all ages.  We have some surprises for you too so please put the date in your diary.  More about this later of course.

The Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Collective Art Fair

The first ever Collective Art Fair took place in the beautiful Park Mall in Ashford on Saturday 26th September.  The sun was shining and it was a glorious day.  The stallholders enjoyed a great turnout, sold a few bits and made new friends, and this is what it’s all about.

We were joined by The Arkwrights, Apallachian Clogging duo, Rude Albert, Ashford Folk and the North Park Hillbillies who brightened up the Mall with their performances and music. There were a group of French tourists from Calais too, in Ashford for the day, who had a blast dancing and having a great time.  We’re hoping to keep the momentum going and organise monthly Art Fairs from the spring.  In the meantime we have a couple of amazing events coming up so keep an ears and eyes open for them, come and join us and make it even more fun.  Our Collective is growing too so if you know any artists, especially 16 to 25 year olds, tell them about us and ask them to come and see us with some of their work.

One of the highlights of the fair was our community canvas.  More than 50 young and younger people joined the art enthusiasts who wanted to leave their mark on the canvas, I even did my bit for it and so did Eric, our Chair of Trustees.  So here are some pictures of the wonderful children and adults who participated.

Altogether a fabulous day with fabulous people and artists, let’s do it again very soon.  If you want to get involved you know what to do, pop in, email or call us and we’ll have a chat.

Thanks to everyone who helped, all the young volunteers, the artists and stallholders, the young people who are exhibiting, the bands and entertainers and a special thank you to James Dawkins for organising the sound for the music and entertainment.

The Future of Creativity

Recently, the Guardian published an article about arts centres and their role in social care.  The article said: “Arts centres are not only havens for artists developing work, they also deliver cost-effective social impact and creative education”.  This was not a revelation for arts organisations such as the Centre for Creativity and Enterprise here in Ashford.  In fact, we see the impact that arts and crafts are having on people’s lives every day and receive many letters from past users to tell us of how their lives have been changed for the better.

We don’t do the work we do for the gratitude but we feel appreciated and know that the arts, and creativity in general, have a positive effect on mental well being and health.  Occupational therapists recommend it to all of their service users, and so do mental health teams and counseling services purely because creativity brings people together and out of isolation, builds confidence and resilience, and communities who understand each other and have empathy for each other. Continue reading