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.

Business networks help local business growth

 

 

Betsy working late

Me working late on a Saturday

Sitting here late at night, doing work and updating social media content, I see from my chat tab, and the many posts coming through, that my fellow self employed are working late too.  Whether it is a wise thing to do or not – and some time management gurus may suggest it’s not – more and more of my fellow creatives, makers and home run business are up all hours of the day in the spirit of driving our businesses forward.

OK so we’re starting our own revolution and it is all about making local and handmade what people buy into in our towns, or at least some people anyway.  What I’m witnessing is that it’s working, however slow and painful it may be. And what’s even more amazing is that we’ve all become each others’ helpers and marketeers … and, by definition, support networks. Continue reading

The value of volunteers

Jane Sewell's Sally the scarecrow

Sally the scarecrow by Jane Sewell

Having worked in the third sector for over 15 years now, I’ve seen an incredible amount of volunteers working tirelessly to make a difference in their community.  However, most go unrecognised, silently changing lives and, at times, not even realising the difference they have made or the impact of their kindness.

Volunteers, ones true to the word, do not look for gratitude or recognition. It’s as though they know help is needed, and so they appear, enlist and do what is needed with passion, compassion and caring.  They do it to make a difference, however little they feel they do, because they can and they want to. And so sometimes they leave when work is done. Continue reading

Marketing 101

On Thursday 23rd January from 6pm, the Centre for Creativity and Enterprise is hosting a Marketing 101 workshop.  The workshop will be delivered by Natasha Aidinyantz who’s Digital Marketing Manager at Smart Designs UK.  Natasha will help you turn your passion into a career. You’ll learn how to make money from your creative work by building a brand and using blogs and social media for an online presence.

Among the benefits of using social media for your business is the increased exposure of your product beyond your geographic location for a very small investment.  Social media also allows you to interact with current and potential customers, as well as allowing you to generate leads and target your audience.

So if you have a couple of hours to spare, join Natasha for this valuable workshop and leave with lots of ideas to start your marketing campaign.

To find out more, or book, visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/marketing-101-tickets-9882228010?aff=efbevent.