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

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