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

 

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

A series of Creative Workshops for everyone

From January, The creative Collective will be running a number of four week creative writing workshops for anyone interested in telling stories in any form.

Samm Short

Samm Short is a writer, artist and mentor. A published academic and creative author, she helps fellow writers discover the stories inside them and gives them the tools to unleash them into the world.

From Sunday 10th January 2016, from for 4 weeks, Samm will be running a Guerrilla Poetry Workshop.

‘Poetry is for school children and academics’ ‘Poetry is too rigid’ ”Poetry is pretentious and confusing’ ‘You have to be clever to write poetry’ ….Sounds familiar?!

This 4 week course sets out to smash the barriers that prevent so many of us from playing with this liberating form of self-expression. We’ll find a way back to our primal desire for rhythm, rhyme and image, and see what happy mayhem we can create in the process, using words as our weapons.

From Tuesday 12th January for 4 weeks, join us for a Children’s Story Writing Workshop.

‘Sure it’s simple, writing for kids…just like it’s simple bringing them up.’ Ursula Le Guin’s ironic take on writing for children just makes us want to do it more.

Childhood magic, wonderment and insight – who wouldn’t want to write for children? On this course learn about narrative structure to hold your story together and explore the reasons why you want to write for children in the first place – and how a clear vision can help you produce the story you’ve dreamed of writing.

We will continue in the New Year with an Art and Writing Project and a Beginners Fiction Writing Project and will inform you of dates as soon as possible.

“A story is a garden you carry in your pocket”

 

Beginner’s Fiction Writing – A 4-week course to re-discover the well of inspiration you have inside and around you. Perfect for new writers or experienced writers feeling stuck in their work.

Learn how to court inspiration even in the unlikeliest of places, and get to grips with the basics of plot, structure, character development and point of view.

An activity-filled course including time to reflect on inspiring quotes and passages from other writers, guaranteed to give you a tonne of new material to work with and the tools to shape it into your very own dream-child.

‘It’s like learning to ride a bike; at first we’re banging our knees and scraping our shins, learning how to use these tools – sometimes a bit awkwardly at first – but in a week’s time we find they’ve crept their way into our writing without us even knowing it, and we’re better writers for it.’ David, June 2015 alumni

Remember we have a number of young artists with design and illustration skills who can then help make any book you write more interesting.  We’ve also asked a friend of ours who runs a self publishing business to come and talk to you about publishing your book without the restraints, complications and financial implications of using a publisher.  We’ll give you more details nearer the time.

Finally, if you’re a fan of poetry and film, you can join us on the second Wednesday of every month for our Poetry Jam Sessions and read or simply listen to poetry to give you some inspiration; or come and meet Directors and critics and watch an independent film with us on the last Wednesday of every month, bring your own drinks and the we will provide the popcorn and it will only cost you a fiver.  The first film we’re showing is Amir Amirani’s Oscar nominated We Are Many and you can find out more about it HERE.

For more information please contact us on 01233 421589 or email us HERE.

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

Special events @ The Gallery

On Thursday 13th November, the Gallery hosted an intimate evening with Steve Bloom, world renown photographer and essayist.

@ The Gallery with Steve Bloom

@ The Gallery with Steve Bloom

Through a slide presentation, Steve took us around the world, showing us animals in their habitat, the fragility and beauty of nature through his lens.  The guests for the evening had an opportunity to speak to Steve about his work and ask questions.  Steve generously donated 15 signed copies of his book, ‘Spirit of the Wild‘, to be sold to raise funds for the Centre for Creativity and Enterprise’s work in the community.  We have 5 copies of the book remaining.  It would make a lovely Xmas gift so, if you know anyone who loves photography and you don’t know what to get them, come and grab a copy at the Centre before they sell out.  If you can’t get here, for an extra £2.99 we will send the book to you.  Contact us via info@cce-ashford.org for more details.  Steve and Cathy have also donated greeting cards so if you’re looking for Xmas cards with amazing wildlife pictures, the CCE now stocks them.  We would like to thank everyone who came and supported the event and donated very generously: Doug Harman for a signed copy of his new book, the members of Ashford Photographic Society for the delicious home made finger foods, and Steve and Cathy Bloom for their time and generosity.  It was a great success.

On Saturday November 29th, we are hosting an open day.  Join us for the day to meet tutors and artists and see what courses and workshops are on offer.  Try our taster workshops and book to attend one, or buy gift vouchers for friends or relatives you think may want to attend.  The Centre will be offering a 20% SALE on items of craft for the day.  And as a thank you, we will give the first 30 visitors a voucher for buy one get one free coffee at Cafe Nero.

c253d13e-964d-45a6-85e6-66ac6a29b153A number of new workshops are now on our calendar so do take a look and see if there is anything that may interest you.  If not, you may want to buy gift vouchers as a Christmas gift for someone who may want to try something creative.

In the new year, we are attempting a Guinness word record. We will post more details about it when we’ve worked out how and where we will be working from.  We are looking for Kentish artists who may be interested in being part of this word record, working with the theme ‘The Garden of England’.  The final work will be displayed in a public space so there is an opportunity, or even opportunities to show off your work and your talent. Call us on 01233 421197 or email us on info@cce-ashford.org to find out more.

Finally, the gallery is hosting new work from the 15th December so if you are an artist and would like your work to be exhibited, pop in with a sample or email Becky@cce-ashford.org.  And if you aren’t an artist but like art, come and visit us and see the amazing work by our local artists.  Ashford has so much creative talent, and it would be great to offer them the support they deserve.  Don’t take our word for it, just come and see for yourself.

Until next time.  The Team at CCE.

New Workshops and masterclasses coming to the CCE

CCE Castle Buildings

CCE Castle Buildings

The Centre for Creativity and Enterprise has now moved to new premises and we aim to bring you workshops and courses that are second to none.

From September, a series of arts and crafts masterclasses aims to develop your creativity and teach new skills. Our tutors are all professional artists so you’ll learn from the best local talent.

From Saturday September 20th, a 4 week course in porcelain jewellery making will teach you all the techniques you need to make your own original pieces, designing and delivering patterns, glazing and decorating to finish the pieces. We will also be running photography, drawing, painting, mosaics, enameling, clay, ceramic and glass workshops so keep an eye on our calendar for more details. Continue reading