The A 5 Art show

posted in: Inspiration, Photography | 6

I want to share a project I am involved in. Every two years we have a resident art show – including paintings and other art work they have produced. The items are sold and all the proceeds go to support our tenant welfare fund. This allows small grants to be given to individuals and families who need help, or to organise events and outings for groups of tenants in care schemes. The private view is a truly amazing event with tenants, their families and friends celebrating their achievements and the power of art and creative endeavour.

This year the theme was A5 art – the size was restricted; staff were allowed to submit pieces as well as tenants: and professional artists were encouraged to provide a painting or two. Everything is on sale at the same price – £50 – and we are keen to sell as many of the 300 items as possible to allow us to boost our funds for helping residents.

I did a couple of embroideries for the show and one sold on the night. I also bought a small painting by a resident.

With a team of artists, curators and tenants I helped choose the art that would be displayed and sold. We ended up with more than 300 pieces. If you would like to check out the art work, look at our special site.

When I got there the volunteers were putting on their T shirts and getting a team talk.

A5 Art project
Volunteer team

Most of the volunteers are our staff from our housing, finance, and care and support teams. Their job on the day was to help people enjoy the event, buy the art work, meet the artists and to look after the cloakroom.

Once the artists starting arriving I spoke to as many as I could. The artists including tenants who had participated in workshops and staff members who had simply done a painting or art work in their spare time.

Jackie is a very regular contributor to our art shows. She always paints flowers (top left). I think of these as tulips, and find the colour combinations interesting and appropriate.

A5 Art show
Jackie with one of her flower pictures

A longstanding tenant representative is Mary. She was on the Board of Notting HIll when I was appointed and she appointed me, so I have always had a close relationship with her. Since then she has retired, had a number of operations and now uses a crutch to help her walk.

A5 show
Mary with her abstract horse picture

Dwaine was inspired by the world cup and several of his pictures are based on the national flag of nations. This one is of the French flag; he also created a Croatian flag. The picture I bought is the green one in the top of this photograph, but I really liked his French flag (bottom). Dwaine enjoyed having his photograph taken.

A5 Art show
Dwaine with “France”

I met Bridget Metcalfe who lives in our Chelmsford scheme. She is a singer, journalist and radio broadcaster who also enjoys art. She recently had an exhibition based on one of our building sites. 

A5 Art show
Bridget with her painting (top left)

Yvette is a long standing member of staff, supporting our Housing Officers. Her colourful painting of a girl (centre) was influenced by Star Trek.

A 5 Art show
Yvette with one her “science fiction” paintings

Wayne, who doesn’t speak, had contributed his spatter paintings. However he wanted his portrait taken against this colourful selection by other artists.

A5 Art show

At the end Mandy Worster, the organiser, and I, made short speeches to thank the contributors, the artists, the gallery and the volunteers. We both implored people to buy a painting with all the money going to help our tenants in need. What an amazing and uplifting event. I am so proud to work for an inclusive, creative community – Notting Hill Genesis.

A 5 Art show
Speeches and toasts


A5 art show
Kindness is a political act



6 Responses

  1. Elle

    “Kindness is a political act” – so much to ponder on with that simple sentence. Such a thoughtfully-organized show.

  2. Joyce

    What a joy to meet some of the artists and to see samples of their work! Great post Kate. Timely too in the season of peace and good will toward men ( and ladies) . So happy to see it was a huge success. ❤️? Thanks for sharing!
    Joyce from Sudbury Ontario.

  3. mrsmole

    Looking through the gallery of artwork on the website really gives you insight into who these people are and how they see their world. I love some of the paintings of women in bathing suits. Such a worthwhile cause…Brava!

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