Tag Archive: Art Works

Jolly Good Show!

Oswestry Show! All pix from Freja.

Thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday an excellent day at the Oswestry Show!

A very big thank you to Louise Hudson and D.R.E. & Co. Accounting, who kindly offered us half their pitch after hearing me talk about Art Works at the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce meeting. Thanks to Jim Heath, Judy Greaves, Jas Davidson, Diana Baur, Rob Baur and Freja who helped get everything set up at a very early 8am in the morning. And thanks to all the Inside Out artists who stopped by and drew, painted, sketched and carved in front of the marquee. Particular thanks to Freja for the invigorating and delicious chocolate/coffee/rum fairy cakes – which vanished so fast I almost didn’t get any!

Everyone was very complimentary about our set-up – and, I think, surprised at the link-up between an accounting firm and an art group. It was an extremely successful partnership – D.R.E & Co. got something interesting in front of their marquee, and Inside Out got a chance to exhibit at the show for free. Not only were we highly visible, and gave out loads of leaflets about the group and our projects – but we also came away with a handful of commissions: proof that if you get yourself out there and make yourself visible, that people will – and do – take an interest in you and your work.

We all had a great day – despite the fact that at quarter to four, the heavens opened and we were hammered with rain and hail. More importantly, we had a very successful day, too. Thanks again to everyone who made it work – and let’s start making plans for next year!


Food for thought

Big Bo Peep – street performer, Oswestry Festival of Food and Drink.

Headed into Oswestry this lunchtime to catch the second day of the annual Oswestry Festival of Food and Drink. Got in around noon, just in time to sample everything the festival had to offer: vegetable samosas, turkish meatball pie, pork pie with leeks, Berriew cider, four different kinds of local blue cheeses and Stonehouse’s new Sunlander bitter. Bumped into loads of people, met some friends, picked up a few unexpected illustration jobs, and then sat with a glass of the Sunlander under the trees at the bottom of the Bailey and did a bit of people watching – and sketching.

There was a small crowd of kids with guitars playing to the crowds and a street performer that caught my eye: a woman dressed as little Bo Peep on stilts. Big Bo Peep? Anyway, she cut such a curious figure among the crowds that I felt like I just had to draw her. Does anyone know who she was? I half wondered if there were sheep on stilts wandering around the upper end of the Bailey!

I had such a good time drawing in the sunshine – it made me think: we should really have tried to organise a sketching day during the food festival. We talked back in March about doing some art on the streets in Oswestry – maybe next year’s food festival, or the Festival of the Word? I can’t help feeling that we’re missing a bit of a trick here. Perhaps we could get some of the students down from Glyndwr, too. Anyone got any interest in doing some festival street-art in 2013?

Art Works at Oswestry Chamber

Wednesday evening I gave a quick 15-minute presentation to the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce about ideas that Diana and I have had for promoting art and artists in the business world. From our original “Art Works” ideas for linking art and business together we’ve expanded to cover a range of ways in which these links could build a new business environment for art in Oswestry.

We’ve based these ideas on Inside Out’s experiences working with The Hand, at the Cambrian Buildings, and with Fineline Tattoos. Using these as “case studies”, we’ve come up with a range of broad suggestions for future links and ideas. For anyone who’s interested, there’s a pdf transcript of my presentation here.

The presentation was really well received, and what we do now is to establish lots and lots of dialogue between ourselves, other artists and art groups in Oswestry, and interested businesses. We’d love to talk to anyone in the group – or beyond – who has ideas of their own about business ventures and enterprises, or ways in which art as a business could do – could be – more in Oswestry.

Notebook Meeting: Next Week!

Coffee Shop - John S., 2011

Just to make sure everyone has next week’s Inside Out Notebook Meeting next Wednesday, Feb. 1st at 2pm in the Willow Gallery.

We’ve got a lot to catch up on – it’s been a busy winter for a lot of us, with a great deal of creative sparks flying through the cold, wet January air! A quick list of things we’ll be talking about:

  • Various “Art Works” updates – plus news of our upcoming project presentation to the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce
  • Dates and suggested venues for winter sketching days. We’ve got a list of indoor, outdoor and indoor/outdoor suggestions.
  • New courses, classes and workshops we’ve heard about.
  • Some upcoming exhibition opportunities both around Oswestry/Shropshire and beyond.
  • Plus the usual chance for everyone who wants to show current work/sketchbooks/etc.
As usual, we’ll talk as a group for about an hour and then give everyone a chance to break into smaller groups after 3:00. There’s tea, coffee and cake available from the Willow Cafe, and I know a few people will be coming early to have lunch before the meeting. If you do come early, take the opportunity to have a look at new work in Screaming Chicken Gallery in the Cambrian Studios Building, and winter exhibitions at The Qube and Oswestry Heritage Gallery, plus Judith Harrison and Jood Greaves at Oswestry Library. “Torque” will have finished at The Willow, but their next show should be up by then.
See you next week!

Great Notebook Meeting

Another great monthly meeting at The Willow. Lots of people, lots of really interesting things going on.

Updates from Maddie, Carmel and Rob Baur on their Art Works collaborations – Maddie doing interesting things with mirrors, words and cats at PetWorld, Carmel being distracted by the architecture in Ken’s jewellery studio, and Rob combining caravans and Soviet and British Rail posters.

All brilliant!

A number of people brought current work, so we all got quick peeks into Diana’s new one-drawing-a-day sketchbook, Chloe’s portfolio of two months’ worth of one-minute drawings and Geoff’s collection of new street photographs.

Some general discussion about the Art Works project, and some new developing ideas for artist/business partnerships – plus an interesting suggestion that we look at the possibility of linking Art Works into the new festivals initiative in Shropshire.

Upcoming events and exhibitions info. for your calendars:

  • Sketching day at Llanymynech Limekilns on Sat., Nov. 12. Turn up at 11/11:30 at the Limeworks carpark. We’ll have the woodburner lit in the stables, plus there’s kettle and a microwave there to keep us all warm. Lots to see and draw/paint/photograph. No particular plan for the day – we’ll be there until about 3 or 4pm.
  • New exhibition opportunity at Rowanthorn on Beatrice St., Oswestry. I’ve got a rota going – email or leave a comment if you’d like a slot. There are two 40x40cm slots and three 50x50cm slots at the moment, each one available for two months at a time (just like The Hand)
  • And, speaking of The Hand, there are still Dining Room exhibition slots available for later in 2012. Email or leave a comment on this post if you’d like a slot.
Finally, John gave a quick tutorial on using WordPress and this blog. Another one next month to catch anyone who didn’t get a chance today.

Art and football team-up!

Paint the Saints! Opportunities to link art and football with New Saints FC.

Are there any Inside Out artists out there who might be interested in teaming-up (pun intended) with Oswestry’s New Saints Football Club? Ian Williams, manager of the club, got in touch about our “Art Works” project and said the team would be interested in having an artist work with them.

New Saints FC play in the Welsh Premier League and regularly compete in UEFA competitions. The club is looking for interesting and innovative ways to expand its community base, and Ian thought the “Art Works” project might be an ideal way to create new bridges between supporters, players and their academy programme.

I can certainly see a lot of potential in this. New Saints FC are based up at The Venue at Park Hall, which could provide another interesting opportunity for an “Art Works” link-up. The Venue hosts all sorts of events, from fitness classes, parties and bowling to “The O-Factor” – Oswestry’s answer to the dreaded X-Factor! Again, could be some really interesting opportunities there, too.

If you’re interested, post a comment and I’ll send you Ian’s contact details. Or come along to our Inside Out “Notebook Meeting” on Oct. 5th at 2pm at The Willow and we’ll talk about it some more.

Another “Art Works” day at Fine Line Tattoos

"Matthew", Aug. 18th 2011 - first illustration for "Art Works"

I’ve just had another great day at Fine Line Tattoos as part of the “Art Works” project. Showed Stuart and Rena the work I’ve done so far – the illustration page I showed at the Notebook Meeting yesterday. They were really taken with it (and thought the picture of Keith looked just like him, which is a relief!). Spent the afternoon with Stuart on the reception desk, watching and drawing all the people who came in with queries and ideas for tattoos. Interesting watching the kind of people-management that goes on.

So, less about the tattoos and the clients this week and more about the dynamics between the tattooists themselves. I’m in the process of working up my sketches into another “Thursday Sheet”, and will be posting that on my own blog once I get it finished.

Already can’t wait until next Thursday!

Art Works at Fineline

Note on John’s blog about his first day sketching at Fineline Tattoos in Oswestry as part of our “Art Works” artist-in-residence project. Sounds like he’s having great fun; looking forward to seeing what he produces from his sketching sessions there.

Art Works: Fineline (i)

A quick post just to let everyone know about an encouraging start to our “Artists at Work/Art Works” project, linking together businesses and artists in Oswestry.

As some of you already know, I thought I might like to work with Fine Line Tattoos, just around the corner from the Cambrian Studios Building in Oswestry.

I’ve just come back from a brilliant hour+ long chat with Stuart and Rena, the owners of the tattoo studio, and talked with them about everything and anything to do with tattoos. They’re really enthusiastic, full of ideas, and think the whole Art Works project could be really worthwhile. I told them some of our ideas – like putting together an exhibition, a trail and a travelling version of the . They also had some excellent suggestions about ways to get more background on the art of tattooing, etc., etc.

We didn’t discuss any details about exactly what I would do, but we did agree that I would start by coming in every Thursday between 11 and 3, and do some sketching, drawing, painting, talking to people and just see where things lead. I’ve already started to think and sketch and have some ideas, which I’ve been covering on my own blog.

Following comments from Jane Brown at our last get-together, I’ve been putting together a short introductory fact-sheet about the project. This sheet, which you can download here, outlines the main ideas of the project and has contact information, etc. This might be useful for people to help them introduce themselves and the project to businesses they think they might want to work with.

Anyway, just wanted to report back to the group and say how much I’m looking forward to getting started on all this and hope this encourages others to get stuck in to the project as well!

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