Bringing People Together
who are we ? what do we do ? where are we?
The Whitton Artists Co-Operative started just before Christmas, although it has been a long standing ambition to set up a place where talented local artists can show and sell their work with and area where those skills can be shared with the community in a small workshop at the back of the gallery
The ambition stems from ARTBOXuk where I, as a long standing teacher /lecturer in art and design started small workshops teaching after my semi -retirement and taking redundancy. This was the golden opportunity to try and see if there was a market for this and see the response of the community. So in May last year I approached the Whitton Business Association (WBA) if it was possible to have a pop up shop to trial the project. It took many months of inquiry and discussions but finally in late December we were given a shop to rent @ 15 The high Street Whitton,TW2 7LA.
The WBA have been very helpful and supported us, but it is not a free accommodation, we still have to pay quite a high rent, although it is slightly less than if we were renting independently. We had to set up very quickly to get ready for Christmas.
We have had lots of amazing feedback from the community who love the quality and range of gift and handmade crafts on sale, and they love the idea of the workshops in sewing , pottery, Quilting, drawing & painting, en-caustic art, paper craft and jewellery. Here they can learn new skills. They are in small groups and can be more affordable as they are bookable on a weekly basis. The workshops are geared for the older child 10years + and adults. It is an Educational scheme but still made lots of fun.
We have made many changes to the arrangement of the gallery and workshop as well as the conditions for the members and everyone involved are pleased with the results.
The Gallery is a pop up shop and the lease is still available for rent? We live on borrowed time at the moment. We are asked how long will we stay? We all hope that the workshops become full and the community supports us by purchasing the lovely handmade items we sell. Then we can take the lease on a longer term basis. This project was never about making a big profit it is about making enough to cover costs and to provide art and crafts for the community by the community
This is a nonprofit making project and as yet we not reaching our target, I am funding this from my own savings. With the better weather, more of the community are noticing us and joining our workshops and buying our gifts.
I would just like to thank all those who are supporting us and like them hope dearly that this project will succeed and benefit the whole community.