Brazilian artist, Ricardo Alves da Silva Miranda, also known by his artist name Ricardo Negro, creates colourful graffiti-style murals and paintings that focus on the architecture of the Favela communities of Brazil. Last night he painted a mural for Café Art in our Qbic Hotel base in East London.
Ricardo, who is here to help Brazilian flip flop company Havaianas launch a summer 2017 range based on his paintings, wanted to connect with the London by doing a mural on a wall here and we were really happy when the Qbic Hotel gave him one of their main walls in the hotel. The Qbic Hotel has given Café Art free storage of our paintings and photographs since November 2014.</>
Julie Fawcett, managing director of Qbic Hotels London says that while Qbic was always set up to be a business that made money, looked after people, do things that normal hotels do, it also had a strong emphasis on ethical behaviour and doing good business. “Part of that is supporting the community and [their] projects surrounding us. So we were absolutely delighted to support this. We have been a long time supporter of Café Art and that relationship has been I think beneficial for both of us. It’s a really great example of how an organisation like us and an organisation like Café Art can come together for mutual benefit. And today we had this amazing work of art drawn on our wall, organised by Café Art, which has been a huge symbol I think of how the two organisations can work together for such a great outcome.”
Ricardo has been doing graffiti art for 16 years. He says his paintings, which focus on images in the marginalised communities in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, focus on joy, purity and intimacy. He was flown to London by Havaianas with the art gallery owner Roberta Britto who exhibited his work and helped him contact Havaianas with his ideas and designs for the flip fops in 2015.
Roberta explained that Ricardo approached Havaianas with the idea for using his designs on their flip flops. Havaianas decided to open it to other designers and Ricardo submitted 30 designs, and they chose three of his designs.
Havaianas Europe decided to fly Ricardo to launch his three designs in London, Porto, Portugal and Dublin.
With only a few days in London Café Art was very happy to show Ricardo a small part of the East End the other day, after buying the dozen spray cans for the Qbic Hotel mural which was completed in about five hours late on a Wednesday evening. Ricardo will be painting live at Havaianas in Westfield London and the painting will be exhibited by Cafe Art along with another one being created in Porto by him.
We hope to host an exhibition by Ricardo in the Qbic Hotel soon, including several other paintings he did in Brazil and brought with him, with profits going to Café Art. Keep an eye on our website for more information!
Hugh Gary had already started his photography training at West London University when he entered the MyLondon Photography Contest in 2016 securing second place in the pubic vote and a place in the 2017 MyLondon calendar.
Later this month he will be in a group exhibition entitled Unfairground.
The group, called West Twelve, has "innovative installations exploring fairness and the unfair."
Described as a "multi-sensory exhibition" in Weston Hall, St Mary’s Road Campus, University of West London, Ealing on Thursday 23rd March 5.30 - 8.30pm.
Exhibition curator Kirsty Meredith says “you can expect a rollercoaster ride!” Ominously, the press release has a warning: "Height restrictions may apply to some attractions."
Hugh Gary is an ex-British Army serviceman and was helped into housing by the West London Mission’s Big House, a homeless hostel for ex-servicemen.
“I went overseas to a few places: all over the Middle East, Australia, Canada.” In the army for 10 years, he left in 2013. “A lot of the homeless people in London are ex-service.” Hugh lives in a self-contained flat after progressing on from the Big House hostel seven months ago. “And then it’s into the big world after that. The flat is only temporary – it’s still part of the Big House. It’s so residents can get used to paying bills.”
A very happy Maria with an even happier John .....!
He may not draw a gun as fast as the Lone Ranger, but John Sheehy can easily beat the Ranger hands down if it's with a paint brush.
John is a much-loved artist from 240 Project
whom we connected with in the early days of Cafe Art. We have managed to display his art in a number of cafes, including a one-man show exhibition
, which have seen a few of his pieces being bought by caffeine-art lovers. This time, the owner of Maria's Cafe
- who else, but Maria herself, can't help, but buy one. She fell in love with this particular painting for a long time, and we're pleased to say that it is now hanging proudly in her house, instead of her Cafe wall.
As usual, we ensured that both John and Maria had a chance to meet over a cup of coffee and to enjoy a chat with each other. What better way to buy art!
We have new art on display at Maria's Cafe, so please do go down to view them and support the Cafe. Many thanks again to Maria and her Team, and most of all, John ......!
Erica Porter meeting ROL - the photographer behind the winning cover shot for the 2016 calendar.
Despite replacing the bar-tender with a barista, and a martini (shaken and not stirred, of course!) with a latte, Mr Bond can still catch the attention of the ladies.
This time it's Erica Porter - the big-hearted lady who decided to purchase a framed photo of Mr Bond
(cover of the MyLondon 2016 calendar) which has been on display at Second Shot Cafe
in Bethnal Green. She decided to purchase it as a surprise gift for her boyfriend, Gerry, who regularly pops into the cafe for his caffeine fix.
As with many of our sales, the human connection is what matters most. It gives a great sense of value and pride to be able to meet with the buyer (and vice versa), and to share each others stories. Hence, we were really pleased that both Erica and ROL managed to meet up over a hot drink, and both left feeling over the moon. Thank you, Erica and Gerry!
Philip, Farah, James and Ina (L-R) with James's wonderful painting (Three Trees) in the middle.
Painted by one heart, bought by another .....
When Farrah popped into her local cafe at Barking station - Ezo Bistro
- she can't help but fell in love with one of the paintings on display. After coming back to view it a few more times while enjoying her cup of latte, she decided to take the plunge and emailed us. The painting in question was by James Gray - a very popular & talented artist loved by many of Cafe Art supporters.
As many of you are aware, we are passionate for both artist and buyer to meet up when a sale occurs. This not only makes the transaction more meaningful, but it enables a share of stories and a human connection between two strangers whose life paths would never have met, if not for the share of one common theme - the love of art and of the human spirit. We're pleased to say that Farrah was one up on us as she already wanted to meet the artist before we even suggested this option to her.
Hence, we arranged for James to meet up with Farrah and her husband, Phil, as well as Ina, the owner of Ezo Bistro over a cup of coffee with snacks/lunch thrown in by all of them. Many thanks for that!
The meeting of heARTS, mind and soul at Ezo Bistro. Thank you, Farah and Phil for your big-heartedness ...
Here's what Farrah had to say about her experience of meeting James, and we hope many other art lovers follow her example. Thank you, Farrah and Phil (and Ina, of course) !!!
Friday the 28th October is the day I got to meet James - the wonderful artist behind 'Three Trees' the painting. I have been coming to Ezo Bistro for a number of years now where James's painting hung.
I have also admired the painting and enjoyed looking at it every time I sat with my coffee. I also knew I wanted to purchase it - so when the opportunity arose and I emailed the Cafe Art team I was thrilled to learn I could meet the artist too.
It was a huge privilege to meet with James (and Cafe Art). The meeting felt more than just a purchase. To meet with James and discuss his art, inspiration and life made the whole experience even more special.
I thank all at Cafe Art for this wonderful opportunity and I will enjoy my painting for many years to come.
Chris Cheesman (right) helped Cafe Art by volunteering for the judging panel in 2015 and 2016. His articles as News Editor for Amateur Photographer magazine were widely read and helped the project gain international recognition.
One of Cafe Art's biggest supporters in the past two years has passed away suddenly in London.
Chris Cheesman was the news editor for Amateur Photographer magazine
and helped judge the MyLondon Photography Contest in 2015 and 2016.
We are a very small social enterprise and we could not succeed without the support of people like Chris. When we approached him, after an introduction by The Royal Photographic Society in early 2015, we were hopeful of getting him on our judging panel, and we were overjoyed when he accepted.
It was Chris's article in Amateur Photographer in August 2015
that propelled us, and our Kickstarter
, into the stratosphere. We had not thought of approaching the media until the actual October launch of the calendar, but Chris said we should not only put out the photos, but also the stories from the photographers in August.
The rest is history: we went viral
in the US after Chris's article was published - within hours. It was slow at first - the US photography websites and magazines emailing us after seeing Chris's article (PetaPixel
was the first). Soon it snowballed, with Buzzfeed, Bored Panda and even the Today Show in New York asking for our photos and story. Then in Europe we were covered by news organisations in Germany, Spain and Italy, and finally back in the UK the media found us. Chris kept promoting the project, and presented the winning photographer
(judges' choice) at the exhibition opening last year. This year he wrote another great article about the project again in August
We last heard from Chris a few weeks ago when he emailed to say he was in hospital and that he was sorry to miss the launch of the calendar, which happened last week
We did not know Chris well, but from the short time we knew him he made a lasting impression on us. He willingly gave his time, despite being an obviously very busy man. Rest in peace Chris, we will miss you.
Dotdot (with Saffron) helping to join the dots with happy calendar buyers at our Spitalfields stall this week.
That's what we try to do here at Cafe Art. Connecting the positivity of homelessness with the wider community through their art. Through their talent. And through their own narratives.
One person that has definitely helped us join the dots has been Dotdot herself. Seen across social media
around the world, Dotdot is the proud companion of Saffron Saidi (from Cooltan Arts
). Saffron's winning shot of her beautiful Dalmatian got her into the front cover of our MyLondon 2017 calendar
, and was voted the People's Top Choice, as well as the Judges' Second Choice. How amazing is that!
Saffron and Dotdot were with us at our Arts Market
at Spitalfields this week connecting the dots with the many calendar buyers and art lovers. Thank you so much to all of you for coming to celebrate their talent, chatting with all the artists & photographers and buying the calendars.
If you missed us, you can still buy the calendar online here
, or at Spitalfields Market E1
(either in front of Leon and Canteen) at our dedicated Cafe Art MyLondon calendar stall every Thurs - Sun from next week onwards until Xmas.
Last, but not least, a very BIG thank you to Ray Dervin and the Spitalfields Estate Management Team for their continued support of the Cafe Art Arts Market. We really couldn't have given the participants a chance to connect, gain work experience and confidence in such a unique environment without their believe and support .....
Saffron & Dotdot with another calendar buyer. Thank you to everyone who came to the stall to support the photographers!
David Tovey kindly donated a hand-drawn London landscape for our Arts Market again this year.
Young kids joining in the art frenzy at the ONE Festival canvas.
Thank you to everyone (both young & old) who stopped by to share their talent on our 'ONE' Festival canvas.
A gift of thanks to Ray and the Spitalfields Estate Management Team for the amazing week we had at the Arts Market, on behalf of Cafe Art and all the artists/photographers, from Saffron Saadi.
Ray Dervin (Manager, Traders & Arts Market) with Saffron Saadi and her winning cover shot of the MyLondon 2017 calendar.
Geraldine presented with some flowers from Cafe Art for her amazing achievement!
.... Geraldine Crimmins!
The Festival of Learning is a national celebration of lifelong learning. Special awards are handed out each year to highlight the vast array of people who gain so much from learning as adults. Their stories truly inspire all of us and help us recognise that learning is transformational, exciting, rewarding and possible at any age, for any reason and can be for all of us.
The Outstanding Individual Learner Award celebrates remarkable individuals who, through learning, have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work. You can read about Geraldine's story here
She has had her work exhibited with us, the most recent being at King's College, London
. She is an active member of our Arts Market
, as well as helping with the MyLondon calendars. In fact, she has a winning shot (August) in the new MyLondon 2017 calendar
We here at Cafe Art are truly proud of you, Geraldine! Well done again .....
A visitor from New Zealand. From left to right: Paul Ryan, Cafe Art, Sarah Caldwell-Watson, Clare Caldwell and Ray of Light, Cafe Art.
Cafe Art had a special visitor today when we met Clare Caldwell from Auckland, New Zealand.
Clare is a New Zealand artist who walked into Auckland City Mission
last year and offered to run an art group for people affected by homelessness. She was soon noticed for the work she does, and recently featured on New Zealand television in a regular segment called Good Sorts
Clare runs the group every Tuesday. She explained how many of the artists had never painted before and that the experience was very positive for them. After running the group for several months they decided to hold an exhibition. She says that it was empowering for everyone involved - not only did they exhibit paintings, but carvings and sculptures were on display in an art gallery in Devonport, Auckland.
New Zealand has a housing crisis and Auckland is particularly hard hit
, with homelessness reaching numbers that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
Clare's daughter Sarah lives in London and has been volunteering for Cafe Art since the beginning of this year, helping mainly with the MyLondon photography project.