News

Meet James Gray, Artist In Residence

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Featured, News | 3 comments

James Gray at work in the Dirorama Arts Centre studio.

We are really happy to announce that one of our artists - James Gray - has been chosen by Diorama Arts Centre to fill their Artist In Residence spot after the first artist David Tovey completed his term.

James is a full-time artist and has come a long way since he was sleeping rough in London in 2010. He discovered painting in an art therapy class in The Passage day centre in 2009.

One of the first artists to connect with Cafe Art in 2012, when he had been rehoused in Wytham Hall, supported accommodation in Maida Vale, James is now working as an artist and managing his own flat near Russell Square in London.

"I was homeless over a three year period, mostly sleeping rough around Victoria." A number of personal events happened which led him to become homeless.

Most of James's art is acrylic - a mixture of colour and texture with other prints done on paper. Several focus on London - with skylines and the London Eye in several of them.

Once very shy and lacking confidence, James is now regaining his self esteem. In fact today James is meeting up with Maria Mikulina, a student who is working on a proposal to produce a magazine about homelessness.

Diorama not only hosted the This Is Where I Live exhibition, but last year they hosted the inaugural ONE homeless arts festival for its founder David Tovey.

If you would like to see (and buy) more photos of James's art please contact us at info@cafeart.org.uk.

Jacob Stevens, Diorama general manger and James Gray in James's studio. To buy James's art please contact us at info@cafeart.org.uk

 

Acrylic City by James Gray. This painting is currently being exhibited in the This Is Where I Live exhibition in New York hosted by fresh art.

 

Smartphones for homeless people?

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Featured, News | 0 comments

This year's Judging Panel for The Black Sheep Awards 2017, including ROL who represented Cafe Art.

There's a new design award and we've been asked to help out with the judging!

The Black Sheep Awards are hosted by Carter Wong Design (CWD).

CWD are the big-hearted company who has been designing all of the MyLondon and other partner cities (eg Budapest, New Orleans Sydney, Sao Paulo, etc) as well as Cafe Art's logo/branding etc for free!

This year's Black Sheep Awards brief was 'How would you change societies perceptions of the homeless owning smartphones?' Not only does the concept needs to be bold with longevity in mind, but the design needs to stop us in our tracks, exceed people's expectations, communicate on a deeper level as well as flexible to be used across multiple platforms. A tall order indeed!

ROL, left, with the other judges, going through all of this year's Black Sheep entries,

Cafe Art was indeed honoured to be invited to be part of the judging panel which included House of Barnabas, Norwich University of the Arts and CWD themselves.

We're pleased to say that ROL was there as part of the Cafe Art Judging Team. The standard was extremely high and you have to wait for the results to be announced officially by CWD. We will keep you posted!

 

This is London, where we live!

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Featured, News | 0 comments

Artists, photographers, guest and supporters enjoying the artworks from 4 different continents under one roof!

Not an 'opening' as such, as the exhibition opened last month, but we finally got all our artists and photographers and supporters in the one venue at the This is Where I Live 2017 exhibition at Diorama Arts Centre last week.

This Is Where I Live is now in it's fourth year, and celebrates the wonderful talent of people affected by homelessness in Berlin, Mumbai, New York and right here in London!

Brian McClure giving his talk on how to prepare artworks for exhibiting/selling.

Before the public arrived, Brian McClure (Artist-in-Residence from Omnibus) gave some very useful advice on how best to prepare art for selling/exhibiting, and Neil Cordell  (from The RPS) gave a preview about the forthcoming MyLondon 2017 photo contest.

Two of the artists, Geraldine and ROL, announced a new Cafe Art art contest with cash prizes totalling over £1,400 to be launched this summer.

Janice Brown Josch (right) bought the wonderful Berlin Cat painting drawn by Thomas Rudolph Decker. Thank you, Janice!

After the workshop some artists stayed on to meet Cafe Art supporters.

To top it off, two of the pieces were sold that day too. Many congratulations to the two artists - Thomas Rudolph Decker and Stuart Bleasdale.

The good news doesn't end there as Diorama Arts Centre has kindly agreed to extend the exhibition by a few more weeks. So if you haven't seen it yet, you still have time to do so!

More details about This is Where I Live here

 

Jacob Stevens (left, General Manager) purchased Stuart Bleasdale's painting on behalf of The Diorama Arts Centre. Anita Lord (from the charity, Two Saints in Bournemouth) accompanied Stuart. Thank you Anita and Jacob!

Ricardo Negro exhibition

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Featured, News | 0 comments

We are very happy to host, the Qbic Hotels, an exhibition Brazilian artist, Ricardo Alves da Silva Miranda, also known by his artist name Ricardo Negro, at Qbic Hotel, east London. The Private View is in Qbic Hotel, 42 Adler Street, London E1 1EE on Tuesday 11 April between 6pm and 8pm. The exhibition will be up until mid May. Ricardo is donating 10% of the income from the sale of the paintings to Cafe Art. Ricardo creates colourful graffiti-style murals and paintings that focus on the architecture of the Favela communities of Brazil and last month he painted a mural for Café Art in our Qbic Hotel base in East London.

Ricardo fitted in a late night spray can painting session in-between engagements for Havaianas in March. This is the mural in Qbic.

His exhibition features pictures on canvas and one that he created live in the Havaianas shop in Westfield London in March. 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. Please come to the exhibition, and not only see Ricardo's mural and his art, but the entire 2017 summer range for Havaianas too. We are also selling prints from the Minha Sao Paulo project run by Cafe Art and With One Voice in November 2015.  

This Is Where I Live: homeless art from New York, Berlin, Mumbai and London

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Featured, News | 0 comments

Paintings from twelve artists from New York, Berlin and Mumbai join four from London at Diorama Arts Centre as part of Cafe Art's international art exhibition exchange This Is Where I Live from Friday 7 April until mid May. The exhibition is being held in all four cities, with paintings from each city being exhibited in each city. This Is Where I Live started in 2013, and has grown from the original exchange with fresh art in New York, which resulted in memorable videos from New York to London connecting them with the London artists who replied with their own video to New York. fresh art creates artistic and personal development opportunities for disadvantaged and underserved adults in New York City through fine art exhibitions and workshops. The organization raises public awareness and recognition of these artists' work and talents by building partnerships with social service agencies, residences and community groups. fresh art is dedicated to promoting art as a tool for personal expression, creative growth and positive transformation.
Berlin's Gitschiner 15 joined the project in November 2015. It is the first year for Pehchan in Mumbai. Art despite poverty is the motto for Gitschiner 15. They provide cultural and health services for the lowincome and homeless in Berlin, and have a thriving art group. It is the first year for Pehchan in Mumbai. Pehchan is a community-based NGO that helps homeless citizens in Mumbai build a life of dignity and fulfillment. The word ‘pehchan’ in Hindi translates as “identity”. Each organisation has sent four paintings to the other three and exhibitions are being held in all four cities in April and May. The idea behind it is to have fun, make connections and have paintings exhibited in major cities. The issue of homelessness is international and by talking about it Cafe Art hopes to draw attention to the issue in a creative way. Like the other projects run by Cafe Art, from the first art calendar, called ONE, which united artists from different homelessness charity art groups in London, to the annual MyLondon photography project, the goals are to empower people through creativity.

This is the fourth THIS IS WHERE I LIVE. The other exhibitions are being held almost at the same time.

London: Diorama Arts Centre, Regent's Place, 201 Drummond St, London NW1 3FE Fri 7th April - Sun 14th May 2017 (closest tube stations Warren Street and Euston) Berlin: Social- and Cultural Center/Alcohol-free Café, Gitschiner 15, Gitschiner Straße 15, 10969 Berlin Wed 12th Apr - Wed 31st May 2017 New York: St Margaret’s House, 49 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038, USA Mon 3rd Apr - Wed 31st May 2017 Mumbai: Various Colleges and Universities in Mumbai, India Mon 3rd April - Sun 30th April 2017 MEET THE LONDON ARTISTS Please come to Diorama Arts Centre on Thursday 11 May 2017 from 5.30pm - 7.30pm and meet the London artists. We are holding a workshop day at Diorama earlier in the day and we have asked everyone who wants to stay to do so and meet the public.

From Brazil with love – a Favela connection with London

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017 in News | 0 comments

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!

 

MyLondon photographer in new London exhibition

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017 in News | 0 comments

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.”

Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in News | 0 comments

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 ......!

Retrospective exhibition opens

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Retrospective exhibition opens

The largest exhibition of Cafe Art's MyLondon photographs, from 2013-2016, opened in King's College London (KCL) last night when a group of photographers from the project were hosted by students from the Dickson Poon School of Law. The exhibition is in the lower ground level of Somerset House, London. The selection is from four years of the contest where around 100 one-time-use cameras are given to people affected by homelessness for five days in July. The theme is "my London" and results in more than 2,500 images being printed in black and white and colour, then narrowed down to 20 for the exhibition and then after a public vote, 13 for each calendar. The 30 photos in this exhibition are from the 52 images that made it into the calendars, alongside the captions written and edited by the photographers.

A creative take on the photographs

Five photos from the exhibition are interpreted by students from the Dickson Poon School of Law in this exhibition. Anyone can see the exhibition by appointment, but please contact us at Cafe Art to arrange a time.      

From Bethnal Green with Love

Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in News | Comments Off on From Bethnal Green with Love

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!
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