News

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!

The meeting of heARTS @ Ezo Bistro

Posted by on Nov 5, 2016 in News | Comments Off on The meeting of heARTS @ Ezo Bistro

Philip, Farrah, James and Ina (L-R) with James's wonderful painting in the middle.

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 ...

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. Farrah

Chris Cheesman, Journalist

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Chris Cheesman, Journalist

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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.

Joining the dots …

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 in News | 2 comments

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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!

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.

David Tovey kindly donated a hand-drawn London landscape for our Arts Market again this year.

 
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Young kids joining in the art frenzy at the ONE Festival canvas.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to share their talent at our annual Arts Market.

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.

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.

Ray Dervin (Manager, Traders & Arts Market) with Saffron Saadi and her winning cover shot of the MyLondon 2017 calendar.

And the Outstanding Individual Learner Award goes to ….

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in News | Comments Off on And the Outstanding Individual Learner Award goes to ….

Geraldine presented with some flowers from Cafe Art for her amazing achievement!

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 Auckland

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in News | Comments Off on A visitor from Auckland

A visitor from New Zealand. From left to right: Paul Ryan, Cafe Art, Sarah Caldwell-Watson, Clare Caldwell and Ray of Light, Cafe Art.

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.

Homeless arts market to open on World Homeless Day

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Homeless arts market to open on World Homeless Day

More than 20 artists will be selling their paintings in Spitalfields Arts Market between Monday 10 October and Sunday 16 October.

More than 20 artists will be selling their paintings in Spitalfields Arts Market between Monday 10 October and Sunday 16 October.

From Monday 10 October, World Homeless Day, for seven days, the entire Spitalfields Arts Market has been given to Cafe Art to fill with artists affected by homelessness. The exhibition includes established artists who have had their artwork exhibited in cafes and pop up exhibitions and on our website. All artists have been affected by homelessness in London. While some have already been rehoused, others are still living in hostels or are still sleeping rough. The artists who are exhibiting and selling their paintings include Mateus, Mary Vallely, Tendekai, Ray of Light, Geraldine Crimmins, Michael Crosswaite, James Gray, Richard Fletcher, Zin Vaitiekunas, Chris Wilson, Agata and Naomi Taylor. Art groups include Conway House, St Mungos, SHP Single Homeless Project, and One Support Arlington. Art is seen as a way of helping people express themselves in a therapeutic way and the market has proven successful in not only letting people express themselves, but in gaining valuable experience at selling their paintings. By connecting with the public they are able to gain confidence. You will also be able to see this year's MyLondon Exhibition, including a photo wall with more than 400 photos chosen by the participants in the 2016 MyLondon Photography Contest held in July. Where: Spitalfields Arts Market The closest tube/Overground stations are Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch. The arts market is a pop-up market which is open-air, but under cover. It is set up every morning and taken down every evening. When: Monday 10 October to Sunday 16 October, 10am - 5pm (Please come to the launch of the exhibition and the unveiling of the 2017 MyLondon calendar at 1pm on Monday 10 October!)

Cafe Art Australia – MySydney Photography Competition!

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Cafe Art Australia – MySydney Photography Competition!

Michael Allwright and Ruth Goodwin of Cafe Art Australia!

Michael Allwright and Ruth Goodwin of Cafe Art Australia!

[this article is from www.cafeartaustralia.com]

Sydney is a rich, vibrant, bubbling city which we all live, work and explore in every single day – but there is a section of our community who are often easily overlooked… the homeless. Cafe Art Australia aims to give this portion of our community a voice and means by which to tell their stories with a unique and gripping exhibition opening in Newtown this weekend.

Earlier this year the organisation handed out 95 disposable cameras to individuals impacted by homelessness and asked them to take photographs of “their Sydney” over the course of a single week. Of the approximately 1200 photographs received back from the process, 400 were given to a panel of judges and 20 finalists chosen. It is these 20 finalists that will be at the centre of the exhibition alongside each participant’s story of their life and why they took each particular image. The exhibition is part of a platform enabling those impacted by homelessness to engage with the public directly, about something other than their predicament, namely about their art and about their lives. “A similar project was run last year on a slightly smaller scale and we were astounded not just by the quality of the images that the participants produced, but also at how powerful the response to the project was from both participants and the public at large,” said Michael Allwright from Cafe Art Australia. A Public Vote is being conducted at the exhibition to identify the 13 most popular images from the 20 on display. The popular images will feature in a calendar for 2017 which has an associated Kickstarter campaign also launching this Saturday, enabling people to make a pledge for the calendar and in so doing help support the ongoing work. Until Oct 30. Lentil As Anything, 391 King St, Newtown. Info: www.cafeartaustralia.com [Article written by & filed under Arts & Entertainment, Exhibitions, Gallery & Museums]

Be arty or be square ….

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Be arty or be square ….

ROL with Allison Scott, of Square Mile Roasters, in front of his award-winning photo of Mr Bond.

ROL with Allison Scott, of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, in front of his award-winning photo of Mr Bond.

So says Square Mile Coffee Roasters!
The award winning coffee roasters based in East London decided to host a special evening for their customers (speciality coffee shop owners and baristas in and around London) this week. With talks ranging from Sustainability in Coffee from the guys at Bio-Bean to Opportunities for Staff Development by one of the Founders himself, James Hoffman, the theme was to help promote positive change in different areas.
They passionately source, buy, import, roast and deliver the best coffee they can get hold of to make London famous for good coffee. To ensure that they serve the best coffee on the night, Allison Scott, their Wholesale Manager, decided to do something even more special to create that positive change. She wanted to add a drop of social conscience into every beautifully crafted cup of coffee.
Having stopped by at our pop-up stand last year at Southwark Cathedral to buy the MyLondon 2016 calendar, Alli remembered our strap line which is 'where homelessness, great art and coffee meet', and decided to invite us in to decorate an entire wall with wonderful art and photographs to showcase the talent to their customers.
We jumped at this offer and had the room transformed in no time, with the help of one of the artists/photographer, ROL. Many thanks for the opportunity, Alli and big thanks to everyone at the Square Mile Roasters.
Hope the guests loved the added drop of positive change .....!
Thank you to ROL for helping to put up all the wonderful artworks, and to Square Mile Roasters, for this unique opportunity!

Thank you to ROL for helping to put up all the wonderful artworks, and to Square Mile Coffee Roasters, for this unique opportunity!

What do you call artists who can also brew a mean cup of coffee at the same time?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2016 in News | Comments Off on What do you call artists who can also brew a mean cup of coffee at the same time?

Our top team of bartists - James Gray, ROL and Frances Whitehouse.

Our top team of bartistas - James Gray, ROL and Frances Whitehouse.

Bartistas, of course! (Barista + artist).
The Christie's Staff Summer Exhibition is back in town, and we were really humbled to be called back to run a pop-up cafe at their King Street Head Office. Unlike the previous event, we were given free reign of their new in-house Cafe, complete with tables, chairs etc this time round 🙂
Armed with endless supplies of Orzo Coffee (healthy and delicious Italian alternative to coffee which is 100 percent naturally caffeine free), kindly donated by Roberta, the bartistas served up cup-after-cup to the many Christie's staff, as well as their clients, who stopped by to support us. At only £1 a cup, the organic ground roasted barley with its smooth taste and intense aroma proved to be a hit.
James Gray (left) presenting the raffle prize (which included one of his paintings) to Natalia Voinova, Senior Bid Co-oordinator, with Paul Ryan on the right.

James Gray (left) presenting the raffle prize (which included one of his paintings) to Natalia Voinova, Senior Bid Co-oordinator, with Paul Ryan on the right. Photo courtesy of Tom Hair.

Many congratulations to Ms Natalia Voinova who was our winner in the raffle draw. She took home packs of Orzo coffee pods, a beautiful & original painting by James Gray, plus the Cafe Art MyLondon  2017 calendar once it's launch in October. Well done again,Natalia!
Lastly, many thanks to Lynda Mcleod, Martina Hopocka, Toby Monk and everyone at Christie's for making this happen for the bartistas and Cafe Art - much appreciated!
Cafe Art's Orzo Cafe during Christie's Staff Summer Exhibition.

Cafe Art's Orzo Cafe during Christie's Staff Summer Exhibition.

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