In their tenth birthday year, Crowborough Arts had ambitious plans, but Coronavirus put paid to that. Instead their activities moved online, beginning back at start of the pandemic with a virtual Open Studios.
Crowborough Arts Chair, Angela Vernon Bates, said:
This year would have been one of celebration for us. We had so much planned – all kinds of musical, performance-based and visual arts events, which would have exceeded anything we’ve done in previous years.
We felt it was vital to keep in touch with our members as much as to keep our own spirits up, as well as theirs!
The group changed the homepage of its website so members could submit work for display, and it’s packed with members’ paintings, poems, photographs, videos and news. So much so in fact, that, to make way for newer material, an archive was created for all the submissions going back to the very beginning of the first lockdown.
Other activities that have taken place online include a new poetry workshop, a book group and the monthly planning meetings held by the Steering Committee.
During the months when meeting in small groups was allowed, garden-based life drawing sessions were held, and – briefly – artists were able to re-join the regular life and portrait sessions held three times a month in the centre of Crowborough.
Gaye Jee, their website manager, said:
As the end of the year approached, it became obvious that we wouldn’t be able to hold our annual Winter Exhibition at Penshurst Place, so we came up with the idea of setting up a directory where any of our members could showcase their goods and services.
The advantage of doing it online is that it’s not restricted to visual artists – we’ve got a member offering Creative Writing Courses, a Memoir Writing Service, and a fantastic Gong Therapist offering wonderfully calming Gong Baths. It’s a goldmine for Christmas gifts you truly will not find anywhere else! There’s a link to the directory from our website’s homepage.
We have so many talented artists among our members, we thought it would be fun to hold a Christmas card design competition. We had over thirty entries and the three winners were chosen by an independent design professional.
The winning designs are shown below and our congratulations go to Mary, Angela and Karen:
The last word goes to their Chair Angela:
We have high hopes for 2021, when we’re planning to hold all the events scheduled for our tenth birthday this year. It’ll be an Un-Birthday to remember!
Crowborough Arts’ Christmas cards and are on sale now, at £5 for a pack of six (two of each design). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01892 853294.
Click for more information about the organisation and to see their online Artists’ and Makers’ Directory: Crowborough Arts’ website.