Community Spirit at ArtSpring Gallery
A resurgence of community involvement has been one of the features of the past year
This is no less true at ArtSpring Gallery in Tonbridge where charitable contributions from sales have contributed to the new emerging ‘Kindness Economy’ – as labelled by the queen of the High Street, Mary Portas. Beneficiaries since April 2020 have included NHS Charities Together, West Kent Mind, Porchlight and particularly Young Minds UK who received £300 from the very successful Open ArtEscape Exhibition held in October. For this exhibition, the gallery received over 100 entries from Kent artists of art created during the first lockdown and the final selection of work by thirty artists attracted many visitors.
This generosity has come about due to the supportive members of this artist collective. A recent guest artist, ceramicist Liz Emtage, says: “There is nothing quite as magical as working with a good team of people. There is passion and enjoyment here and their set up is so professional and organised I can’t quite believe that they have been running for less than 5 years.”
The Tonbridge Art Collective is continuing with community support in 2021 by introducing ‘Kindness January’ during which 10% of all sales, whether online or in the gallery, will be donated to the NHS to support them during the ongoing Covid pandemic.
ArtSpring is looking forward to welcoming two guest artists early in 2021 – lockdown permitting. Rosie Tweedale works between wood and ceramics, capturing the materials’ natural sensitivities through carving, casting and glazing. Her vessels explore the moment where clay and wood can intertwine, using ash glazes and wood-firing.
Returning as a guest artist in February, painter Clare Kent takes her inspiration from the transitory state of nature, capturing fleeting moments of beauty, highlighting how important it is not to destroy our surroundings. Some of her work reflects that the bleakest, coldest times in winter can also be the most beautiful.
The new Winter exhibition of paintings, water-colour, printmaking, mixed media, ceramics, photography, glass and jewellery started in early January. Even if the current situation means the Gallery cannot open the artwork can be found in the ArtSpring online store at www.artspringgallery.co.uk/shop.
There are many pages of fresh and inspiring works to gather ideas – especially with Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day coming up. So pay them a visit online until their doors are able to open once again.