Katrina Fox's blog

You, an artist? Says who?

So, I know it might be a bit cheeky to post an article from the online mag I edit, but I thought it might be of interest to people working in the arts. What do you think of Tiara's comments?

Attempts to limit who gets to call themselves "artists” are arbitrary and exclusionary, writes Tiara the Merch Girl.

A few weeks ago I got into an online tussle of sorts with an artist I once admired, who claimed that various people calling themselves "artists” were devaluing the word for those who are "real professional artists”.

Facebook friends organise weekend festival at empty shops (UK)

From Bedford Today:

Two Facebook friends have joined together and organised a weekend festival to make use of a group of empty shops in the Castle Quay area of Bedford.

Erica Roffe, 39, and Kayte Judge, 31, wanted to do something with some of the shops that are currently lying empty in the town, so have set up an organisation called We Are Bedford, and plan to hold a festival called the Castle Quay Weekender in March.

The cyberspace friends got in touch after Kayte posted on her Facebook profile how depressed she was at seeing the amount of empty shops in the town.

Pop-up tearooms bring community together in Birmingham (UK, video)

 Short video report on pop-up tearooms in Birmingham that are bringing local communities together.

From BBC News:

So-called 'pop-up' tearooms are being used to fill shops left empty by the downturn in Birmingham.

The temporary cafes have been set up with money from the previous government, and are one of a number of projects across England aimed at reducing the number of boarded up shop fronts on our high streets.

Artists reflect on their empty shop experience (US)

"What would you do if you were given a large, downtown studio space, free and clear, for up to six months?” It's not the template for a bouncy reality show (we hope-), but a question local artists can realistically ponder, thanks to the Creative Enterprise and Artist Residency tracks of Spaceworks Tacoma.

Fairtrade gold jewellery collections to launch in pop-up shop

From Easier Lifestyle:

This February award-winning designer-makers Linnie Mclarty and Ute Decker are launching two of the world's first collections in certified Fairtrade gold, which they are showcasing alongside their sculptural and architectural jewellery art in silver.

Both named as "future stars" and pioneers to work in certified Fairtrade gold, Linnie Mclarty and Ute Decker have come together to open up a pop-up shop as well as the world of ethical jewellery.

Read more…

Pop-up shop program leads to long-term tenants (US)

Originally considered a temporary solution to Portland's empty storefronts, the Portland Business Alliance's pop-up shop program generated three signed lease agreements.

After the five participating retailers in the recent seven-week season saw revenues increase 45 percent over the previous year, three of them signed month-to-month leases for the spaces they occupied temporarily. And property owners who initially opened their doors for the good of downtown retail are now saying the program is an effective way to land long-term tenants.

Shop shutter art project to brighten up streets (UK)

We've seen plenty of projects featuring art in the windows of empty shops - this one is about creating art by the local community, including children, on the shutters.

From the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle:

A disaffected commuter is about to launch a pioneering project to transform blank shop shutters around Shepherd's Bush, writes Dan Hodges.

Pop-up shop aims to bring together marginalised people (UK)

From Art Saves Lives:

'Let's all hang together': A new shop with a difference.

Art Saves Lives and the Deptford Living Archive have joined forces and are dedicated to the people of Lewisham and Deptford. Especially people of age and any artist, musician, poet or writer that feels for whatever reason marginalised by society.

It will be a place:

Congruent to local needs and apsirations.

An asset to the community and people of Lewisham and Deptford.

A place where everyone can feel safe and welcome.

Dragons hear pitches to fill empty shops (UK)

From Cambridge News:

Finalists are preparing for a Dragons' Den-style contest aimed at filling a town's empty shops.

A panel of judges will consider "pitches” from 14 potential business owners in the contest run by Newmarket Retailers' Association and supported by our sister paper, the Newmarket Weekly News.

The Strictly Come Newmarket contest was one of the first projects put forward by the newly formed Retailers' Association last year.

Pop-up arts tearooms bring people together in Birmingham (UK)

This is a nice idea - chill out with a cuppa while enjoying art and meeting people.

From The Guardian:

Temporary cafes are opening in empty shops in Birmingham with the aim of creating a social space where people can meet and enjoy art, writes Sarfraz Manzoor.

The man looks confused. He sits scratching his head, staring at the artwork on the walls and the china cake stands on the table. "You look troubled," I say to him. "I am," he says. "I'm trying to work out what a fancy tearoom is doing in the middle of Handsworth."

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