18-20 Burners Lane, Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, MK11 3HB info@artsgatewaymk.org.uk 01908 635 903

Artist Profile – Maliheh Zafarnezhad

We talk to Maliheh Zafarnezhad, whose work features photo transfer and multi-layered pieces of collage, in the latest of our artist profile series.
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Arts Gateway recognises mother and daughter virtual art club in lockdown


Each month we are selecting one of the contributors to the Changed World Art Zone who is a shining example of the excellent art and art projects we have seen inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This month it is Wendy Thompson, who told us about the virtual art club she started with her mum Beryl to overcome separation during lockdown and to help maintain meaningful contact.

Wendy explained: ““Beryl is my mum. She is 85, has advanced dementia and is bedbound as both hips are permanently dislocated. She lives in a nursing home and I’ve not seen her in person since 23 March when lockdown started. She can’t hold a conversation when we Skype, but at least I can see her and she can see me. But it’s not the same as holding hands, which we do during most visits. A few weeks ago, I was showing her my lockdown paintings on Skype and suggested mum watched Grayson’s Art Club. The home’s activities coordinator asked whether we could try having a virtual art club session via Skype, where Mum and I both paint a picture within a set hour to a set theme. We’ve had 6 sessions now and these are the paintings Mum has done. I LOVE them  What’s amazing is that Mum has never been artistic in her life. But more importantly, during the hour she is totally focused, engaged, absorbed. We talk about what we’re doing, the colours we’re choosing, how we’re applying the paint. She has a conversation with me and is clearly proud of her achievement. Through our art we can enjoy the moment and rock the lockdown together!

Arts Gateway has selected Wendy and Beryl’s work because it clearly struck a chord with a lot of people, and shows the power of art in aiding communication and wellbeing.

In recognition of this achievement, Arts Gateway will be making a donation to charity of Wendy’s choice – Dementia UK which has been offering support to people living with dementia and their families during lockdown.

See more art inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Changed World Art Zone. In this group we welcome posts from professional artists and amateur artists – you may post your own work or that of someone you know (with their permission) or art you have seen online.

Banners advertising job vacancies

Seeking a Fundraising Consultant

We are recruiting for a Fundraising Consultant for Arts Gateway MK, in order to inject fundraising expertise to develop a realistic and actionable fund-raising plan for the next 2 years. Read More

Banners advertising job vacancies

Seeking an Organisational Development Consultant

We are recruiting for an Organisational Development Consultant for Arts Gateway MK to inject organisational expertise to help review our objectives and role in the arts world. Read More

Become a Trustee

Arts Gateway MK is now seeking a number of motivated individuals to join our Board of Trustees. As a Charity, AGMK’s Trustees are critical in developing and shaping the future of the organisation under the guidance of our Chair John Best. We are particuarly interested in hearing from people of colour and individuals from the LGBTQI+ community as well as professionals in the early stages of their careers.

In particular, we would welcome applications from individuals wishing to volunteer as a Secretary to the Board and individuals with experience in the Accountancy sector.

To apply or to find out more, please email john.best@artsgatewaymk.org.uk

Artist Profile – Dave Hilliard

We talk to artist and art therapist Dave Hilliard in the first of our new artist profile series. Read More

More good news! Funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation

For the second time in less than a week we again can offer our sincerest thanks, this time to the Garfield Weston Foundation for a positive outcome on our latest funding application. This grant will help us to continue building our capacity to support the arts across Milton Keynes.

Established in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making trust which now gives away approximately £80 million a year to charities across the UK. Having established one of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees today remain highly active and hands-on. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business – a successful model that still endures today and as the businesses have grown so too have the charitable donations.

Each year the Foundation gives away its income and donations have continued to grow. Since it was established it has donated over £1 billion, of which over half has been given away in the past ten years alone. In the most recent financial year the Foundation gave away over £79 million to over 2,100 charities across the UK.

Good news! Emergency funding from Arts Council England

It is with heartfelt thanks from all of us Arts Gateway MK to Arts Council England for emergency funding they have provided to help us through this difficult time. This generous funding will help us keep our studios open at Arts Central MK for both current resident artists and those looking for studio space. The grant also provides us with development funding for the future, which we will announce in due course.

And finally a big thank you to National Lottery players for making this funding possible.

Changed World virtual art exhibition

Arts Gateway MK is inviting submissions of art inspired by the current COVID-19 pandemic for its Changed World virtual art zone.

This can include drawings, paintings, film, animation, photography, music, dance and the written/spoken word, and contributions are welcome from both local artists and members of the community who may have been inspired to produce art because of the current situation.

Art will appear on Arts Gateway’s social media channels, and a selection of submissions will be exhibited at a physical exhibition in the future.

In addition, our panel will select a participating member of the community every month to receive a donation of £25 for a COVID-19-related charity of their choice.

To submit work, please join the Changed World Art Zone group on Facebook and post your art there. In your post include whether you are a working artist, amateur artist, student or new to art; the title of the work; and a paragraph about what has inspired it.

MK Lit Fest Cancelled

Sadly we have had to cancel the MK Lit Fest 2020 due to Coronavirus lockdown. For further information watch this space…

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