Carshalton Artists community group started 10 years ago, with seven artistic friends meeting in a local pub for a drink. These impromptu meetings grew with more and more local artists, gallery and craft shop owners attending. Carshalton Artists is now a large network of local artists and businesses. We aim to celebrate and help local creatives by giving them the opportunity to network with other creatives and businesses. This includes bi monthly 'arty drinks' meetings, active Facebook, Instagram and Twitter groups, the annual Carshalton Artists Open Studios event in June and July and ad hoc craft fairs.
The Carshalton Artists network has a huge amount of experience in creating diverse and supportive networks and events that link and help their communities. They live and work in Carshalton and are passionate about helping artists and organisations to fulfil their creative potentials.
Husband and wife team, Helena and Neal Vaughan founded the group, joining up with local artists John Stillman and Abel Kesteven and local businessman Stuart James to start the popular 'arty drinks' networking meetings. These informal meetings have grown to a 100 strong artists network and accompanying public Facebook Group of 350 artists, businesses and followers This has now grown into the hugely successful Open Studios Event. CAOS with the Open Studios attracting 3000 visitors per year and near to 1000 followers, separately on Facebook and Instsgram.
In 2016 Open Studios event was started by Helena, Neal and Abel, with the first CAOS evening running in 2017. The 2018 and 2019 saw significant growth, more artists, new locations and plenty of opportunities to reach out to the local community. The trio have been the driving force behind this now annual event with fellow co-ordinators and inspiration for the project who are listed below.
Helena and Neal's local art collaborations go back to 2004, where they moved into the Carshalton and soon started exhibiting and running workshops at Honeywood Museum. In 2008 arty drinks started, growing local artists networks and introducing those artists to opportunities for working together with local businesses and on locally or nationally funded projects. This has led to Neal becoming an executive committee member of Arts Network Sutton, helping them and the local council to further engage with the public.
Abel has been a driving force behind Carshalton Artists right from the start. He then helped found the CAOS annual event and has been a major influence on its direction since.
The Open Studios event runs on expert marketing, both online and offline. Our social media guru in running this is Kate Marsden from Made by Mrs M and the #justacard campaign.
Kathryn has participated in all the Open Studios events. Her expertise in marketing and knowledge of the local art scene is extremely important to our success.
Adrienne has been a close advisor from CAOS's conception in 2016. Adrienne has built our profile and engagement, liaising with local schools and businesses on behalf of CAOS.
Al is a knowledgable consult and newly appointed communication chief behind annual CAOS event. He keeps us on task, sane and focused, he's a brave man!
Influential local artist John Stillman was another founding member of Carshalton Artists. He was at the first 'arty drinks' meetings and has always been a keen champion of the arts locally and now CAOS.
Open Studios event has Caroline to thank for engaging the local community. Caroline has always been happy to promote CAOS to the local community and is passionate about CAOS reaching as many as possible.
Bill has been a major influence behind the online communications of CAOS, but has also documented many of the CAOS artists in a book called 20 in 15.
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Email us at: CarshaltonArtists@gmail.com
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We are a not for profit art group, running Carshalton Artists Open Studios. For more information you can read our aims, rules and terms, click here for more and read our governance document.
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I am an artist, how can I exhibit?
If you have a house or studio in the SM5 location, contact us using the email address we'd love to hear from you and join you to our trail. You can also find out about our rules and terms of exhibiting here.
I am interested in sponsoring the Carshalton Artists Open Studios festival, how can I?
Any sponsorship funding goes towards marketing and running the CAOS festival. A list of options is available from:firstname.lastname@example.org