Children at The Grove Primary School Win High Sheriff Award for Pearls of Wisdom Postcards

Pearls of WisdomOver fifty eight and nine year old children at The Grove Primary School have won the High Sheriff Award, as administered by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, for participating in a project that aims to bring together old and young residents in the city through art run by Care Network Cambridge and Cambridge Art Salon.

As part of Pearls of Wisdom Postcards, elderly residents in Cambridge from Cambridge Manor Carehome and St Martins Day Centre generously contributed their own pearls of wisdom, to children at The Grove Primary School – little nuggets of wisdom, for the younger generation, such as ‘Don’t Waste Time’, ‘Save For A Rainy Day’, or ‘Kindness Costs Nothing’. The school children then created artworks in response to the pearls, with help from artists at Cambridge Art Salon, for an exhibition and pack of postcards that the public can see and buy at Stir Cafe, throughout from December 1stuntil January 11th.

100 packs of cards of 8 of the children’s designs are available for sale for £2 each at the popular CB4 based Stir cafe – with a #pearlchallenge to send postcards to family members and loved ones, to celebrate family and friendship. Participants are invited to buy postcards and post on social media their messages to friends and family, as part of the challenge.

Participating artists based at North Cambridge art space Thrifts Walk Studios and East Cambridge’s UNIT 13, include Sa’adiah Khan, Daisy Tempest, Sukey Sleeper and Cathy Dunbar. The project was produced by writer Ruthie Collins who interviewed older residents for their pearls, with help from Cambridge Art Salon volunteer Victor Ibanez, Care Network Cambs and staff at Manor Care Home and St Martins Day Centre.

Call for artists and makers

Cambridge Art Salon currently has three new workspaces coming up for artists from different backgrounds to share with a painter and illustrator. Please get in touch to express interest. We’re particularly keen to support those who support our ethos of equal access to art in the community. To apply, please email

‘I found the advice and support from the entire team at the Cambridge Art Salon really invaluable.’
Jo Randall, photographer

CONSUMIRRORISM – Reflections on Recession #consumirrorism

Glyn Bateman
CONSUMIRRORISM – Reflections on Recession 
16.12.16 – 19.12.16

Friday 16th December 6 – 9pm
Saturday 17th – Monday 19th December 10am – 5pm
(Limited Private viewings from 20th December)

CONSUMIRRORISM presents a selection of works that were developed during the time of the global economic downturn of 2008 – a shift from the consumer empowering, excessive commodity culture of capitalist boom time to the mirror opposite starkness of gloomy financial uncertainty, diminished consumer confidence and tightened up purse strings. In 2016, how much has changed? The works on display reflect upon the state of our world, providing commentary upon the autonomous rich, the suffering many and questions how art will fare in times of austerity.


SPAN Artist Collective

SPAN Artist Collective: Sophie C Hill, Guiseppina Santoro-Ellwood, Adriana Forte, Neil Horsefield

2 December 2016 – 11 December 2016
Cambridge Art Salon, 1 Thrift Walk, Cambridge, CB2

Showcasing paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture and video by four artists working individually and then coming together to respond to each others’ work with in the gallery.

The show brings together individual work from the four artists and provides an opportunity for them to interact and respond live to the exhibited work. The artists will experiment in the space to create visual reactions to each others work in an effort to exchange ideas, deepen understanding and further possible meaning and interpretations. This will create a dynamic and changing show which the audience can enter; their own experience will depend on the daily activity, with both the art and artists on show. You will see videos, paintings, installations and photographs from four different perspectives that will encourage you to think and question the ideas and artists. You will be simultaneously in a gallery and a studio.

Sophie C Hill works with a range of materials to produce paintings and installations that ask questions about her experience as a mother and artist. Visually eclectic and playful her work should make you smile while you think.

Pina Santoro creates works using varied materials such as ceramics, plaster and paint to found objects. Her practice is concerned with culture, identity, traditions and place and displacement aiming to capture the confusion, frustration and stress of her UK born Immigrant experiences.

Adriana Forte is a conceptual artist who explores difficult and often unspoken issues around mental health and identity. She creates through a process of immersion in research; an idea is born from extensive reading and the work develops through trial and error. Language forms an important part of her work although its usage can be quite discrete.

Neil Horsefield has an easel based studio practice which uses visual language conventions associated with painting, drawing and printmaking. His work raises a reconsideration of authorship, ownership, creative territory, value, permanence and transition and narrative.

digital image from Fun Palace workshop, SPAN, 2016

digital image from Fun Palace workshop, SPAN, 2016

The Pear Tree and other poems


Art Salon Christmas Fair!

christmas-art-fair-16We are delighted to invite you to our Art Salon Christmas Fair, showing you a range of presents, gifts and wares from artists, designer-makers and illustrators working in UNIT 13 and 1 Thrifts Walk.

UNIT 13 is an artist run warehouse studio in East Cambridge, home to 18 artists, designer-makers, illustrators and creative businesses. Thrifts Walk is home to 6 artists, a gallery and office. Both spaces help us make the arts accessible to the community. This year, Thrifts Walk’s artists have helped launch a new cross-arts initiative in London, place art installations at Cambridge Folk Festival, plus launch the Chesterton mural, work on TV and film sets all over the UK, take commissions, run classes for the community. UNIT 13 has seen its artists become shortlisted for national awards, publish books, give talks – as well as support community and emerging artists in the city with their vital work.

Families welcome, children can take part in a free art activity – festive spirit art prize draw! Open to all ages, create your own festive spirit art piece for the chance to win a festive prize.

So pop down to enjoy the work and pick up a pressie!

Beating the Bounds – New works by Gudrun Filipska

1 Thrifts Walk. Cambridge.

21st October -4th November 2016 (Family friendly Private View 5.30-8.30pm Fri Nov 21st).


An exhibition of work from the first stages of an ‘Artists Residency in Motherhood’, as mentored by British American artist Lenka Clayton. Filipska takes the experience of motherhood as a raw material, using as departure point her long standing interest in walking as artistic practice and fugal subjectivity and how this is altered by the presence of children. The show includes work documenting her daughters obsession with wrapping and enveloping found and foraged objects, the first part of a photographic project documenting daily walks, a video work reflecting the tedium and staccato rhythms of a walking pace set by children and a series of drawings referencing historical landscape painting.

This exhibition forms the first part of the Beating the Bounds project which will take place during the two year residency and further develop ideas of territory, boundaries, transience and motherhood. It’s also part of the BBC get Creative Family Arts Festival, happening throughout October – and Cambridge Art Salon’s We Are Family programme

Accompanying text, ‘Against the Odds: Creative Survival Throughout Parenthood’ by writer/curator Ruthie Collins will also be available at the exhibition, partnered with national campaign body Family Arts Campaign. Advice, personal experiences and strategies shared by parent artists have been turned into a poster style text, the first of a new ongoing series of #mamainart (MIA) pieces @ruthiecollins

BBC Get Creative Family Arts Festival

Cambridge Family Arts Network is proud to present you the BBC Get Creative Family Arts Festival throughout October. Participating venues include Cambridge Junction, Cambridge Art Salon, Fitzwilliam Museum and Stir Cafe, plus many more. Check for events near you.


Children and families, help us celebrate by colouring-in this pearl inspired illustration from Adrian Reynolds, illustrator of Harry and the Dinosaurs! Let your imagination go wild. Share with #camfamilyart on @CambArtSalon or email a photo of your colouring in (with your contact details) to, or hand in at selected events including Beating The Bounds at 1 Thrifts Walk October 21st – November 4th (check for a full list).

Prize draw will take place on October 31st for the chance to win free shows at Cambridge Junction, children’s books and other goodies.

The design was inspired by charity Care Network’s 30 year pearl anniversary, for whom Cambridge Art Salon is creating 30 Pearls of Wisdom, celebrating older people in our lives. #pearlsofwisdom

Pearls of Wisdom

For charity Care Network’s 30 year anniversary, Cambridge Art Salon created a variety of ‘pearls of wisdom’, with elderly residents in and around Huntingdon, funded by the Charity Lifeline Community Benefit fund. Pearls of Wisdom is part of our We Are Family programme, which uses art to celebrate the voices and social history of older people in our lives.


Tree of Wisdom installation from Sarah Steenhorst

Tree of Wisdom installation from Sarah Steenhorst

We were delighted to showcase a specially commissioned Tree of Wisdom installation from Sarah Steenhorst, to share some of these pearls, at Huntingdon Town Hall on October 12th, for Care Network Cambridgeshire’s AGM. Interactive art, ‘Oyster and Butterfly’ was also on show from Sa’adiah Khan.

‘Pearls’ on the tree were created by elderly residents at Glatton Hall Care Home, plus in their own homes in and around Huntingdon, including audio, from Olwen, plus textiles from Marilyn. Pearls celebrating older people in our lives were also made by children and families in Abbey, Cambridge, as part of our Eastside Creates programme at The Big Lunch.

‘I’ve not had this much fun since my wedding day!’ said Olwen, about enjoying her time at the AGM, where her song was performed as part of the installation.

Special thanks to Sam Norman, Blue Bus Tour, Georgina Cook, Sarah Steenhorst, Victor Ibanez for all their help making the pearls.

Spaces Available

The Cambridge Art Salon has SPACES TO RENT at Unit 13, Barnwell Drive, and is delighted to be able to offer them to members of the public in arts or creative making.

Rent starts from £125 per month subject to space size.

All creative practices are welcome, including ceramics, fashion, painting, millinery, and many more.


Welcome to our new website

Welcome to our new website. We are thrilled to bits to share it with you. Thank you to Rebecca Scambler – arts activist, single mum and designer extraordinaire who created this for us (read her fantastic Art Of Protest blog here and check her website design services here).

One of the biggest things am excited about with this new website is being able to communicate the full scope of the Art Salon – our artists, supporters, vision. When you are growing an arts organisation on very, very little, every bit of support helps. We have a new strapline, which says it all. At the heart of the Art Salon is equal access to art – which you can see in the projects we run, the people we work with and support – from all backgrounds. Cambridge is rapidly becoming as expensive as central London to live in – and to work. Although we have fantastic free to visit arts spaces, like Changing Spaces, Kettles Yard, the Fitzwilliam and many more (highlighted on our Art Map) – our concern is helping people access the space and support they need to practice art, as well as engage with it – regardless of how rich, or well connected they might be. A studio to an artist is like a kitchen to a chef. And Grayson Perry is right, it’s not the rich who produce culture. So affordable studio space for the community like ours – is vital for any city that prides itself on supporting the arts.

We won an award last year from what can do with disused space, described by judges as a ‘great social enterprise that nurtures people as well as community’. But the hunt for long term space – and resource to fund this – goes on. We have an open call to property owners, investors, philanthropists, business and individuals to help us – get in touch if you have access to an underused space that you’d like to see put to good use. Or if you’d like to talk to us about helping us buy property to preserve as long term creative space for the community. In the meantime, read our articles to see what our people and projects have helped bring to the city (check Spotlight On… each month for a full feature), or go behind the scenes At The Studios to see what the makers there are up to. Watch official call out for the third ever Romsey Art Festival this year, too – celebrating community through contemporary art, with a theme of COLOUR AND MAGIC for its new date of September 5th – 19th, 2015. East Cambridge is where we started, where the festival happens and where we are currently based – with Romsey Town itself the inspiration behind the Romsey Art Festival, which is still all about celebrating the creative independence and community represented by the area.

Personally, I have been flatout throughout January working on the final stages of our fantastic feminist Art Salon project Female Voices partnered with Romsey Mill which brought the likes of Phoebe Davies INFLUENCES NAIL BAR to Cambridge’s first ever Women Of The World Festival (WOW) last October (as heard on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour no less). Please come to our exhibition in March, launching on March 3rd – featuring a fabulous programme of female artists whose work successfully engages with popular culture to make feminism more accessible to new generations of young women (check the flier, stunning design from Katy Figg). We’ve helped our girls interview role models such as Mayor of Cambridge Gerri Bird. We’ve commissioned Sa’adiah Khan to create a portable space that has been on tour around the city facilitating discussion between girls and women in Cambridge, too – The Women’s Room – from Sa’adiah Khan. Plus catch videos from the likes of female rapper Shay-D or performance artist Bryony Kimmings, at our show.

2014 was one of the toughest years we faced as a young arts organisation without core funding. The fact you’re reading this now in 2015 is a testimony to all the passion so many people have shared for the Art Salon since we started in 2011 – and our resilience, the grassroots power of people, art and community to make things happen. Many of you will know that we had to move premises last Summer. But thanks to Cambridge City Council we found new space for our studios to move to in June – and are so thankful to everyone who stepped in help us throughout that very stressful time. I’d also like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Simon Sedgwick-Jell, former head of Cambridge City Council who was a massive moral support to the Art Salon back then – and sadly passed away in December. Generosity and kindness goes such a long way.

We’re delighted to be working with a new property in secret location in North Cambridge this January, for later this year. Do you live in Chesterton or the Arbury? Would you like to show your work, or help make a mini art space for the community happen? We’re particularly keen to hear from you.

Finally, would you like to come and work with us? We are looking for a one day a week administrator or co-ordinator to help with the studios and our projects and invite applications from you all now. Please pass on the opportunity. We’re also looking for a new Chair for our board of trustees – a person as passionate as we are, about art and creative culture’s value in the community, dedicated to our commitment to equality and social inclusion.

Wishing you all the best ever January (and for more on the broader art scene in Cambridge don’t forget to pick up a copy of my arts column in the lovely Cambridge Edition magazine).

Ruthie x

Welcome to the new Art Salon website

Welcome to the new Art Salon website. Big thanks to Rebecca Scambler for her design skills creating it! Watch out for our weekly studios updates, plus special features and posts on our work in the community. For regular updates please subscribe here:

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