Cambridge WOW Feminist Posters #femalevoicesnow

Feminist and inspirational posters are now going up all over Cambridge, as part of Cambridge WOW, featuring quotes from women in the city interviewed for Female Voices. Share or post a photo of one, designed by Sensibly Insane and Rebecca Scambler, online on twitter or FB with #femalevoicesnow. The quotes were selected, with help, from our group of girls at Romsey Mill. There’s the chance to win lots of goodies, including cinema tickets from Cambridge Light cinema, gig tickets from Cambridge Junction, jewellery made especially for the comptition, feminist books, vegan cake and mounted inspirational quotes from Hollie Mcnish and novelist Alison Bruce. The posters are all over the city – from cafes such as Clowns and Urban Shed, to shops such as Jemporium, Cambridge Resale, Romsey Mill charity shop, or in public space near the Guildhall (thank you Cambridge City Council), to Cambridge Regional College, to youth and community centres such as Brownsfield and Romsey Mill.

Share with #femalevoicesnow – prize draw is Monday 9th March.

Also see inspirational portraits by My Linh Le, Louisa Taylor and Aurora Cacciapuoti all over the city.


Click here to view the full programme. 

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

At the studios – update with Ruth Schmid


Ruth Schmid of Q Here in her studio at UNIT 13 –



See nail wrap designs from Phoebe Davies and girls supported by Romsey Mill at our latest exhibition NEW INFLUENCES: Female Voices, Cambridge, appearing at Cambridge WOW, March 8th.

Update coming soon …

Diana Probst, Highlights of Cambridge


We are proud to tell you about Diana Probst’s show opening at the Art Salon on Friday, 17th May (running until 23rd). Highlights of Cambridge’ represents the work that Diana does in and around the city, and art that she has had the opportunity to create because of her association with Cambridge, as well as some of the works she has created as a resident this year, related to the city only by her vivacity and her love of the place she has made her home. Representational oils and watercolour are next to minimalist ink works, showing all the opportunities Cambridge has let into the artist’s life. Please let us know if you can make it! We hope to see you there.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10am – 5.30pm

‘Diana is a young Fine Artist, a rare breed who studies and paints in the classical style. Her realistic depictions in watercolour are her most whimsical pieces, showing bright sweets and fresh fruit in simply designed staging. We are lucky to have found a brilliant artist at the start of her career; Diana works in oils and charcoal as well as watercolour, and her portraits are in demand, but she loves to explore different paint media, and her watercolour work has appeared in the Eat Cambridge brochure, as well as being hung by many satisfied clients in Cambridge.’ Design Essentials

11 : 5th April – 17th April


Eleven visual artists who work at the Fitzwilliam Museum are putting together a joint exhibition of their art work for an exhibition in April 2013 at the Cambridge Art Salon. The artists work at the museum in a variety of different jobs from specialist technicians in Antiquities and Applied Art Departments, Educators in the Education Team, Image Management Team and a few of the museum’s freelance artists. Their work is often inspired by the museum and the fascinating art work and artefacts they work with every day.

Artist and Education Officer Sarah Blake says ‘The Fitzwilliam is a fascinating place to work, full of intriguing objects and art and I often find time to draw and paint from the collection, we are a friendly group of artists and get a real buzz from inspiring museum visitors’.

Ruth Blundell, Ali Ayres, David Evans, Chen Xi, Josie Camus, Nathan Huxtable, Ian Crighton, Anna Betts, Rob Law, John Wiltshire, Sarah Blake

‘The People Who Shape My World’ – Heloise Toop, 16th – 26th march


Large-scale oils from one of Cambridge’s rising star portrait painters, Heloise Toop.

Just seventeen when she had a portrait selected for exhibition at The Mall Galleries, London, Heloise studied at The Heatherleys School of Fine Art in Chelsea until 2008. She’s exhibited in various shows around Cambridge and London and undertakes a range of commissions of adults, children and professionals – as well as working on more narrative paintings in her own time.

Drawn to bright colours, fancy dress and quirky styles, a unique joie de vivre infuses Heloise’s work that has earned her a loyal following in Cambridge – many of whom are the vibrant subjects of this show.

Women Inspired – International Women’s Day, March 8th

Women Inspired

Women Inspired, March 8th – Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre

Come and enjoy this fantastic show from the Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre’s art group opening on Friday March 8th, on International Women’s Day.

The show features an altered ‘street piano’ that the group created in October 2012 with Play Me, I’m Yours and the Faculty of Music, as part of the University of Cambridge’s Festival of Ideas. The altered piano is inspired by Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

Come along and celebrate!

Art Refuge Fundraiser Show – Opening Evening 21st December – until 30th December

An evening of Art and Music, with live music from local singer/songwriter Lui Di Martino

Come along to this gorgeous evening of music and art in aid of Art Refuge. Artwork will be for sale at a range of prices, and there will also be greetings cards and other items available: ideal for picking up a really distinctive Christmas present!

The exhibition will include artwork made by the professional Tibetan artist, Sonam Choephal, and his associated students as well as assorted artworks from the Painting Club in Mussoorie (summer painting workshops organised by Sonam and the Friends of the Tibetan Women’s Association).

There will be music from a local singer/songwriter, Lui Di Martino. Originally from Italy, Lui has lived in Cambridge since childhood and will be performing a selection of his own music and some other classics which will certainly get our feet tapping!

Wine, soft drinks and snacks will be served. (All proceeds/donations will go to Art Refuge UK).

Narrative – Cambridge Creative Network – 15 – 27 November 2012

‘Narrative’ – an exhibition of works by Cambridge Creative Network Artists

This is an exciting mixed show featuring a selection of artists from the Cambridge Creative Network. Each artist has their own unique identity and passion for their craft, which is evident in the quality of the work that will be on display at the Cambridge Art Salon.

‘Narrative’ is the creation of Karen Jinks and Mandy Knapp, both with years of retail experience as well as being professional artists in their own right. It is the aim of the Narrative shows to make art accessible to the general public and for them to know the provenance of the artworks they buy, as well as giving them the opportunity to purchase original gifts, jewellery and art for friends and family this Christmas.

Come and meet the artists at the preview evening, Friday 16th November, 6.30 – 9pm and join us for our Winter Tea Party on Sunday 25th November 3 – 5pm. Visit the website for more information on who is taking part and the various workshops that will be available across the two weeks –

15 – 27 November 2012

Extended Opening Hours
Fri – Wed 10 – 5.30pm, Thurs 10 – 7pm
Cambridge Art Salon
29 Cromwell Road
Cambridge, CB1 3EB

Drawing Blanks – Opens Friday 2nd November 7pm (until 5th November)

Drawing Blanks

Drawing Blanks – illustrations inspired by the creative person’s dreaded fear of FAILURE. Because, as any real artist knows, producing a bad drawing/painting/sculpture/photograph/pasta collage etc is the worst thing that could ever possibly happen. Ever. Far worse than the supposed ‘real problems’ in the world that pose ‘real’ dangers to us, i.e. death and famine and earthquakes and grizzly bears and so on. This exhibition is the culmination of literally months of the artist’s terminal indecision, intense procrastination and wallowing in self-pity about the fact that no one ‘gets’ him, let alone understands his obvious tortured, fragile genius. Witness these images and feel his pain. Or just drink all the free booze and then leave. Either way.

Rob Wilson is an illustrator and resident at the Cambridge Art Salon studios.

‘Neoplasm’, 19th – 31st October; photography and ceramic works by Penny Sackett Hayes


An exhibition of photos and ceramic works by Penny Sackett Hayes, 19th to 31st October. Opening times Thurs 5-7pm. Fri – Sat – Sun 10am-5pm.

50% of Print sales to go to Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge. This moving and beautiful show marks a turning point in the artist’s life that will resonate with many. Some of the photos in the exhibition where taken by Penny of her husband Eddy prior to him being diagnosed with lung cancer. She has not been able to look at these photos since his death in 2007 – until now. This exhibition marks a transition or ‘moving on’ from a dark period in Penny’s life and signals a new start.

Eddy stayed at The Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge for a few days in 2007. Penny was unable to create any clay works during her husband’s illness and for some time following his death. The works on display were produced since 2007, predominantly abstract vessels and sculptures.

Other photographs on display are unusual angles taken of the human body including a series of ‘ear’ photos illustrating the strangeness of the familiar.

Penny has a BA Hons Fine Art degree from The University of Hertfordshire and an ND in ceramics from City Lit, London, where she was studying when her husband became ill. She taught ceramics, sculpture and photography at Hills Road 6th Form College, Cambridge and has exhibited in London, Cambridge and the USA. She is a resident artist at the Cambridge Art Salon where she has a studio.