20 homeless artists hold art exhibition in London

Press Releases   •   Feb 26, 2019 11:27 GMT

Twenty artists who are homeless or have been homeless are holding an exhibition in the Hampstead School of Art, opening on Tuesday 5 March 2019.

The exhibition comes after a record number of more than 150 entries were received.

The exhibition features cash prizes and a bespoke mentoring support package will also be given to the top three winners. The support is designed to give talented homeless artists a platform in both selling their art and connecting with the wider community. The exhibition also hopes to inspire other people affected by homelessness, empower our artists and show a different side to homelessness.

Sarah Caldwell Watson, Chief Operating Officer of Café Art says ‘we are excited that, with an increase in funding available to us this year, we are able to generate a far greater impact with the homeless art competition. This exhibition compliments our other activities which include our annual photography prize and calendar, our programme for exhibiting homeless art in cafes and our art rental scheme.

Contact: sarah@cafeart.org.uk Tel. 07535 807813.

Website: https://www.cafeart.org.uk/

Below: Organiser Sarah Caldwell Watson, formerly homeless artists Guan Chow (currently sofa surfing in Haringey) and formerly homeless artist James Gray who has been employed by Cafe Art to help manage the homeless art in cafes programme.

CAFÉ ART help empower people affected by homelessness through art, photography and entrepreneurship. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography contests with disposable FujiFilm cameras. 

Twenty artists who are homeless or have been homeless are holding an exhibition in the Hampstead School of Art, opening on Tuesday 5 March 2019.

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Self empowerment through creativity: an exhibition by homeless artists

Press Releases   •   Feb 08, 2019 12:09 GMT

Eighty eight London artists affected by homelessness have participated in our unique annual art competition. A record number of more than 150 entries were received and the 20 finalists will be exhibited at the Hampstead School of Art on 5 March.

The exhibition features cash prizes for the artists who are affected by homelessness. A bespoke mentoring support package will also be given to the top three winners. The support is designed to give talented homeless artists a platform in both selling their art and connecting with the wider community. The exhibition also hopes to inspire other people affected by homelessness, empower our artists and show a different side to homelessness.

Sarah Caldwell Watson, Chief Operating Officer of Café Art says ‘we are excited that, with an increase in funding available to us this year, we are able to generate a far greater impact with the homeless art competition. This exhibition complements our other activities which include our annual photography prize and calendar, our programme for exhibiting homeless art in cafes and our art rental scheme.’

Contact: sarah@cafeart.org.uk  Tel. 07535 807813.

CAFÉ ART empower people affected by homelessness through art, photography and entrepreneurship. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run the annual MyLondon photography contest with disposable Fujifilm cameras. 

Eighty eight London artists affected by homelessness have participated in our unique annual art competition. A record number of more than 150 entries were received and the 20 finalists will be exhibited at the Hampstead School of Art on 5 March.

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UN director general to open London homeless project exhibition in Geneva

Press Releases   •   Sep 24, 2018 12:50 BST

A shoe-string-budget-run London homeless project will open an exhibition of photographs with Mr Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva on Monday 1 October.

Formerly homeless women from the Cafe Art disposable camera photography projects will open an exhibition of photographs titled Women Without Walls.

Women Without Walls - Photography Exhibition, in partnership with the UNECE, UN Geneva and Cafe Art, showcases photographs taken on disposable cameras from five projects for people affected by homelessness.

See the 20 exhibition photos here

Photographs are from photography projects with homeless and recently homeless women in London, Budapest, Sydney, New Orleans and Toronto.Three of the 20 photographers will be in Geneva at the opening event with the UN director general and also Ms Olga Algayerova, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The photos come from the MyLondon Photo Project and partner "MyCity" projects in the other cities. In the UK Cafe Art has been helped by The Royal Photographic Society with support and photographic training since 2013. The annual MyLondon calendar is created after 100 cameras were given to women and men over five days. The resulting calendar is sold by the participants in the project in markets, like the Big Issue, creating an income.

This Women Without Walls: Photography Exhibition showcases photographs taken by women affected by homelessness from all over the world. The powerful images show what these women love about their cities, their friends and their families, whilst also highlighting their plight when they are homeless.

The UN describes the exhibition at illustrating the specific needs of women experiencing homelessness. "Hence, the exhibition clearly links Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."

The opening reception will take place at 12:30 PM at the Passerelle, Building E, Palais des Nations on 1 October 2018 to celebrate World Habitat Day.

You can see these inspiring photographs from 1 - 12 October at the Passerelle, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.

This exhibition is also the opening event of UNECE’s #UrbanWeek from 1-5 October 2018. Please see more information on Urban Week here: https://bit.ly/2PcEYgA

MyLondon photographer to speak at opening event 

London photographer Geraldine Crimmins will speak at opening event and also on a panel discussing women and homelessness a few days later."

As a rough sleeper I was sexually assaulted, bullied, mugged and robbed. I would stay awake most nights and sleep during the day as it was dangerous for me to sleep alone in central London. Due to a mugging I ended up in hospital for six weeks.

"This led me into the system as I was in a wheelchair for a while and I was given temporary housing for four years and then social housing."I continued using drugs and my health worsened. Thankfully I was arrested and detoxed in prison. My head cleared and I decided to stay drug free. I got involved with Café Art volunteering and doing creative projects. This has resulted in becoming a professional artist. I feel creativity and volunteering is food for people who have been damaged by homeliness, addiction, mental health and economic hardship."

"I feel creativity and volunteering is food for people who have been damaged by homeliness, addiction, mental health and economic hardship."

Two other photographers will be at the opening exhibition along with several volunteer organisers from the mainly volunteer-run projects. Hope Magreff is frantically fundraising to go to Geneva from New Orleans with MyNew Orleans organiser Heather Milton and Bernadett Fekete is coming from the MyBudapest Photo Project

All of their photos, taken on donated Fujifilm QuickSnap film cameras, appeared in calendars which were sold by people affected by homelessness in their cities.

See the 20 exhibition photos here

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography contests with disposable Fujifilm cameras. 

A shoe-string-budget-run London homeless project will open Women Without Walls exhibition of photographs with Mr Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva on Monday 1 October.

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Homeless create beautiful images with disposable cameras

Press Releases   •   Aug 16, 2018 08:32 BST

Two hundred single use cameras were given to people who are homeless, or have recently been homeless in London and Brighton in June. The results are two beautiful calendars which will be sold by the photographers.

Participants are involved in the creation of a calendar, which they can sell. 

Brighton organiser Lucy Groenewoud says: "Working with those who are homeless or have lived experience of homelessness in Brighton and Hove, we aim to create positive community change through artistic process."

Monster Bubbles by Dee Allison

Home Made Pies by Jose Bell

Summer Style by Goska Calik

MyBrighton & Hove is working with local homeless services and charities in Brighton and Hove including Passage, Justlife, YMCA, BHA and St John Ambulance. "The calendar makes a difference to homeless people by providing employment and training opportunities, it also improves their confidence and social skills as we include the artists in all aspects of the project," says Groenewoud.

The MyLondon calendar started in 2013 and is now in it's sixth year, being joined by the Brighton project this year. Both are available online now [the Kickstarters are both launching on Wednesday evening and will run for 30 days each]. 

Over the past five years more than £150,000 has been earned by vendors of the MyLondon calendar which is sold in markets like the Big Issue. 

The Brighton calendar is entirely run by volunteers and all the profits will go back to the project after the project participants have been paid. Each photographer earns 50% of the profit from the sale of photographs and those who decide to sell the calendar will earn 50% of the sale price of £10 from October.

2019 MyBrighton & Hove Photo Project calendar

"This is not a project about what homelessness looks like," says MyLondon organiser Paul Ryan. "It's a way to create a beautiful calendar with photographers who happen to be homeless or have been homeless."

The project has inspired other cities to do their own ones, and over the years it has been done in Budapest, Sydney, Sao Paulo, New Orleans and Toronto. In October a selection of 20 photographs from these cities, including four photographers from London, will open in an exhibition at the United Nations in Geneva.

Both projects are supported with in-kind support from by Fujifilm UK, Jessops and volunteers from The Royal Photographic Society.

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography projects with disposable Fujifilm cameras. 

Two hundred single use cameras were given to people who are homeless, or have recently been homeless in London and Brighton in June. The results are two beautiful calendars which will be sold by the photographers.

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Homeless given 100 cameras to capture London - these are the results

Press Releases   •   Jul 25, 2018 14:21 BST

The photographers in the MyLondon Photo Project exhibition have all experienced homelessness. The goal of the project was to focus on what they love about London. The exhibition opens in Spitalfields Arts Market, Brushfield Street, on Monday 30 July and is up for 7 days and every photo is for sale, earning money for rough sleepers, sofa surfers and other people who have experienced homelessness.

100 cameras for Homeless to photograph London

Press Releases   •   Jun 21, 2018 09:00 BST

One hundred people affected by homelessness will capture London over five days from today when they are given a disposable camera at St Paul's Cathedral.

Volunteers, including professional photographers from The Royal Photographic Society, will hand out the one-time-use cameras. 

The resulting photos will create an exhibition to be hung in Spitalfields Arts Market in August, and the winning photos will create a calendar called MyLondon.

The MyLondon project is now in its sixth year. It has inspired many similar projects worldwide, including partner projects in Toronto, Sydney, New Orleans and Budapest.

Organiser Paul Ryan from Cafe Art says the project, which is also supported by Fujifilm, has been a huge success in its ability to give confidence to people who are homeless or are rebuilding their lives. "We are very grateful to the public for buying the photos and calendars every year. We are a social enterprise and most of our income comes from the photos taken in this contest every year. This has enabled us to make real change in people's lives, giving them confidence and self esteem."

The MyLondon calendar is sold online and in markets, employing people who are and have been homeless. Last year they earned more than £30,000 from the 6,500 calendars sold. 

Date: Thursday 21 June, 2018

Place: Wren Suite, Crypt, St Paul's Cathedral

Time: there are two sessions, one starting at 12.15 and the second at 1.30pm in the Wren Suite of the Crypt of St Paul's Cathedral. If you would like to speak to a participant, please let us know. See the award-winning 10-minute item by Canadian journalist Anne-Marie Jackson on MyToronto to see how this project works!

For more information about the camera handout, contact Paul Ryan paul@cafeart.org.uk or phone 07517 141948.

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run the MyLondon photography contest with disposable Fujifilm cameras. 

One hundred people affected by homelessness will capture London over five days from today when they are given a disposable camera at St Paul's Cathedral.

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Brighton & Hove the focus of homeless project

Press Releases   •   May 25, 2018 12:02 BST

One-time-use cameras will be given to 100 with a lived experience of homelessness in the MyBrighton & Hove Photo Project at One Church, Brighton on Friday 29 June.

Supported by Fujifilm UK and The Royal Photographic Society, the project will result in an exhibition and a calendar. It is run locally by volunteers and social enterprise Cafe Art, and is based on the successful MyLondon project.

MyBrighton & Hove is a photography project using one-time-use cameras, engaging those who have lived experience of homelessness or are currently street homeless. The project is being run by volunteers who work with the homeless community in Brighton and Hove alongside local members of the Royal Photographic Society.

Participants are involved in the creation of a calendar, which they are invited to sell. Organiser Lucy Groenewoud says: "Working with those who are homeless or have lived experience of homelessness in Brighton and Hove, we aim to create positive community change through artistic process."

MyBrighton & Hove is working with local homeless services and charities in Brighton and Hove including Passage, Justlife, YMCA, BHA and St John Ambulance. "The calendar makes a difference to homeless people by providing employment and training opportunities, it also improves their confidence and social skills as we include the artists in all aspects of the project," says Groenewoud.

MyBrighton & Hove hopes to follow London success

The inspiration for MyBrighton & Hove comes from the MyLondon photography project organised by Café Art who connect people affected by homelessness with the wider community through their art, both hanging it in cafes and through the photography project. MyLondon is now in its sixth year, and there are now MyCity projects in Budapest, Sydney, New Orleans, Toronto, and Sao Paulo. (Check out an almost identical project run in Canada for the first time last year: see Anne-Marie Jackson of The Toronto Star's winning first place in the News Photographer's Association of Canada contest in the category of single multimedia for the project she did on MYTORONTO

Groenewoud says: "We are very proud working in partnership with Cafe Art in the delivery of the first MyBrighton & Hove, which we hope will become an annual event."

The project is funded with the donation of one-time-use cameras and film processing and printing from Fujifilm. "Fujifilm are really pleased to be able to work with Cafe Art and the new MyBrighton & Hove project, building upon our support of MyLondon. Photography has the power to enrich people's lives and to influence or change perceptions, and we hope our modest participation helps raise the profile of homelessness and empower people affected by it," said David Honey, Director Photo Imaging Fujifilm UK Ltd.

Paul Ryan, director of Café Art said: “I have seen many people who have gain a lot from this project. By giving people a creative outlet to express themselves, participants gain confidence and self-esteem. When the calendar is ready to sell in October participants can gain work experience too. In London and the other cities doing this project thousands of people have been helped and we are excited to be able to do it in Brighton and Hove. Like all the other projects, the profits will go back into the local community either to the homeless individuals who sell the 2019 MyBrighton & Hove calendar or to support local arts initiatives.”

Homelessness on the rise

According to the latest figures, one in 69 people in Brighton and Hove are either in temporary accommodation or sleeping on the streets. * A recent survey in Brighton and Hove spoke to 170 rough sleepers over the course of a week, and found that only 31.4% of people reported having a planned activity in their lives that made them feel happy or fulfilled. **

Groenewoud said: "MyBrighton & Hove hopes to address these very topical issues, highlighting homelessness in the city, whilst providing an activity with potential for future development and opportunities. 

When is MyBrighton & Hove happening?

On Friday  29 100 one-time-use cameras will be distributed at One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton. Members of the Royal Photographic Society in Brighton are supporting the handout of cameras, and also the photography training for the participants which is taking place during May and June. Participants will have 5 days to take photographs that reflect MyBrighton & Hove, from their unique viewpoint.

After cameras are handed back, the photographs are developed and judged by a panel of photography experts and those with experience of homelessness. The top 20 photos are picked and opened to a public vote, after which crowdfunding with begin in August to fund the printing of the calendar.

The photographs will be on display during October 2018 at SEAS (Socially Engaged Art Salon) BMECP Centre, Brighton.

From October to December, the calendar will be sold with the support of the photographers and local businesses. 

Contact

Lucy Groenewoud, is project managing MyBrighton & Hove as a volunteer. She is a freelance designer and photographer. She says:

“I have worked and volunteered with street homeless in Brighton and Hove for the last 5 years. I follow the MyLondon calendar project on social media and really love the ethos of celebrating the beauty of the photographers view of London and the positive change this can bring in their lives. It has been a dream of mine to bring the project to Brighton and Hove, as I believe it will fit so well in our city, so I contacted Café Art to see if we could set up a MyBrighton & Hove. I am delighted that Cafe Art are able to support running MyBrighton & Hove as I feel the homeless community will benefit enormously from the opportunities the project will bring.”

We are grateful for the support of The Royal Photographic Society, Carter Wong Design, Fujifilm UK, One Church Brighton, YHA Brighton, and SEAS Salon.

Lucy Groenewoud, MyBrighton & Hove project manager: phone 07834 338263 or email lucy@mybrightonphotoproject.com

Cafe Art / MyLondon: Paul Ryan, director: phone 07517 141948 or email paul@cafeart.org.uk

Fujifilm UK: Andy Ross, Corporate Communications Manager, FUJIFILM UK Ltd., phone 07766
497949 or email andy.jm.ross@fujifilm.com.

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography projects MyLondon and MyBrighton & Hove with one-time-use FujiFilm cameras. 

Disposable cameras will be given to 100 with a lived experience of homelessness in the MyBrighton & Hove Photo Project at One Church, Brighton on Friday 29 June. Supported by Fujifilm UK and The Royal Photographic Society, the project will result in an exhibition and a calendar. It is run locally by volunteers and social enterprise Cafe Art, and is based on the successful MyLondon project.

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International homeless art exchange opens tomorrow

Press Releases   •   May 15, 2018 13:47 BST

Paintings from artists affected by homelessness from New York, Berlin, Mumbai, Melbourne and Auckland will be exhibited at Old Diorama Arts Centre as part of Cafe Art's international art exhibition exchange THIS IS WHERE I LIVE from Thursday 17 May until Sunday 10 June.

The opening event is in Old Diorama Arts Centre on Wednesday 16 May at 6pm to 9pm.

Similar exhibitions, by homeless people including London, are being held in the same cities, with paintings from each city being exhibited in each participating city.

fresh art in New York creates artistic and personal development opportunities for disadvantaged and underserved adults in New York City through fine art exhibitions and workshops. The organisation raises public awareness and recognition of these artists' work and talents by building partnerships with social service agencies, residences and community groups. fresh art is dedicated to promoting art as a tool for personal expression, creative growth and positive transformation.

Art despite poverty is the motto for Berlin's Gitschiner 15. They provide cultural and health services for the lowincome and homeless in Berlin, and have a thriving art group.

Pehchan in Mumbai is a community-based NGO that helps homeless citizens in Mumbai build a life of dignity and fulfillment. The word ‘pehchan’ in Hindi translates as “identity”.

Open Canvas in Melbourne was created to empower disadvantaged artists and help them with these issues surrounding homelessness.

Auckland City Mission provides unique and specialised health and social services to marginalised Aucklanders. 

Each organisation has sent paintings to the other exhibitions being held May and June. The idea behind it is to have fun, make connections and have paintings exhibited in major cities. The issue of homelessness is international and by talking about it Cafe Art hopes to draw attention to the issue in a creative way. The goals are to empower people through creativity.

Diorama Arts Centre, Regent's Place, 201 Drummond St, London NW1 3FE Thursday 17th May - Sun 10th June 2017 (closest tube stations Warren Street and Euston)

For more information contact email sarah@cafeart.org.uk or paul@cafeart.org.uk

Reserve a free ticket to opening event (Eventbrite)

Cafe Art connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run the MyLondon photography contest with disposable FujiFilm cameras. 

Paintings from artists affected by homelessness from New York, Berlin, Mumbai, Melbourne and Auckland will be exhibited at ​Old Diorama Arts Centre​ as part of Cafe Art's international art exhibition exchange THIS IS WHERE I LIVE from Thursday 17 May. The opening event is in Old Diorama Arts Centre on Wednesday 16 May at 6pm to 9pm.

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Homeless given arts market for World Homeless Day

Press Releases   •   Oct 06, 2017 09:57 BST

Spitalfields Arts Market will be run by Londoners affected by homelessness for seven days from next Monday.

The market will be filled with paintings and photographs from dozens of artists who are homeless or have recently been homeless. The project is run by homeless enterprise Café Art who will also be launching the 2018 MyLondon calendar in the market at lunchtime on Tuesday, World Homeless Day.

“We are trying to empower people who are in a tough situation – either sleeping rough, sofa surfing or recently rehoused,” says Paul Ryan from Café Art. “With the number of people who are homeless rising, we have seen positive changes in the individuals participating in the project. It helps them gain confidence and cope with their situations.”

The project, now in its fifth year, the project is funded almost entirely from the sale of the MyLondon calendar, which sells for £9.99. It will also be sold in Spitalfields Market from Tuesday 10 October where the participants earn an income from selling it. The printing of the 2018 calendar was part funded by hundreds of members of the public on crowdfunding website Kickstarter in August and September. See the campaign video here.

However recently Cafe Art was awarded a Discovery grant from Santander Foundation to help further improve the skills of the participants. Paul Ryan says: “The grant will let participants gain essential photography skills which will let them create more professional photographs, hopefully leading to employment in the field, or at least giving them confidence to apply for other work. One of the main issues people who are homeless have found is that they quickly lose confidence and this affects everything. By giving them these skills we can help them move on in their lives.”

The Café Art Market in Spitalfields runs from Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October from 10am to 5pm daily. The 2018 MyLondon calendar will be launched at an Award Ceremony in the market at 1pm on Tuesday 10 October (World Homeless Day).

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography contests with disposable Fujifilm cameras. 

Spitalfields Arts Market will be run by Londoners affected by homelessness for seven days from Monday. The market will be filled with paintings and photographs from dozens of artists who are homeless or have recently been homeless. The project is run by homeless enterprise Café Art who will also be launching the 2018 MyLondon calendar in the market at lunchtime on Tuesday, World Homeless Day.

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East London highlighted by homeless in photo project

Press Releases   •   Sep 27, 2017 10:30 BST

An exhibition of 14 stunning shots of East London by a group of Cafe Art MyLondon photographers who have experienced homelessness is due to open in Qbic hotel on Monday 2 October.

Qbic Hotel partnered with Cafe Art and The Royal Photographic Society (The RPS) to take photos of East London. 

Paul Ryan from Cafe Art says Qbic approached Cafe Art wanting to give the MyLondon photography group a new challenge - to take photos of interesting parts of east London near Qbic. "They wanted to add a more personal and interesting piece of work created by local artists of the area." 

Rebecca Waters from Qbic said they thought of our MyLondon photography project. "After a meeting we decided to give the challenge to the photography mentoring group. It was a perfect challenge - it was a real job for them. Our goal is to empower people and this has more than achieved that goal."

Neil Cordell from The RPS says that the Society has been helping the MyLondon calendar project for several years and this type of extra project was perfect to improve their photography skills.

The 14 East London photos will be hanging in Qbic Hotel cafe from Monday 2 October. The annual MyLondon exhibition will be also hanging in the hotel on their gallery staircase from that date.

Contact 

Paul Ryan, Cafe Art: 07517 141948 (please let Paul know if you would like to interview a photographer)

Neil Cordell, The RPS: 07775 637601

Rebecca Waters, Qbic Hotels: 07717 504712

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography contests with disposable FujiFilm cameras and run a mentoring programme with digital cameras for people affected by homelessness.

An exhibition of stunning shots of East London by a group of Cafe Art MyLondon photographers who have experienced homelessness is due to open in Qbic hotel next week. The photographers were commissioned by the hotel to fill the hotel with images of the local community, with stunning results.

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Contacts 1 contact

Paul Ryan is a journalist who co-founded Cafe Art (UK) Community Interest Company with Michael Wong in 2012. Since 2012 it has raised money for artists... Show more

About Cafe Art

CAFÉ ART began in London in early 2012 with one local cafe and one art group run by a homelessness sector organisation. The opportunity was spotted by a volunteer with a St Mungo’s art group near King’s Cross, London. He could see lots of amazing art being created every week. However there was not enough wall space in the charity to hang it – much of the art was put away and not hung on the walls. An idea was born while in a local cafe. It didn’t have any art on the walls…

Cafe Art is run by Paul Ryan, who is one of the founding directors, together with Michael. Café Art registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in November 2013, with all profits committed to building up the social enterprise. CICs were established in 2005 specifically for social enterprises where the profits will be reinvested in the business.

Address

  • Cafe Art
  • Qbic Hotel, 42 Adler Street
  • E1 1EE London