Impact Arts: Reflecting on Craft Cafe’s first public art exhibition

This guest post is by Impact ArtsThis community arts organisation has a Glasgow-based project called Craft Cafe, which helps tackle isolation and loneliness. 

Craft Cafe artists and their artworks at the People's Palace

Impact Arts’ flagship programme for older people, Craft Cafe, held its first public art exhibition at the People’s Palace in Glasgow throughout March and April 2012. Here, members of Craft Cafe reflect on what the experience meant to them.

“I really enjoyed myself the day we went to the People’s Palace. I felt quite proud to be part of it and took my daughter the next week. She was really impressed and glad that I am now part of this class as it has helped me in getting on with life.”

“I really look forward to the classes as it is the only time I am out. The people at Craft Cafe are very friendly and make you feel welcome. I enjoyed the People’s Palace exhibition and felt very proud to see my painting being shown.”

Castlemilk and Elderpark Craft Café at the launch of their first exhibition at the People’s Palace

Castlemilk and Elderpark Craft Café members at the exhibition's launch at the People’s Palace.

“When the tutor told me about the exhibition I was really excited. It gave me initiative and it was great to see my work displayed. I felt so proud.”

“I think Craft Cafe is brilliant and didn’t think when I joined that I would have had a painting displayed in the People’s Palace. The exhibition there was a great chance to show the work done in Craft Cafe. This was a great confidence builder. “

Reading the paintings' captions

Reading the paintings' captions.

“The most important thing is friends and loved ones. They were as excited as I was. When I was there with my family they were so happy to see my work in the exhibition, it made me so proud. I also spoke at the exhibition launch about our work. Each time I told anyone I’d done artwork at the show it made me feel great.”

“I think the People’s Palace is a great place with lots of old Glasgow things to see and remember. The Winter Gardens are marvellous – it was a treat to have our work up in the exhibition.”

A wide range of artworks were on show

A wide range of artworks were on show.

“I was thrilled to be involved in the People’s Palace exhibition. The exhibition itself was fantastic and I was pleased to witness the public’s response to the display on viewing the work – it prompted memories of where they came from. I look forward to our next show!”

“The whole idea to exhibit at the People’s Palace was exciting. I felt very valued and it gave me inspiration to continue. We were welcomed and felt included.”

“Paintings have got to be seen. The appreciation I got out of people seeing our work was great.”

The benefits of creativity are felt by people of all ages

The benefits of creativity are felt by people of all ages.

“Our day out at the People’s Palace was a real success. Just to have a place of our own and be proud when people started to admire the work was special. That we as a group participated in it, well I’ve never done anything like it before!”

“It was an uplifting experience for our work to be recognised and displayed. Creating the work was fun and it was a good thing to happen. I took my grandson and some friends went along too. I’m proud of our group that we did it.”

Visitors and artists enjoying the exhibition

Visitors and artists enjoying the exhibition.

A wholly positive experience for all those involved, Craft Café members are now looking forward to beginning preparations for their next exhibition, due to take place at the Scotland Street School Museum later in the summer.

Exhibiting their work has added an entirely new dimension to the experience Craft Cafe members take from the programme. Seeing this new body of work emerge will be both great fun and a whole new journey.

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