The Art Station offers artist led creative sessions for individuals and groups in our local area, co-producing activities where appropriate. We work with local organisations and groups to host and promote activities together in different venues and to support and engage the community across organisations. We’re currently working with Saxmundham Library, Saxmundham Museum, Leading Lives, Saxmundham Town Council, Good Neighbourhood Scheme IP17 and our local schools.
With our community we’re focusing more on the environment and our local natural wildlife. January to April 2023 we have been mapping our local natural environment and heritage through leading nature walks with different age groups to look closely and celebrate the green space local to our town. Our Nature Walks this Spring 2023, led by artists Anna Ilsley and Jevan Watkins Jones, have supported a fun and creative exploration of nature for everyone. Environmental Artists Liz Waugh and Emily Knock have led a focused mapping of flora and fauna and investigated our neglected River Fromus with support from the community – including fishing lots of rusty metal objects out of the river! This work and shared knowledge will feed into further projects this year. We’re looking for funding now to create a new nature path around the town and surrounding landscape with new wildlife shelters and seeding and planting to encourage and support wildlife. We aim to look further into the heritage of our river, its history and the vital part it will play in our future. The new nature walk will highlight how we can conserve natural wild spaces and both celebrate and protect species locally.
We work with all age groups and have developed two new partnerships: working with Leading Lives who support adults with learning difficulties and working with Top Times a group of older women aged 70 to 90. In Lockdown our project Art in a Bag offered creative activities and high quality art materials for older people in their homes during lockdown. We delivered 140 Art in a Bags between December 2020 and April 2021.
This summer we are offering a creative coastal walk for people of the global majority, led by members of the local black community, former pro footballer Ruel Fox, and artist Lily Hammond. Art Station is working with Aspire Black Suffolk to engage our diverse local ethnic communities with cultural and creative experiences. Also, to support equality of access to East Suffolk’s beautiful coastline, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
PhotoShed is a pilot group for adults to get together around an interest in photography. A chance to socialise, get out and take photos together and develop new skills, helping to alleviate isolation especially during and post Covid-19 restrictions. Funded by East Suffolk Community Partnerships and Peoples Postcode Trust.
Wiggly Wednesdays is a free, creative, after school drop in club, at Saxmundham Library on Wednesdays during term time. The sessions are led by Max Clements, Art Station’s Programme Coordinator, who facilitates fun and inclusive activities for young people and families.
Art Station supports bringing people and organisations together to celebrate across the seasons and last year took part in 750th year celebration of our market town. We’ve been part of creating a Winter Celebration each December for the last two years for the whole town to get together with performers and activities throughout the town. This year, Art Station with Saxmundham Town Council and other local organisations, launched a new one-day festival, Sax Arts Fest. Local artists, musicians, delicious food and drink, market stalls, and local Saxmundham businesses, all took part to offer an exciting, high-quality celebration of arts and culture in our historic market town. Over 2000 people came and enjoyed free creative workshops, such as ceramics, printmaking, life drawing, and dance across the town.
We offer creative sessions integral to our exhibition programme so local people of all ages can meet artists and creatives and hear about the inspiration for their work and how they make it. In Summer we offer an Art Tour by bus or train and take people to other art spaces in East Suffolk so people can go to different venues and meet other artists and feel connected to art across the region.
Community Activities are funded with support from many funders including: East Suffolk Community Partnerships, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund, Awards for All National Lottery Community Fund, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, East of England Co-op Cares Suffolk Community Foundation, People Postcode Trust and we are very grateful to our funders for supporting our work and activities.
Current and past community activities provided by The Art Station