This calendar supports people who are affected by homelessness. We want to share and celebrate the talent and creativity of this truly remarkable group of artists with all of you, through this unique calendar.
Creating artworks (painting, drawing, sketching, photography, sculpturing, craft making etc) is one of the many activities that homeless people or those who are socially excluded are encouraged to actively partake of to help boost self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. It is also therapeutic in that it acts as an outlet to channel their feelings, frustrations, anger, but also hope and optimism for the future.
Across London there are many charities and organisations that are dealing with the housing crisis that affects vulnerable people. Most of these groups run regular art therapy sessions for these service users who produce hundreds of incredible artworks every year. However, there is limited scope for these drawings to be seen & enjoyed by the public, apart from, perhaps, an Open Day. But even then, only a small proportion could be exhibited due to lack of space and time.
One day in early 2012 over a cup of coffee, the idea for Café Art was conceived. Instead of utilising a single exhibition venue limited to one London site for a limited period, this ‘art gallery’ will be made up of a network of participating cafes located across the city. Cafes have wall spaces that are hardly used, providing an opportunity to decorate them with these amazing and wonderful artworks 365 days a year!
Café Art helps bring out the creativity and talent of these individuals to a wider audience. In this way, they know that they are not alone in their personal path to recovery as the public can admire and celebrate their achievements together with them. By doing so, it should also help encourage them to engage in other activities through a sense of personal satisfaction and self-accomplishment. The more active they are in developing new skills, the quicker they will be on their journey to independence, and integrate back into the community.
To see the original paintings we encourage you to visit the many London cafes that have given up their wall space to exhibit Café Art pictures drawings. You can find a list of cafes on cafeart.org.uk where you can also read more about this project and see many more paintings. We hope you will join with us on this incredible artistic journey, not only through this calendar, but also by visiting the many London Cafes for a coffee plus 'free entry' to perhaps the world's largest art gallery of artworks drawn by people who are affected by homelessness. Sit back, relax, and with an espresso in one hand, enjoy the view!
To read more about the story behind the 2014 Calendar, click on the link here.
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Congratulations to the following photographers whose winning images form the twelve months of this unique calendar!
March: Maya Simeon
April: Robert Keen
May: Krzysztof Wlodarczyktof
June: Simon Denis
July: Brian Leach
August: John Spence
September: Kerri G
October: Maya Simeon
November: Paul Duffy
December: Michael Crosswaite
And thank you too to their supporting charities:
240 Project, BCHA, Broadway London, Crisis, Holy Cross Trust, Providence Row, One Support, SHP,
St Mungos, The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Field,
Thames Reach, West London Mission and Wytham Hall.