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The Greenstede Gallery 2013

Ashdown Arts Exhibition at the Greenstede Gallery, Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre – 21st to 26th June 2013

In June 2013 a group of artists based in and around the Forest Row area will be exhibiting at Chequer Mead’s Greenstede Gallery.

The Ashdown forest has always been a source of inspiration for artists and Ashdown Arts is fortunate to count many skilled amateurs and professionals among its numbers, including painters, potters, jewellers, furniture makers, art tutors, sculptors and many other artists and skilled crafts people.

Exhibiting artist, Gill Bustamante had this to say about the Ashdown Arts group: “I joined the group nearly 3 years ago and am really happy to be associated with such a varied and skilled group of artists. Artists by circumstance tend to be tucked away in various studios, galleries and sheds in this area and not always visible so it is nice to see them all in one place occasionally. I think that since the recession started, art has strangely become more attractive to people generally. We all need beautiful things to lift our spirits! Also, the internet has made art accessible to everyone. Whereas people used to go to an ‘art gallery’ to see art, they only need now turn on a computer or visit the local cafe. Art used to be exclusive to that minority that dared enter a gallery – all that has changed and it is good for the artist and good for their customers as anyone can own original art and everyone should! That said – we hope that lots of people will come and visit the exhibition and enjoy meeting some of the talented artists that live in this area.”

Ashdown Arts has been instrumental in bringing together artists and artisans of all disciplines from the community since it was formed in 2009. It holds one major exhibition every year in which most of its 30 plus members take part. Last year this took place in the Forest Row community centre to coincide with the Forest Row festival in October.

As well as producing art, Ashdown Arts encourages emerging artists to exhibit locally and further afield with the aim to promote the amazing local creativity, available on our doorstep, through exhibitions and workshops while cultivating a partnership with the community.

The group wishes to make art accessible to everyone – adults, teenagers and children – and connect local residents, businesses and visitors through regular artistic cultural events, art workshops and other initiatives.

Among the artists exhibiting will be: Ursula Stone, visual artist and art tutor (who runs the drop-in life drawing sessions and workshops at Chequer Mead and at her studio in Forest Row); Gill Bustamante B.A., award winning animal painter whose work is often seen in galleries in the south east and who teaches at the East Grinstead Learning Centre; Alex Florschutz M.A., who teaches art as a therapy and whose alluring paintings focus on what it is to be a woman: Martin Ash – specialising in portrait and figure painting but with work on many subjects in collections worldwide and who tutors life drawing classes in Wadhurst; Don Collishaw – experimental abstract, landscape and figurative artist; Anette Schwidrowski – abstract painter, photographer and sculptress; Chris West –watercolour and acrylic artist; Wolf Sohngen – Woodworker; Valerie Osbon B.A. – Painter; Jackie Frewing – Sculptor; Sylvia Hassell – Painter; Ann Hitchcox – Potter and Michele Carnie – Jeweller.

The exhibition runs from the morning of Friday 21st June until the end of the afternoon of Wednesday 26th June. From 10 in the morning until 5.00 pm including some evenings if the theatre is open. More info at: Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre, De La Warr Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 3BS. Tel: 01342 325577


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