Tonbridge community art exhibition set to help High Street

Tonbridge community art exhibition set to help High Street

A SIX-week art show is coming to Angel Walk this month – and it’s ‘on a mission to show off Tonbridge’s rich artistic and creative community’.

From February 24 to April 8, Tonbridge Creates aims to introduce the community to art and music through workshops and events.

It will also help local artists sell their work and arts organisations reach new audiences, while at the same time trying to regenerate empty shops on the High Street.

Tonbridge Creates is the brainchild of Louise Knight, co-founder of The Wheels on Debussy, which offers classical music experiences for children in a relaxed environment.

Louise says: “Tonbridge Creates wants to prove that if you support your creative community, you can bring vitality and people back to a town’s High Street.

‘My dream would be for landlords to allow more pop-up shops. It would revitalise the town’
“Tonbridge is a hotbed of artistic and creative talent. There are so many groups and societies to join and also artists and crafters creating beautiful work.

“Tonbridge Creates is a physical place where we can celebrate all of this wonderful talent and creativity. The response from makers has been overwhelming and I’m excited to show off all their work in the shop.”

The show will be held in a vacant retail outlet and Louise adds: “My dream would be for landlords to be as fantastic as this one and allow more pop-up shops to occur in Tonbridge. It would revitalise the town.

“I know many people and -organisations who would love to run pop-ups in the empty shops in the town but have found it difficult to find a landlord who is willing to give them the premises for a short period of time.”

CREATIVE FORCE Louise Knight is organising the new art show

For the family the show will feature a new Wheels on Debussy parent and child choir, free puppetry workshops by local theatre company Strangeface on Saturday February 24, and drop-in children’s drawing sessions. There will also be poetry readings and yoga classes.

It will be launched on Friday February 23, showcasting the artists involved in the project and unveiling a community work by Tonbridge artist Shannon J Molver.

The venture is supported by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and Comic Relief. Nicolas Heslop, the council’s Leader, says: “We are delighted to support this pop-up shop, which will add something a bit different to Tonbridge High Street and help to attract additional visitors into the town.

“I wish Louise [above] and her team at The Wheels on Debussy all the best with this initiative.”

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