Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

Sevenoaks gets in the picture with new art and fashion centre right in the middle of town

A NEW centre for artists and designers is opening in Sevenoaks next month (September) and will be based on two levels in the workspace above M&Co in the High Street. It is being run by Second Floor Studios and Arts which has entered into an agreement with Sevenoaks District Council.

A total of 20 self-contained studios will be available to rent and already, more than 40% of the space has been taken by a range of artists, from fashion designers to fine artists.

Cllr Roddy Hogarth (left) with Second Floor Studios chief executive Nichole Herbert Wood, founder Matthew Wood and artist Louise Sunnucks whose work is on the wall.

A Winter Open Studios event is being planned for November when members of the public can explore the studios, meet the artists and purchase original, hand-made items in the run up to Christmas. This will be the first of similar events throughout the year and other plans include working with the Kaleidoscope gallery at the nearby Sevenoaks Library.

Second Floor Studios will also support the local community as its artists will give some of their time to help fellow studio members and support local projects with schools, charities and other groups.

The district council say the centre will give a financial boost to the town and it meets one of the authority’s objectives to support micro-businesses in the creative sector. The project is the beginning of a long-term commitment to attract more creative industry to the area.

Cllr Roddy Hogarth, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Attracting Second Floor Studio and Arts is such good news for the town and wider District both culturally and economically.

“We’re very excited about the benefits this the new studio will bring. Its artists can link up with local schools, groups and our existing artists, sharing their expertise and inspiring young people to join our creative sector, which is large and important part of the economy.

“Having these studios right in the centre of the town will also bring a welcome financial boost to shops, services and suppliers in the area.”

Nichole Herbert Wood, Chief Executive of Second Floor Studios and Arts, adds: “We know there are many talented and established visual arts practitioners in the Sevenoaks wider area and we are excited to bring those individuals together through this project as we know the impact a dedicated workspace can have on the evolution of their work. The Council had a vision to bring this project to Sevenoaks and we have been really impressed with their dynamic approach to working with us.

“We are looking forward to laying some of our organisational roots in a town we have personally adopted as our home. The short commute is a dream!”

Schools or charity groups keen to link up with Second Floor Studios and Arts, or artists who would like to know more about taking studio space, should email contact@secondfloor.co.uk.

  • Grierson Galleries in Sevenoaks High Street is also holding an art exhibition in September. For more details click here
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