Artbox London, a local charity, held an extremely successful open exhibition last week. The hosts, local business Attic Self Storage, have also agreed to maintain a permanent exhibition for the Islington based charity going forward.
Artbox is a local charity, founded in 2011 by Madeline Alterman. Artbox helps people with learning disabilities to access the arts, and to be included in their local community. From humble beginnings, this local, Islington-based charity has already found fame with artists being invited to speak at the Royal Academy and on ITV.
Attic Self Storage was established in 2008 in Bow, East London but opened a new site on York Way in November 2016. “We are supported by the local community every day in our business” said Frederic de Ryckman de Betz (Director of Attic). “Increasingly, local customers are opting for local businesses. It feels only natural to give something back to the local community.”
Unlike large national chains, Attic Self Storage was looking for good local causes to back. “When we visited Artbox at the Islington Arts Factory, we were hooked” says Fred. “Meeting Madeline and the artists was inspiring. We’re only a small business, so our support has to be focused – and we felt in Artbox, we had really found a worthwhile cause.”
Over the following months, a plan was hatched – to give the artists something they’d never really had before. “The Islington Arts Factory has been a fantastic base for us.” says Madeline. “However, being a shared space, the artists’ work inevitably ends up being stored in a cupboard. We just didn’t have anywhere to showcase their work.”
This is where Attic came in. Fred knew the brand new, contemporary look of the glazed storage reception could offer the artists something they hadn’t had before. A permanent exhibition space. “I was a little sceptical when I first visited the site” says Madeline. “But when I visited the finished reception, I knew this was a great opportunity to showcase the art”.
There are now circa 50 works of art on permanent display in the Attic Self Storage reception, and anyone can appreciate these – either gazing through the windows from the street, or inside reception. All are welcome.
To launch this new partnership, Artbox London held an exhibition in the Attic Self Storage reception space last week. Open to all, the opportunity to enjoy the art, meet and chat with the artists and enjoy they work with a cold glass of prosecco is one that was taken by many.
“The evening was a huge success” says Madeline. “The artists just loved seeing their work on permanent display. We also sold quite a number of pieces, which really made everyone’s day.” A registered charity, Artbox London typically retains a portion of the proceeds of sale to reinvest in further workshops for the artists, with the balance going directly to the artists themselves. “Handing out cheques on the same evening is pretty special” said Madeline. “There were quite a few smiling faces!”
In some cases, there was competition for art works but with this initial launch event featuring fixed prices, it was first come, first served. “I got a couple of delightful pieces” says Fred, “but I missed out on my favourite, an original work by Shannon.”
The evening was a huge success, from the number of visitors, through the amount of art sold to the sheer fun of it all. “It really was a fantastic evening” said Madeline. “Everyone clearly enjoyed themselves.”
Attic Self Storage has already agreed to host another similar, open art exhibition in their reception space for Artbox London, so keep your eyes peeled for the notices if you fancy enjoying the art, chatting to the artists and enjoying a glass (or two!) of the bubbly stuff yourself.
It’s always great to see local businesses working to support local charities, and we’re really looking forward to the next exhibition. In the meantime, if you want to browse the art with a view to buying some please visit www.artboxlondon.org/shop.
Alternatively, you can see some of the art work on show at Attic Self Storage any time during business hours. All the artwork on show in reception is also available to buy via Attic’s website which will link you straight through to the right place, just go to "buy art from Artbox London".
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