Creative Lincs are a new collective of creatives in Lincolnshire with the mission of networking and supporting each other through meet ups, exhibitions and a monthly newsletter.
One of the founding members, colourful abstract painter Hannah Cawthorne, recalls the idea forming whilst painting alone in her studio during lockdowns. Being an artist can be a solitary profession at best of times, but the pandemic made her feel even more closed off from the world and decided there might be other creatives who felt the same way and could benefit from sharing their work with each other. “I put an Instagram post up as I wanted to connect with other artists” Hannah explains, “I shared my work and said it would be great to have feedback. I was working towards this big exhibition, the biggest I’d ever had, yet due to the pandemic nobody was seeing my work.”
This post sparked a conversation with fellow Lincoln painter Margret Bird and felt artist Eve Marshall. “We had the idea of meeting up” recalls Hannah, “It was still outside and socially distanced at this point, but we went for a coffee and discussed creating a community for artists to share knowledge and opportunities.” By the end of this initial meeting, Creative Lincs was born, with the hopes of bringing together fellow creatives for socialising, sharing work, feedback, support and to ensure there was a safe space to talk all things art with people who both understood and cared just as deeply.
The group set up their social media pages and organised their first in-person meet up at Doddington Hall a month later and had around a dozen local artists join them. “The feedback was amazing, and they were so glad a group like this had been set this up” says Hannah.
It wasn’t just professionals who were interested in joining the collective, various hobbyists said they would like to join the collective and learn more. “We were very keen to have those people as well” Hannah explains, “because we have got professional artists here that have amazing skillsets that can be shared.”
After this initial meeting, the group organised their first ever exhibition to be held at the Sam Scorer Gallery, which unfortunately has since closed its doors after more than 20 years. Their first exhibition was called VIVID, a big, bright and bold display with new work from around 20 Lincolnshire artists.
“We are still not entirely sure what direction Creative Lincs is going in”, admits Hannah, “it is around a year old now and we have already achieved a lot, but finding venues is a key thing.” The group had the idea of creating a membership, but ultimately decided that they didn’t want to do that and instead made it a space that can be dipped in and out of and is completely free to connect with. They put on regular events and have regular meetings on the third Thursday of the month at the Waitrose Community Room , anyone interested in attending should get onto the mailing list for the newsletter and more details.
These sessions have included events tailored to those with less experience. “I’m particularly interested in doing things with beginner artists that are taking those first steps into taking it a bit more seriously and giving them help and guidance” admits Hannah. We had a lady who said in a previous group she felt like people were judging her work as it is a bit unusual and she didn’t feel welcome in their group as a result, so I told her we are your people – you have found your people! She was quite moved and that is why we do it and why it is so worthwhile.”
The group’s next event is a Christmas Art and Craft Market on the 26th and 27th of November in Reepham Village Hall, organised by Reepham local and Creative Lincs member, Sally Kheng. Creative Lincs members will be selling a wide range of high-quality art, sculpture and jewellery – a great place to pick up unique Christmas gifts!
If you’re a Lincolnshire based creative and would like to get involved, you can find then on Facebook by searching Creative Lincs Co_op and on Instagram as @creativelincsco_op or to be added to the newsletter mailing list you can email firstname.lastname@example.org