2000-strong art initiative celebrates one year

Students at a Q-Art event. Photo: Sarah Rowles

Students at a Q-Art event. Photo: Sarah Rowles

A second-year student from Goldsmiths University is celebrating her first year running a unique, not-for-profit art company.

Sarah Rowles founded Q-Art a year ago this week after beginning as an undergraduate art student at Goldsmiths in Lewisham.She founded the company after realising there was a lack of networking and critique groups working between the art colleges and universities in London.

Since her first event last year the group has grown in size, reaching a mailing list of around 2000 people and attracting student artists from universities such as Central St Martins, Chelsea College of Art, Kingston University and Wimbledon College of Art.

The organisation holds monthly events where students are able to present a piece of art they are working on. The artwork is then opened up to the audience who constructively criticise the artist’s work.

The format replicates how all art courses in the UK give feedback, but before Q-Art the different courses and universities across London weren’t connected.

Ms Rowles said of her project: “Q-Art breaks all the boundaries in-front of students, it allows students and graduates to be critical and people who aren’t on fine art courses to be involved.”

To begin with, Ms Rowles found it difficult to fund the company. “No-one would give me the time of day to begin with, I began to think you had to be rich to be able to actually do anything.”

Patrick Goddard, an art Student from Lewisham, said: “It’s a really good idea as things get very cliquey at art school and when you graduate you inevitably have a small network of people around you. It helps a young artist community throughout London to exist.”

Q-Art’s first birthday event will be held this week at the University of Arts Hub on Davey Street, where a raffle will raise money for the company. Go to www.q-artlondon.com for more information.

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