The Arts Project is celebrating 20 years of connecting community art and mental health with the launch of their Emerald 20 exhibition.
Opening on Friday 16 June, the installation at St Pancras Hospital Gallery will feature exhibits from 50 artists who have contributed to the popular and highly acclaimed exhibitions over the past 20 years. Keynote speakers opening the exhibition over the years have included writer Germaine Greer, broadcaster Jon Snow, politicians Ken Livingstone and Frank Dobson, and exhibiting artists have included Carolyne Kardia, Ella Guru, and Sue Kreitzman.
Emerald 20 is a celebration of every artist who has contributed to the gallery over the past 20 years, and every visitor who has attended. The space is a key connector between The North London Mental Health Partnership, the artist community, and local people. There have been thousands of visitors to the exhibitions, which are open to the public from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. The gallery has also provided comfort to service users attending appointments and their loved ones when they come to visit and also provided an avenue for some to express their own art and feelings towards their mental health and recovery journeys.
Each opening night has been a celebration of all the work and creativity that has gone into the exhition, with speeches and musical entertainment, including Mz Kimberley, Lucinda Sieger and Sarah Vista.
Emerald 20 will follow in this rich vein, celebrating the origins of the gallery, the supporters and collaborators who have been instrumental in its success, and will feature live music from E20 artist and Camden musician Joe Whitney, She Rocola performing as The Tropic Duo, Lucinda Sieger headlining, plus surprise guests and an inspired catwalk show with Master of Ceremony Herr Bolli. There will be drinks and light snacks.
The exhibition will continue until 29 September 2023, with a series of special events to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of The Arts Project. These will include a celebration of the work of award-winning filmmaker Anna Bowman, who has created films of a number about the exhibitions over the years.
The History of the Arts Project
Created in 2003 by Peter Herbert, with support from the Camden Primary Care Trust Chair, John Carrier, ‘Reflection and Light’ was a trailblazing exhibition of themed paintings and photography by staff in the Conference Centre Gallery space. Since then the gallery has presented 82 exhibitions, with 133 artists, and over 1,864 contributors in group shows. These include staff photography competitions and collaborations with a wide range of organisations including: East London Print Makers, Pentonville Prison, Rosetta Life Project, Royal College of Physicians, University of Westminster, forum +, War Veteran organisations and Portugal Prints at Arlington House.
Themes of exhibitions have included local issues, including the regeneration of Kings Cross St Pancras with a focus on Victorian gas holders. Group shows have included nursing-inspired Art of Caring collaborations with Alban Low, the commissioned project ‘Life in the Age of COVID’ and the annual ‘Loudest Whispers’ LGBT+ exhibitions linked to forum+ and the nationwide LGBT+ History Month. Exhibitions have also highlighted the work of the art groups in our local mental health organisations, including Highgate and Isledon Road Resource Centre.
The Arts Project acknowledges the much-appreciated support of the CNWL NHS Charitable Trust Charitable Fund and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation NHS Trust. The project acknowledges the valuable support of Operations Managers Elaine Harper-Gay during the first ten years followed by Marius Els. Sales of all artwork return 20% donations back to the Charitable Fund.