Independent Arts

Exploring the Cosmos: Wavelength Exhibition Showcases Student Artwork at Creative Hub


We are excited to announce the launch of the Wavelength Exhibition at the Creative Hub, showcasing the incredible artwork created by talented students from the Island Learning Centre and St Helens Primary School on the Isle of Wight. This project, which has been running since September 2022, explores the intersection of art, creativity, and science through a series of engaging workshops. Both schools chose space and the cosmos as their science topics. The Island Learning Centre further integrated this theme into their science curriculum by linking their study of the visible light spectrum to the cosmic dawn event and the journey of light through space. The workshops employed a variety of art forms and mediums, enriching the learning experience, particularly for students who find traditional methods challenging. This approach not only fostered creativity but also deepened their understanding of complex scientific concepts. The Wavelength Exhibition is free to view and will be open at the Creative Hub until June 14th. We invite everyone to visit and witness the stunning pieces created by these young artists. Exhibition Details: Location: Independent Arts, 48 High Street, Newport Opening Hours: 10am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday We extend our heartfelt thanks to The Swire Charitable Trust for their generous support in funding this project. Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience the blend of art and science through the eyes of our island's youth!

Exploring the Cosmos: Wavelength Exhibition Showcases Student Artwork at Creative Hub2024-05-22T11:19:57+01:00

Independent Arts pleased to be the charity partner of Wight Proms again


Independent Arts are pleased to be the charity partner of Wight Proms again for 2024 The Wight Proms Festival has just announced its 2024 artiste line-up. The festival celebrates comedy, opera, drag, country music, sport, musical theatre, dance and classical proms, and takes place annually in August at Northwood House in Cowes This year sees a new logo for the festival and a new site layout Headliners announced include: ◦ Award-winning actress MIRIAM MARGOLYES OBE ◦ Island favourites PLASTIC MERMAIDS who are performing with a live orchestra their only gig on the Isle of Wight this year ◦ Cricket legends AGGERS & TUFFERS AKA JONATHAN AGNEW & PHIL TUFNELL ◦ Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK DANNY BEARD & fellow RuPaul star SCARLETT HARLETT, hosted by TANYA HYDE ◦ ANTHEMS IBIZA ORCHESTRA featuring 1990s tunes from the likes of Fat Boy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, Faithless, Daft Punk, Ian Van Dahl, Prodigy and many more ◦ Musical Theatre Legends JOHN OWEN JONES, famous for playing the roles of Phantom (The Phantom of the Opera) and Jean Valjean (Les Mis) in both the West End and Broadway, JENNA LEE-JAMES who has just played the role of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen on the West End, and JOHN PARTRIDGE who has starred in many shows on the West End including Cats, Grease, Starlight Express, Cabaret, La Cage Aux Folles to name but a few ◦ Soprano FARYL SMITH who shot to fame as a 12-year-old on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, is now a graduate of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School in London ◦ Family favourite PETER & THE WOLF with wind quintet ◦ The ‘World’s best Dolly tribute’ as endorsed by Dolly herself, also featuring Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Billie Jo Spears, Glen Campbell and Patsy Cline tributes There will also be Musical Theatre Workshops for children ages 7-18 where they get to perform on the Main Stage at the ‘Wight at the Musicals’ show on Saturday 10th August The Wight Proms Festival, sponsored by Red Funnel, was founded in 2018 by Cowes resident Mike Christie, who is also know for being in the multi-platinum selling vocal harmony group G4, who shot to fame on The X Factor back in 2004. This year marks G4’s 20th Anniversary with two island performances at the Medina Theatre in June and Newport Minster in November amongst their mega 110 tour dates. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday 10th May 2024: There are ‘Meet & Greet’ tickets available to have the chance to meet some of our headliners When buying tickets, you can donate to the Wight Proms Festival’s associated island charity ‘Independent Arts’ who use the arts to improve well-being, quality of life and to reduce social isolation on the Isle of Wight, since 1987 The Wight Proms Festival will take place on 9-18 August 2024 Fri 9th – Dance: ANTHEMS IBIZA ORCHESTRA Sat 10th – Wight at the Musicals, with stars of the West End and Broadway: ◦

Independent Arts pleased to be the charity partner of Wight Proms again2024-05-13T14:44:06+01:00

New Celebrating Spring Exhibition at Independent Arts


A new exhibition and incredible window displays are about to emerge at Independent Arts Creative Hub at 48 High Street, Newport. The arts for wellbeing charity are well known for their creative displays at the former retail unit, which showcase the outcomes of their projects for the public to see. Conveniently placed on the high street, many passers-by comment on how the windows cheer them up daily. The impact for those who help to make the art works is even greater. Some of the most vulnerable in our community rely on the various creative sessions delivered at the Creative Hub, to socialise, to try something new and to get support for a range of issues. “Themes of growth and regeneration are central to our work in the field of wellbeing, and our belief in promoting the value of self-care throughout the year. Spring can be time for optimism, hope and rebirth, as the natural world around us bursts with new life.” Says Kerry Tindall, Head of Arts at the charity. Participants have explored these themes and ideas through the mediums of painting, collage, sculpture and weaving, creating some beautiful contributions to this exhibition. Creative staff, volunteers and year 6 pupils from Barton Primary School in Newport have also contributed creative responses to celebrate the season of Spring. Participants involved in making the displays include older people through Monday’s Creative Café, adults attending Wellbeing Café on Thursdays, children and adults who attend Tuesdays intergenerational Make and Create sessions, plus pupils from Barton Primary School. The exhibition has been supported and curated with the help of artist volunteer - Melissa Penn, Creative Assistant, Evie Clarke and Principal Projects Artist, Joanne Rigby. This Easter school holidays, Independent Arts are able to offer Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) funded places for young people aged 11-16 years, who are eligible for free school meals. The 4-hour sessions are free and will involve a range of exciting creative activities linked to nature and include a healthy lunch and snacks. Places are limited and filling fast, so if you’d like to book a place on from April 2nd to 12th do call 01983 822437 or email [email protected] After school activities aimed at secondary school pupils/college students who’d welcome support for their mental health and wellbeing whilst learning new skills also have places available on Thursdays – with a wide range of artists leading the sessions. Called ArtsLab, enquiries again to [email protected].

New Celebrating Spring Exhibition at Independent Arts2024-03-15T14:00:12+00:00

Three years funding secured for Creative Hub in Newport


Independent Arts, the creative health charity for the Isle of Wight have been awarded three years grant funding from Reaching Communities. The grant will secure the future of the Creative Hub at 48/49 High Street, Newport, where more than 100 vulnerable residents of all ages enjoy a wide range of arts-based activities six days a week. Independent Arts pioneered the use of arts-based activities to support all kinds of health problems more than 35 years ago. Nowadays, especially since the Covid pandemic, the benefits of such activities in helping people to connect and express themselves is widely understood by health professionals and artists alike. Chief Executive Lisa Gagliani MBE said, “This funding couldn’t have come at a more crucial time when more people than ever need access to a safe place to talk, to craft or make music with each other and make connections. Loneliness is a huge problem across the Island for so many, across all ages, so we’re delighted to be able to stay open, including Saturdays from March.” The grant can only be spent on activities at the Creative Hub, leaving the charity stillwith lots of fundraising to do for all the SingAbout sessions around the island, the schools-based sessions that help children to learn skills for life and to provide lots of sessions to help residents with advanced dementia in residential care homes. For the Creative Hub, the grant will fund an Operations Manager, a Programme Support Officer and several of the sessions that are offered throughout the week, led by local artist practitioners who are paid on agreed freelance rates. These sessions include Creative Café on Mondays, Make and Create on Tuesdays, Wellbeing Café on Thursday and Chess Craft on Saturdays. Since being awarded the grant, the charity has recruited the team to continue the support to the local community: Hub Operations Manager - Ralph Ridler has been appointed to this role with immediate effect. Ralph joined Independent Arts in 2020 as Community Fundraiser, where he has secured the support of several businesses, wrote local successful grant applications, ran matched funding campaigns and delivered on events such as Wight Proms, Ventnor Fringe and Cowes Fringe. Programme Support Officer - Ali Atkinson joined in June last year as a Hub Coordinator. She now steps up her role to three days a week – to ensure that the impact the charity makes is properly recorded and shared. Also secured partially by the Reaching Communities grant together with another grant from SNG, is the part time role continuation position of Creative Project Assistant for Evie Clarke, who joined the charity in the autumn thanks to the Breakthrough scheme via Artswork. This means that Evie will be staying on with extra responsibility for the new Arts Lab project that will enable up to 15 young people to become arts for wellbeing champions. Due to Ralph's change in direction, appointed Matt Hitt has been appointed as Community Development Manager, who will be joining mid-March. Matt has a strong arts

Three years funding secured for Creative Hub in Newport2024-02-20T11:56:52+00:00

Barton Primary School and Newport Residential Care Home Excel in Poetry Together Campaign


Barton Primary School students, under the guidance of Independent Arts, enthusiastically participated in the Poetry Together campaign, producing work that has been recognised as one of the winning entries. Their exceptional contribution secured a prestigious £250 book voucher for the school. Poetry Together, championed by acclaimed author, broadcaster, and poetry enthusiast Giles Brandreth, along with the late Queen, has been a beacon for literary expression and intergenerational connections. Her Majesty, Queen Camilla, an avid supporter of literacy, emphasises the importance of literacy projects and activities for older individuals this year actively participated in a Poetry Together Tea Party, joining primary and secondary schools, care homes, and intergenerational clubs. During the event, she recited the opening lines from 'Matilda' by Hilaire Belloc alongside local children from Knightsbridge School. The campaign garnered over 400 entries, with 14 outstanding contributions receiving recognition, including Barton Primary School. For a complete list of winners, please visit Poetry Together Winners Page. As part of the campaign, children under 18 and those aged 70 and above were invited to write a poem based on a theme, at most 14 lines. Residents from Newport Residential Care Home drew inspiration from Rockey, the cat, and a beautiful blue bird. Barton School's poems were centred around themes of Happiness and Nature, with the children incorporating expressive gestures and actions into their performances. Lynne Rose, Manager at Newport Residential, expressed her delight on winning the National Poetry event, extending gratitude for the collaborative effort with Barton Primary School. Independent Arts Practitioner Glenn Koppany shared, "Fantastic news about the prize!! They were really interesting sessions to do, and we had some good discussions. One of the participants, who came every week, would write a few lines for each session, but at the end, he would always rub them out, and he would often cry when I asked him about what he wrote. But by the end, we had a really nice little poem. Well done to Kerry for the great video; please pass on my thanks." Independent Arts extends sincere thanks to the pupils and staff of Barton Primary School and the staff and residents of Newport Residential Care Home along with our Practitioner Glenn Koppany for their invaluable contributions to this poetic celebration. Special recognition goes to Nicola Ward and Kerry Tindall for their leadership and dedication in guiding this project on behalf of Independent Arts.

Barton Primary School and Newport Residential Care Home Excel in Poetry Together Campaign2024-02-20T12:25:34+00:00

Freshwater Bay Golf Club Raises £4,064.76 To Support Arts For Health


Members of Freshwater Bay Golf Club, led by club captain Gary Dobson, recently presented a cheque for £4064.76 to island arts for health charity Independent Arts, after a successful year of fundraising. Nominated as the captain’s charity for 2023, Independent Arts were supported throughout the year by various members events, open competitions, charity days, and individual fundraising feats by members of the club. The final push saw golfers purchase over £500s worth of raffle tickets at the Christmas lunch and cheque presentation evening, raising the total donated to over £4000. Many club led events took place over the course of 2023, including the clubs charity day, which itself raised over £1,800, in addition to many club members taking on their own fundraising challenges, including Steve Orchard and Paul Swain walking a 35 mile route between Independent Arts community SingAbout venues, to celebrate Independent Arts 35 th anniversary. Club captain for 2023, Gary Dobson, said of the fundraising success: “It was an honour to be Captain of Freshwater Bay Golf Club for 2023, and I am very proud that the Club managed to raise so much for a fantastic charity, special thanks to Steve Orchard and Paul Swain for their exceptional fundraising efforts.” The money raised will support Independent Arts in continuing their mission to reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing through the arts, delivering from their Newport based Creative Hub, in the community across the Isle of Wight, and directly to care home residents. Independent Arts Chief Executive, Lisa Gagliani MBE, said; “Partnerships and charity of the year fundraising are a vital part of our community fundraising strategy, and with the support of Freshwater Bay Golf Club members raising unrestricted funds such as these, we can ensure that money is spent supporting those who are most vulnerable, most isolated, which is what Independent Arts do best.”

Freshwater Bay Golf Club Raises £4,064.76 To Support Arts For Health2024-02-21T12:29:24+00:00

‘Infinite Skies’ a beautiful homage to brighten your day and lift your mood


Embark on a visual journey with the latest exhibition, a stunning multi-media collection crafted by participants during 2023 workshops at Independent Arts Creative Hub. Drawing inspiration from Constable's profound fascination with the ever-changing skies, this exhibition captures the diverse moods and poetry of the celestial canvas. Independent Arts is a small island-based creative health charity. From their Creative Hub on Newport High Street, the charity offers a wide range of projects aimed at supporting those with complex vulnerabilities to benefit from arts based activities and companionship through mutual creativity. During 2023, the charity helped to facilitate the visit of John Constable’s ‘The Cornfield’ (1826) original painting to Newport, where it was displayed for 6 days by The National Gallery at Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council’s building at 64 High Street. More than 2,500 residents saw the iconic painting during the week in May and Independent Arts were part of the official community engagement process that followed. The visit certainly inspired a lot of creativity and as a result Independent Arts have curated Infinite Skies to showcase the response and has drawn influences of other artists too, such as Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project (2003) exhibited at the Tate’s Turbine Hall. Art work and poetry is displayed showcasing creativity thriving from young and old alike on the Isle of Wight. Regular participants from Creative Café, Mindful Moments and Sandown Art Club have their artwork on display. Supported by professional artists Trudie Wilson, Lou Elliot and the charity’s talented in-house team Joanne Rigby, Kerry Tindall and Evie Clarke and volunteer artist Melissa Penn, the exhibition has been lovingly created from a mixture of mediums. ‘Infinite Skies’ will be on show until Friday 23rd February. Entry is free, and you're invited to experience the exhibition's magic at Independent Arts, The Creative Hub, 48 High Street, Newport, from Monday to Friday, 10:00 - 4:30 pm. Donations, whatever you can spare, helps the charity to do more to support vulnerable residents through arts based activities.

‘Infinite Skies’ a beautiful homage to brighten your day and lift your mood2024-01-19T11:10:20+00:00

Big Give Ageing Artfully


Independent Arts have been chosen to take part in the well known Big Give Christmas Challenge again this year. The online campaign which lasts just one week, starts at 12 noon on Giving Tuesday, 28th November and enables donations to the Island based small charity to be matched double – making twice the impact. This year, with funding for all charities very much squeezed, Independent Arts is asking supporters to consider giving to their Ageing Artfully campaign because it will mean that donations are doubled. Lisa Gagliani, chief executive says, “We understand that everyone has cut back on spending this year, everything has gone up. This is a way for supporters to say thank you, without it costing a lot, and it will mean that weekly services for older people here in our community who have come to rely on their weekly hit of SingAbout, Dance Makers or Creative Café, can continue.” The charity has secured £4,500 worth of funding already, from WightFibre and The Reed Foundation, but it will only be able to access these funds if the public unlocks them through giving during the campaign. The campaign runs for exactly seven days to 12 noon on 5th December, but the charity hopes that most supporters will give early from 12 noon on 28th November as once the money is matched, the donations won’t be doubled. Donate now .

Big Give Ageing Artfully2023-11-28T11:51:27+00:00

Care home residents showcase their artwork in collaborative exhibition


Creative Health charity Independent Arts is celebrating age this Autumn with a special mixed media art exhibition created by residents from 13 care homes across the Island during the past year. On display are works inspired by Monet’s ‘Waterlilies’, Matisse, painted seascapes, a sensory garden, along with modern sculpture, photographs, textiles, ceramics, and mosaics. The unique exhibition was curated by the charity’s team Nicola Ward, Kerry Tindall and Jo Rigby to showcase the amazing talent of both residents and the dedication of professional arts practitioners who supported them, Kirstie Hayler, Lou Elliott, Miranda Amapola and Davina Smith. “Last time we displayed art created by care home residents everyone was hugely inspired and this time our elders have done it again!” says chief executive Lisa Gagliani. “It’s simply amazing how taking part in some form of creative activity can unlock hidden talent - along with happy memories. We can all learn something from this this poignant reflection of creative ageing.” Independent Arts delivers music and crafts to more than 30 care homes across the Isle of Wight. Called ‘Workshops for Wellbeing’ these paid-for workshops are more than simply entertaining activities for elderly residents, with a focus on wellbeing and reminiscence of happy memories. In the past year alone 10,600 care home residents enjoyed one or more activities delivered by Independent Arts through their 20 highly skilled and vetted professional arts practitioners. The Island-only charity also offers bespoke one to one art workshops to residents who are elderly, have dementia or to adults with learning difficulties. Anyone can visit the Exhibition, which is open Monday to Friday 10am-4.30pm and on Saturdays 12-2pm at Independent Arts Creative Hub, 48/49 High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1SE. Entrance is free, but donations are very much appreciated by cash, debit card or monthly standing order. For more information about the services Independent Arts provides to Island care homes, visit

Care home residents showcase their artwork in collaborative exhibition2024-03-15T14:12:04+00:00

Isle of Wight’s Young Visionaries Unite Science and Art in Wavelength


Wavelength, a year-long project, has taken the Isle of Wight's young talents aged 7 to 13 on an exciting journey at the intersection of arts and science. This innovative initiative unfolded in six local schools, offering students a golden opportunity to partake in a series of funded workshops. These workshops ignited the sparks of curiosity, bridging the gap between science and artistic creativity. Guided by the fascinating world of science and the tireless dedication of Isle of Wight's scientists, Wavelength's exhibition showcased a spectrum of captivating experiences. From the mesmerizing art of Japanese marbling to the replication of cells in petri dishes, to the enchanting exploration of flight through a parliament of owls, this project is a testament to the boundless potential of young minds. Witness the captivating journey where science and art seamlessly merge, providing a platform for Isle of Wight's budding talents to shine. Don't miss the exciting developments from Wavelength, where innovation knows no boundaries. To find out more about Wavelength projects speak to Kerry [email protected] A short film showing project visits to the Wight Aviation Museum and and Museum of Island History A short film showing school children using UV torches to paint with light A fun Arts and Science Day at our hub, exploring magnetic energy A filmed tour of our first Wavelength public exhibition Second Wavelength public exhibition

Isle of Wight’s Young Visionaries Unite Science and Art in Wavelength2023-10-12T12:02:56+01:00
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