Artcore December Newsletter 2020

Artcore December Newsletter 2020

A message from Artcore:

December is here and we hope that you are all safe and well and hopefully starting to get into the festive spirit.

November was by no means a quiet month for us and even in lockdown, we managed to find plenty to keep us busy and connected with people. From multiple interactive zoom and Facebook Live sessions to our brand new creative kits, we have been working hard to make sure as many people have access to arts and crafts, especially in the wintery lead up to Christmas.

The team have been alternating between working from home and working from the office to ensure we remain as safe as possible. This sometimes presents us with challenges but has also provided various opportunities including our motivational mornings on a Friday, where this month, we have seen things like brownies baking and wonderful Diwali sweets being made!

Looking forward to next month and what December brings, we will be focusing on Festive Creations, from Christmas gnomes to paper decorations, we've got a fantastic line up to keep everybody creative this Christmas!


The recent COVID-19 measures regarding lockdown and tier system have somewhere altered our physical plans for Artcore's festive programmes. Having said this, we do appreciate the urgent measures that have been applied by the government as in the long run they will prove beneficial for Derby residents. And we as a part of the civil society can return to normalcy as soon as possible. But for now, we at Artcore will not be able to conduct our physical programmes. During COVID19 isolation we are taking our activities online to not feel isolated and continue to connect with our community and support your well-being through creativity. Our team is in fact working twice as hard to connect with everyone digitally. You can log on to our webpage to receive an update about our programmes. We will of course continue to update our audiences and artists regarding any positive developments.

Stay safe! Stay connected!

Ruchita Shaikh: CEO Artcore

In Memoriam:

Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill.
- Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

The global pandemic has had a huge impact on communities and in response Artcore is inviting artists based in the East Midlands to be a part of this project by making postcard-sized artworks.

The idea is to paint or draw, paste a collage or a photograph, write a poem or a prose text – whatever leaves the artist with a sense of closure, of emotional relief, of expressing what they have been unable to do so as yet.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 13th December and you should apply on Curatorspace -

We will send selected artists an art pack, and they can use any form of expression. A virtual exhibition and the contributions will be exhibited at Artcore Gallery as a circle of embrace that we hope will bring together so many of us with a shared sense of loss and help us come to terms with our life from now onwards.

We will auction the work in a ‘silent auction’, with 50% of the proceeds going to the artists, and 50% to support Artcore in continuing our ‘In Our Thoughts’ project, working with our communities to support them through the pandemic.

Circling the Square - Visions of an Unmade City:

Callout for Artists in Residence

“The truth is that man has an uncanny faculty of adapting himself to new conditions. He learns to admit and even, in a sneaking sort of way, to like new and strange forms. The new form is at first repugnant, but if it has any real vitality and justification it becomes a friend.” - Frederick Etchells, from the introduction to Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

We are looking for two early career artists to take up supported residencies with Artcore responding to the title ‘Circling the Square – Visions of an Unmade City’.

To apply visit or check:

Cabin Fever:

Callout for Artists in Residence

“Cabin fever (noun) a state characterised by anxiety, restlessness, and boredom, arising from a prolonged stay in a remote or confined place.”

As a result of the first and now second lockdown, many of us have had to spend time in isolation and confined in our homes, and we’d like artists to respond to this theme by literally taking up residence in our cabin in Derby City Centre.

Artcore’s Gallery, in the centre of Derby, faces onto Osnabruck Square, named after Derby’s German twin town of Osnabrück, in which there are three ‘cabins’, small retail units that operated as a café, a flower stall and a newsagent. We have the use of the former newsagent, and a budget for artists to take up residence in it for a month at a time between December 2020 and June 2021.

To apply visit or check:

Artists Talk:

On December 2nd at 5pm Artcore Gallery hosted an artists talk with Kelly O’Brien & Thomas Wynne and Artcore’s Programme Producer David Gilbert. Their residency is titled ‘Present Tense, Future Perfect?’.

Kelly and Tom were selected for the current residency at Artcore and started researching and making work at the beginning of October. They are developing work for exhibition – launching online in December and in Artcore Gallery early in the New Year. Through the residency, we wanted to give these two artists the opportunity to make new work dealing with the tensions caused by the current uncertainty and looking forward to a brighter future. Both artists are interested in alternative realities and fictional possibilities.

The artists talked about the work they are developing for an exhibition launching online in December and to be shown at Artcore Gallery early in the New Year.

Online Shop:

Last minute Christmas gifts? Got it! Secret Santa? Perfect! Fancy just treating yourself? We've got you covered!

This month, we launched our band new Craftcore shop where we have a brilliant range of new arts and crafts kits available for you to buy online. We have watercolour starter kits, Christmas card making kits for adults and children, a gorgeous decoupage kit plus a cute felt Christmas decoration making kit which is perfect for getting creative as a family!

Head over to our online shop and take a look at our kit selection online. You can select click & collect or postage. We are constantly updating the shop too, so keep your eyes peeled for new stuff going online all the time!

Here is the link to the shop:

Festive Raffle:

This year, to spread some festive cheer we are holding an online Festive Raffle where people have the chance to win some fantastic, festive prizes!

Tickets cost £5 and with every ticket purchased, it enables us to support people from all backgrounds and communities with a variety of materials, craft kits and workshops to engage with arts and crafts. The money we raise from the raffle will ensure that we can carry on providing these creative opportunities for many more people.

We have a selection of prizes including chocolates, biscuits, a Fitbit and then fabulous festive hamper worth over £100!

Tickets are still on sale and can be bought via BACs transfer or via PayPal.

Due to an incredible influx of prizes, we have decided to give you all an extra week to buy tickets! We will now hold the draw at 4pm on Friday 18th December!

Festive Creations - December Programme:

Sign up for our fantastic December activities at Artcore. From Christmas gnomes to paper decorations, we've got a fantastic line up to keep you creative this Christmas!

Sign up here:

AEL Community Art Classes:

Our month of festival celebrations with Kathryn Borg have been busy. Participants made Rangoli patterns with rice and sand, diya candle holders with air drying clay and Christmas stars.

In December Dawn Campion will be leading the textile sessions, making festive Christmas gnomes and pinecone animals.

AEL Children's Art Classes:

The children had fun designing Thank You Pudsey Children in Need cards and Magical Houses out of jam jars and jumping clay with Magdalena Aron.

In December puppet maker and paper craft artist Connie Burley will be leading Christmas Craft Sessions making pop up cards, angels and Christmas trees.

#stayconnected Packs:

We have 30 Christmas Art Kits to giveaway this December! Register before 15th December to receive them in time for Christmas!
Stay creative this Christmas!

Sign up here:

Facebook Live #stayconnected:

#stayconnected Monday Mindful Moments at 11.30am with Life Coach and Radio DJ Pam Sidhu and Friday Motivational Morning Show and Tell at 10am. Start and end the week well on Artcore Facebook Live in December!

You can still watch our previous Mindful Moments with Pam Sidhu here:

You can still watch our previous Show and Tell videos here: - David Gilbert - Bhabhinder Kaur Gill - Emily Staton - Ruchita Shaikh - Caroline Backhouse

Beginning to Become:

There's still places on our Beginning to Becoming Craft Course. If you are unemployed, live in Derbyshire and over 16 then get intouch!

This month our B2B participants have been doing embroidery with textile artist Dawn Campion. Learning the art of applique and hand stitching to make embellished canvas bags.

Next month we will be doing mosaic coasters with mosaic artist Magdalena Aron and our December Guest Speaker is painter Sarah Perkins. Sarah is well known in Derby for her pet portraiture and beautiful wildlife scenes. She made the leap from being a police officer to full time artists, and our participants are keen to hear her inspirational journey.

Find out more:

In Our Thoughts:

Over November we launched our In our Thoughts Postcard Competition. We're extending the deadline until the 18th December so there's still chance to download yours and send to a friend. Don't forget to snap your picture and send into us in order to win a prize.

Over January will be distributing ‘In Our Thoughts’ Memories packs to people who have experienced loss as a result of the pandemic and encouraging community members to contribute in creating a memorial. Creatively sharing their thoughts and memories of the loved ones they have lost, to form a part of a virtual memorial and culminate into a showcase in 2021.

To sign up and for more:

Shape Your Future:

This week the Horizons Shape your Future class will be working with print maker Nicki Dennett. Over 10 weeks they will be doing monoprints, gelli prints and lino cut to make printed books using mixed print techniques.

Christmas Party:

Friday 18th December - Time 4.30pm - 6pm

Get out your Christmas jumper and grab those reindeer ears! It's our annual Christmas party celebrating everything we've done in 2020!

RSVP by Friday 11th December by emailing to receive your party pack!

Volunteers of the Month:

Samira Rashid and Zahrah Alkumaim have been volunteering with Artcore as part of our In our Thoughts project. They have worked tirelessly along side Linda Foot to produce materials packs to hand out to participants. Week by week they have come and always have a cheerful attitude!

A big thank you Samira and Zahrah!

YouTube Channel:

Missed our facebook lives?
You can catch up everything on our Youtube channel to view at your leisure!


Please donate to Artcore

Times are very uncertain at the moment, but despite having to shut our doors to the public, we are still working hard to reach out to the people who need us the most.
We are delivering packs of art materials and running Stay Connected workshops for people who feel isolated and older people in care homes. We are making online resources for young people and families. We've even been running sessions on Facebook, Zoom and You Tube.

Can you help us to Stay Connected with people through creativity? A small donation to Artcore could make a difference to the well-being of people who really needs a creative boost at the moment.

Help Artcore to spread the joy of creativity! Just £10 would cover the cost of a person being able to participate in one of our courses.

Thank you for your support.


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