Art For Fun and Art For Fun at Anchor House are 2 community art groups in the Newham area that meet weekly. We aim to provide a safe supportive and social meeting space for the vulnerable in Beckton and Canning Town, thus addressing issues around health and loneliness as well as skills through the practice and development of art and crafts skills.
Group 1 is at St Marks Church and Community Centre, Tollgate Road, Beckton. We meet every Thursday from 11am to 1pm. There is a weekly fee of £1.00.
Group 2 is situated in Anchor House Hostel for the Homeless, Canning Town. We meet every Thursday afternoon from 2.30pm to 6pm Both groups are open to the local community.
The groups are very diverse ethnically and educationally and attract both adults and children, reaching out to the lonely, the vulnerable, the socially deprived, the marginalized, those involved in the disability sector either through physical or learning difficulties or mental health issues, the homeless. The supportive environment of the groups provides opportunities for everyone to develop as artists or craft makers. The groups are nurturing and provide opportunities for socializing, for friendship, and above all for support.
THE ART DINOSAUR
When I was at school back in the Triassic period I was one of those kids who were "good at art" and it has remained a life-long interest. Over the years I have been involved with various art groups and community art projects where I've come across people with real potential. When I've spoken with them about the possibility of displaying their work or even selling some of it they usually look at me as if I'm crazy. Who would be interested in them and their amateur daubs? To many people the "art world" consists of two extremes- the East London community art class or the National Portrait Gallery. There's doesn't seem to be any inbetween and in many respects they are absolutely correct. A few years ago I was really struggling financially so I grabbed a couple of my own paintings and spent a week touring London's well known street markets and small independent galleries. The "antique shops" were interested in my work and some said they liked it but could I strike a deal with them regarding the display of my work with a view to selling it? I suggested they could hang my work on their wall and sell it for whatever they could get. All I wanted was £20 per painting, they could keep the rest. If they didn't manage to sell the work I would simply come back and collect it. No takers. As for the small private galleries they didn't even want to look at my work and couldn't get me out of there quick enough! But not before I had taken note of their sterile white gloss and chrome environment and the overpriced bland work they had on display.