Saturday, 27 November 2010

Join me (if you think you're hard enough)

Doing some quick research I came across this extremely helpful downloadable pack which details all the ins and outs of setting up and executing a project within an unused retail space, written by the Empty Shops Network:

Empty Shops Toolkit 2010

Take a look if you want to get an idea of the scale of the project. It's going to involve a lot of hard work and I'm looking to collaborate with people who are willing to seriously dedicate themselves. Obviously this isn't going to earn us any money so contributions can be very part-time (I intend to carry on working full-time throughout the organisation process), but hopefully with a team of concentrated and talented people working on it when we can the CAA is an achievable goal.

As the project develops roles will change and new ones will emerge. At the moment the focus has to be primarily on research, planning, funding and more research.

Please get in touch if you want to be involved in this stage of the CAA, especially detailing particularly areas you think you could perform well in or would like to gain experience of. No need for C.V.s but I'd love to know why you're interested in the project, your own ambitions and where you think you could fit in to the CAA. Email:

Then the ball shall roll.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Basically, what I thought was...

I have a few thoughts humming around about the type of things that could happen at the CCA. Here are some dribblings...

'I Can't Draw' Drawing Classes- drawing sessions aimed at people who say they can't draw (and those that think they can) where everything you thought you knew will be unlearned and new avenues to take our pens and pencils down will be explored. Drawing games, observation challenges, collaboration and questioning- what is a good drawing?

An exhibition curated, organised and generally devised by a team of local school pupils- I hope to be able to approach a school or sixth form so that a volunteer could work with a group of their students to give them a chance to put on a real exhibition and gain some experience etc. Need to work out the finer details of this... would be great to talk to anyone involved in Secondary education.

Mini-Lectures- I'd like to get in touch with lecturers, PhD students, local professionals and anyone else who'd like to be involved to programme a series of short (say 20-30 minutes) lectures. Topics and themes could be very wide ranging, from specific moments in art history to the role of art and culture during a recession. I think it would be good to have a mixture of all sorts.

Got any ideas for events/classes/talks etc that could work at the CCA? Get in touch: leave a comment or email

Monday, 22 November 2010


Welcome to The Common Academy of Art blog.

I'm glad you're here because I've got something exciting to tell you about. There's going to be a mini art academy opening in Brighton for just one week sometime in 2011, and you won't have to pay any tuition fees to attend! In fact, the whole thing will be completely free.

However, at the moment this micro-institution of creative abundance, or Common Academy of Art (as I am currently calling it) is just a collection of frantic ideas and excitement collected in the head of a young Brighton citizen. This blog is where I will try, with the help of willing contributors, to whip these ideas into a frenzy of proactive organisation with the eventual result of the CAA coming into resplendent being.

Some essential elements, themes and criteria of the project as I envision it are:
- Free to access for all.
- Learning through creativity and creativity through learning for volunteers and visitors.
- Community engagement.
- Not for profit.
- Sustainable and ethical at every stage.

Key areas of work:
- Funding and finance.
- Premises.
- Volunteers.
- Programme co-ordination.
- Promotions and marketing.
- Having a lovely time.

If this seems like the kind of project you or anyone you know would like to be involved in, in the biggest or smallest of ways, please keep an eye on this blog for updates and leave a comment with any thoughts, contact details or praise.
If you have any particular skills that could be of use, or you would like to gain experience of a particular area, please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you. Let's do this!