PROGRESSION: Northfield Arts Forum

Further to my proposal post Longbridge and Community, I took along my proposal to met Olly from NAF on Monday 10th October.

Whilst NAF couldn’t help me with my community car art plan for the Longbridge Light Festival, Olly did have more help to give than I had ever dreamed possible.

On presenting my proposal to create a public ‘art car’ Olly announced he had actually wanted to do this for a while, that if I would like, I may oversee 3 more ‘Art Car’ productions over the next year, at designated NAF events, with the final display possibly being at Northfield carnival/parade.

For me, this is a dream come true, that NAF embraced my community spirit instantly, my ideas and not only that but appreciated them enough to want my help in reproducing them for the benefit of a wider community, took my breath away. Obviously I have accepted his proposal and await details of the first event 🙂 This not only keeps me working in the community arena but also gives me set goals, to make each car I oversee the public design of, can get that much better, who doesn’t enjoy a little practise? Also this will tie in beautifully throughout my second year and hopefully provide the evidence I need to prove I have created artwork(s) for exhibition in a public setting. 😀 I am super happy.

Alongside this, another NAF artist, asked myself, Marie, Natalia and Joy to form a core panel from which to help the creation of the next NAFZINE, this opportunity alone was amazing and of course we have taken on the challenge, we will be compiling a collection of works from local artists and creating  works of our own, meeting weekly to discuss the zine and the content, with the hopes of publishing in about 6-8 weeks time. There is an added bonus to this, as we may be put forward for the Gold Art Award too 🙂

The last thing that NAF offered us, was a complete takeover of their next planned meeting, the suggestion was for us to perhaps create a ‘Pop up gallery’ of ours and other works, and/or run a community art session. Either way my planner is booked for the evening of the 27th! UPDATE: The pop up gallery at NAFcafe actually transpired to be just me, lol. Unfortunately being so close to our hand in deadline no one else could release the time however I took a selection of my work, mainly from Beyond the Book. Dot/Dash. I received some wonderful comments about my work and I was very happy to hear such positivity regarding my art. The evening was pleasant and the next and last NAFcafe of the year, was cancelled but the dates will be firmly saved for this upcoming years NAFcafes!

I also helped out at Northfield on Ice which was fun, although a little overshadowed as I managed to loose my purse during the event! The team were so lovely and looked out for me and I felt the day was successful in spite of my monetary loss. I did receive a payment for the day too, which was nice and helped me recover a little of what I had lost. I spent the day dressed as Elsa from Frozen, and aided Lauren with her treasure hunt on the high street. We had an excellent turn out and everyone who took part had fun, that is all that can be asked of any community event.

I also attended a meeting at the Impact Hub in Digbeth, I met up with Olly and some other member of NAF. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting; a gathering of artists with plans for great things within the West Midlands, it was exciting to hear of other peoples plans and have the offer to aid them in completing their projects; I already feel so overwhelmed with what I am managing now that I honestly kept my mouth shut and did not volunteer for anything else, but I will attend future meetings with the intention of involving myself further in other arty things. I also spoke properly with Olly about the possibility of stretching NAFs legs out into Longbridge, Olly is firmly decided he wants to create the arts forum in each area of the city, so he is fully behind my request to add another branch to the network. He discussed that the possibility is available that we may use the Baptist Church as a base for a LAFCafe and other arty crafty things and is setting a meeting early this year to see about raising the funds required to get us started, knowing as well I can work with Prise of Longbridge is a big bonus, imagine the great things Longbridge can be a part of with the support available. He also has another person or two in this area who would be willing to help start up and keep running the Longbridge Arts Forum, we would obviously work with NAF and the other 10 wards who have already succeeded in creating the projects within their own areas, I am very excited to see this through! Watch this space 🙂

My claim to fame this year: Having my photograph on page 11 of Nafzine edition #3 dressed as Elsa and two of my poems published on pages 14 and 15! I am beyond pleased that I was allowed to submit something for the edition and totally grossed out at my picture in the Zine lol but hey ho, a small price to pay and I am looking forward to contributing to the next one! Here is the link to the Nafzine collection. Enjoy!

I also attended a community meeting over at Kings Norton Library with Guymar Soulman, editor and creator of NAFZine. This was a real eye opener, I learnt a lot about other community groups, what people wanted and how to access community funding. I am very confident that working with NAF for the foreseeable future will allow me to grow and mature into a community art position within a year or two. The support and guidance I have received so far and the unrivalled welcome they have thrown my way is simply breathtaking. I am truly amazed at how far I have come in a few short months, from pink haired, middle aged, not sure what i am doing with my life, freelance creative artistic type who writes poetry that no one ever gets to see, pretties everything that gets in my way and doesn’t look like it belongs there and a sort’ve roll with the punches attitude –  into a fully fledged car art creating, community artist in training, (with pink hair), and poetry out there for all to see. Amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

All in I am thrilled to have a chance to be so involved with NAF and their work, I am really looking forward to adding lots more to this post 🙂

 

 

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