Art4Space was formed by a group of three artists and teachers, Julie Norburn, Elinor Seath and Danielle Lees-Smith.
The group identified the need to extend the use of community arts to address social, educational and health issues. In 1999 the three partners brought their skills and knowledge together to work on a collaborative art project with the pupils to create a mural for a playground in a School in Kingston. The success of this project and the drive of the three partners led to the beginnings of Art4Space supported by a grant from the Prince’s Trust to help with business start- up costs.
During the first years of the business Art4Space focused on school projects, running participatory workshops for the pupils creating mosaics and painted murals for their playground. At this time the competitive market was small. Art4Space built up a strong reputation and developed the skills and knowledge which formed the basis of the unique style of Art4Space. Art4Space ‘Create, Connect. Inspire.
In 2001 Art4Space joined Stockwell Studios, an artist collective. This gave Art4Space a base to operate from. Being part of the collective opened up further development opportunities and it was the start of Art4Space becoming embedded in the Stockwell community. Between 2001 and 2009 Art4Space built up their portfolio of work and developed a strong 10 year working relationship with Canalside Housing Partnership in Hackney, running community art projects for their residents whilst a major regeneration of the estates was taking place.
In 2009 Art4Space moved into a larger studio and set up a Community Arts Centre, this transformed the business as we were now able to run workshops in our own space and develop our own programme of activities as well as continuing our outreach work.
We celebrated our 10 year anniversary; it was a proud moment for us and a great opportunity to get old clients and service users together.
In 2011 Art4Space set up as a NOCN (National Open College Network) Centre and developed a course funded by The Walcot Foundation in ‘Employability and Community Art’ a free course for unemployed, low income, Lambeth residents. This was the largest grant received by Art4Space and marked a move for the business into more sustainable funding.