Looking back at Inviting the Neighbours Around to Paint

01/12/2016 | Finding Maindee, Arts, Reviews

During the October half term 2016 we witnessed the spectacle on Chepstow Road that was 'Inviting the neighbours around to paint.' In this blog article we look back on how a group of artists - Marega, Marion, Bill, Art Rat, Barrie and Steve - took a stand for art.


They were courageous to commit to 5 days outside in a cold late October and brave to chose a spot on Chepstow Road that has long associations with street drinking and drug-taking. As one local young man said, this group of artists were rewarded by meeting the 'real people of Maindee.' Though this activity week of activities centred on painting the UK-wide October Big Draw Festival the physical space outside allowed old-fashioned technology like the mechanical processes of print making and a chance to consider mathematics through pattern-making. Taking this approach outside takes guts and it really helped people tap into their creativity and ability to connect with each other.

Review of Arts Council of Wales Conference 2016 ‘Common Goals’

28/11/2016 | Arts, Learning, Reviews

The Arts Council of Wales [ACW] held their annual conference on 17th November 2016 at the Cardiff City Stadium. This review of Common Goals comes from the perspective of Marion Webber. Marion [pictued below with artist Owen Griffiths] was one of our New Paths artists and more recently has started a new role with Community House to coordinate the 1,000 voices projects. We are very grateful that she is such a very fast transcriber or we would be able to present this perspective of the day!

 Marion with Owen Griffiths

The conference included speakers such as Ken Skates AM and workshops led by a group of practitioners from across the World.  The day was introduced by Dr Phil George, who this year became the Chair of Arts Council of Wales [ACW].  This review begins with the first speaker Ken Skates AM – the Minister at Welsh Government whose role includes responsibility for arts and culture. 

Open now - exhibition of Maindee Festival Posters

12/11/2016 | Finding Maindee, Arts, Reviews

Last night the exhibition of Maindee Festival posters opened at the Riverfront. The evening was a valuable and very enjoyable chance for many of the people involved in the story of the festival to come together and celebrate.

Festival posters

Ingrid Wilson set the scene by taking us back to Newport in 1997 – the year of the first Maindee Festival. Local government had just been re-organised and Newport was a Borough rather than a city. Ingrid explained that the newly-formed Newport Borough Council made some important changes about how to work with the community in Maindee. She said that:  

“Brian Selby was retiring after nearly 30 years as Youth and Community Warden at Community House on the Corporation Road side of Maindee and Sue Bidmead – partnered with Monis Muflahi - had been appointed as Council Community Development Worker based in the building.”

Both Sue and Monis were at the gathering last night – with the former bringing some of the posters which were missing from the selection of original posters, photos and press releases that Sarah Goodey had prepared. 

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