Anna Waters on Artisan Avenue
From artist ANNA WATERS
Artisan Avenue got underway in November 2019.
Fellow artist Tom Sloan and I had the intention of running arts-based projects locally to increase the wellbeing of participants and contribute to a raising of the artistic identity of the town. Both of us understand the enormous value and impact that our creativity has brought to our own lives and wanted to increase opportunities for others to enhance their lives in similar ways.
I’ve worked for many years with the VC Gallery in Haverfordwest doing something similar, and if not for health reasons, would have embarked on an arts practice MA (art, health and wellbeing) at the University of South Wales, now postponed until September.
That November, we set about clearing a space we’d been given as a base on the lower ground floor of Rembrandt Jewellers, Tenby. We had a large project idea, in conjunction with Tenby Museum, in the planning when Covid hit… something that will have to remain on the back-burner for now.
Tom faced the joys and challenges of home-schooling and I looked to see what creative project we could get underway in the limited circumstances… many artists had started to offer online workshops, and TV programmes such as Grayson’s Art Club were encouraging creativity…
I wanted to see the results of the collective encouragement on our community and so invited everyone who lives or works in Tenby and its outlying villages to share their creativity via our Facebook page… a trickle became a stream and we were invited to share to the Tenby Observer on a fortnightly basis… this further increased connectivity and involvement.
We’ve shared and celebrated a diverse range of creativity from people of all abilities: paintings, poetry, drawings, photography, digital art, embroidery, journaling, model-making, tapestry… The project has been a privilege to run and brought a community of creatives together. The project continues and will continue for the foreseeable future.
A Tenby Shares exhibition is in the planning, and work with refugees at Penally Camp and the wider community has presented an opportunity for us all to show our support for new friends. Please see below for how you might join us.
A full-time, professional artist, Anna works and lives in Pembrokeshire. When not at home, she can generally be found in the company of fellow artists, sketching and painting: “As Pembrokeshire brims with beauty, I don’t have to travel far to be inspired: sunsets, stormy skies and even snow bring magical transformations to our vast sandy beaches, rock formations, cliffs and coves: serving up a lifetime of wonderment for any artist.”