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Acme and NFASP advise on studio models in Winchester


Acme Studios recently hosted a fact-finding visit for delegates from Winchester City Council, including Council Leader, George Beckett and arts organisations in Hampshire. The day-long visit began at Peckham Library with a presentation from Director of the National Federation of Artists’ Studios Providers (NFASP) Val Millington on successful models of studio development across England. Acme Studios’ Director Property Development, David Panton then spoke about Acme’s own experience before leading delegates on a tour of the Galleria to meet artists and hear first hand some of the challenges they face. The visit gave delegates concrete examples of successful studio models and will lead to the drawing up of a strategic policy on developing artists’ studios in Winchester.

As the leading studio development organisation in England, Acme regularly offers advice to studio groups and local authorities on all aspects of the acquisition, development and management of affordable space for artists and works closely with the NFASP to support the strategic development of the affordable studios sector. For more information on the range of support and advice Acme can offer, please see National Support, Advice & Resources. The NFASP is the professional membership body representing the interests of all those engaged in providing and developing affordable studio space for artists in the UK. For more information visit:

Janne Malmros in her studio and in exhibition


In October 2009, Janne Malmros began her year-long Adrian Carruthers Award in Childers Street, SE8. As the 2009-2010 recipient of the award, Janne receives a rent-free studio and £5,000 bursary. Created in memory of former Acme tenant and Slade School of Art graduate Adrian Carruthers who died in 2001, the award is designed to give selected graduates time and space to work on their practice in the year following a post-graduate qualification from the Slade School of Art. Now in its eighth year the award has provided invaluable support to artists at a key stage of their careers.

This opportunity has come at a perfect time for Janne who has recently had work in “objectretrieval” UCL (October 2009), “Impulsive Random Object Launch” Donlon Books, Cambridge Heath Road(10 October 2009) and “Interplay" Nolias Gallery (2 - 7 October 2009). Janne will be showing work at “Postgraduate Printmaking in London 2009: a survey of London art colleges” at 30th Floor Gallery, Canary Warf (December 2009 - February 2010). She is currently doing research in the Strang Print Room at UCL and using the Adrian Carruthers Studio to prepare for a show that opens on 8 January 2010 in I-myu Projects, EC2A.

Quebec artist brings graphic novel to Acme Project Space


Quebec artist Christian Quesnel will be exhibiting work created during his London residency at the Acme Project Space from 4 December to 13 December 2009. 'Hearts of Clay (Coeurs d'Argile)' explores the creation of a graphic novel about a house. This house, (also the home of the artist) is host to the broken dream of two lovers from western Quebec in the 1930s.

Visitors will be able to follow two stories: the romantic drama and the making of the graphic novel. Using antiques, photographs, letters, plans and archives from the 1930’s Christian Quesnel pieces together an engaging narrative about both the story and the process of its artistic creation.

This exhibition marks the end of Christian's six month London residency, funded by the Council of Arts and Letters, Quebec and managed by Acme Studios International Residencies Programme.

The exhibition will be open Thurs-Sun, 12pm-6pm. For more information, contact

Acme Studios / Royal College of Art collaborate on new curating course


In October 2009 the Royal College of Art added a new work-based pathway to their current MA Curating Contemporary Art. This two-year course, aimed at aspiring black, Asian and minority ethnic curators, offers a vocational and academic curriculum with a professional placement in a national gallery or museum. The thirteen students will collaborate on a project to showcase work by artists in receipt of an Acme residency or award. The resulting exhibition will be presented by the students at  the Acme Project Space in June 2010.

Leven Road studios shortlisted for prestigious Arts & Business Award


Acme Studios and Swan Housing Group have been shortlisted for the Lloyd’s A&B Innovation Prize which recognises “the most innovative and progressive partnerships of the last 18 months”. Acme’s Leven Road studios form part of the Atelier Court development in Poplar E14, the UK’s first 100 per cent affordable mixed-use development, which comprises social housing, part-buy part-rent units and 21 purpose-built artists’ studios. The inclusion of artists’ studios in the scheme provided the perfect solution as an alternative to business use on the site in East London. Swan appreciated that Acme could provide a ‘known outcome’, a low-risk return which would be 100 per cent continuously occupied from day one.

This ground-breaking project has now been shortlisted alongside three others including the National Theatre and Scottish Opera. Richard Ward, Chief Executive, Lloyd's said, “The successful partnerships that have been recognised demonstrate the importance of a cross-sector collaborative approach. They also confirm innovation as a key factor to achieve wider strategic objectives.”

Leven Road provides artists with high-quality, affordable studios, but also brings additional benefits to the development and the local area. Ray Clarke, Project Manager, Swan Housing Group said, “Acme’s artists’ studios have made the Leven Road community a vibrant yet stable development, and helped cement its position as a real part of the thriving Tower Hamlets community."

The winner will be announced at the 31st Arts & Business Awards on Thursday 12 November 2009 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. For more information about the Arts & Business Awards 2009, please visit:

For more information about the partnership project with Swan Housing, please visit:

Artists to get permanent studios on former toys factory site


Planning permission has been granted for 49 purpose-built artists’ studios as part of a landmark mixed-use development on the site of the former Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory in Homerton, E9. The development by Telford Homes Plc in partnership with Acme Studios, is located to the north of the main London 2012 Olympic Park, less than 200 metres from the International Broadcast Centre which will become a focus for creative industries after the Games. The development comprises 209 residential units which will become available for sale or as social housing, artists’ studios and commercial space for community, office and retail use. There will also be improved access to the River Lee Navigation with moorings for residential and commercial boats.

Acme has a long-standing commitment to public engagement and one of the studios will be devoted to the Hackney Studio Residency, an award for an artist whose work naturally involves local people. The studios are the final part of a major grant to Acme from Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts – capital programme, which will contribute towards the creation of 180 permanent affordable artists’ studios across London. Work is underway and the target completion date is July 2012. For more information, please see PRESS-RELEASE-Lesney-Matchbox-Toys

Acme IRP artists at the Acme Project Space


Three artists and a curator on international residencies managed by Acme Studios International Residencies Programme are currently exhibiting at the Acme Project Space. ‘Chance Meeting on a Drawing Table of a Zebra and a Meteorite’ includes installations and video by Margarida Gouveia from Portugal, sculptures by Tina Isabella Hild from Germany and drawings by Martin Karlsson from Sweden. The show is curated by Irene Mueller from Switzerland and runs Thursday to Sunday, 12pm – 6pm until 18 October. See below for information on the background to the exhibition and details of the artists involved.

South East London’s biggest studio building secure until 2028


A new lease has been agreed which will secure Acme’s Childers Street studios for another 20 years. The former ships' propeller foundry in Deptford, SE8 provides studios for over 100 artists and is Acme’s biggest single building and the largest affordable studio building in South East London.

As well as securing the existing studios, Acme’s new lease includes part of the ground floor of the building which was previously used as a warehouse by the landlords, Donovan Bros. Acme is currently exploring options to redevelop this space to provide up to 30 new studios. Acme Chief Executive Jonathan Harvey said, ‘Securing our largest single building until at least 2028 is hugely important,providing long-term security for current artist tenants and much-needed new space for artists on our waiting list. The new lease, which will be on the whole building, will be on a similar terms and will guarantee affordable rents can be maintained.’

Acme first established studios in the building in 1990 with support from London Borough of Lewisham, Greater London Arts, The Henry Moore Foundation and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation. In recent years, the area has established a strong reputation for the visual arts with the opening of new galleries and studios. The presence of affordable studios at Childers Street over the last 19 years has played a key role in establishing the area as a centre for the visual arts.

Childers Street Open Studios
The public will get a chance to see work by over 30 artists as well as seeing inside one of our major studio buildings. Studios will be open over the weekend and no appointment is necessary. The opening times are:

Friday 25 September - 6.00 - 10.00
Saturday 26 September - 11.00 - 6.00
Sunday 27 September - 11.00 - 6.00

For directions and details of the studio, please visit:

Revati Mann show opens at Acme Project Space


Revati Mann opens a solo exhibition at the Acme Project Space on 11 September. 'Re :ri: rm: hm: ha: h:i ho: hum:' features work created during Revati’s time as the Acme Adrian Carruthers Studio Award holder together with site-specific work that responds to the architecture of the Acme Project Space. Revati is the seventh recipient of the award for Slade graduates which was created in memory of the artist Adrian Carruthers, who died in October 2001 at the age of 40. The show runs Thursday to Sunday until 27 September. For more information, please see the attached pdf.

Supportive Work/Live programme at the Fire Station open for applicants


One of the UK's most directly supportive schemes for artists is now open for applications. Since 1997, more than 40 artists have benefitted from combined studio and living space at low rents as well as special bursaries. The converted Fire Station in Poplar, London, E14, offers 11 five-year work/live units at low rents and a two-and-a-half year residency with a bursary for a deaf or disabled artist. Applications are invited from all UK artists who meet the eligibility criteria. For further information, please visit Fire Station Work/Live.

Book launch and exhibition by Acme residency artist


A new artist's book, ‘Night Time’, brings together the images, stories and exchanges of Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre’s time as the Acme Southwark Studio Residency holder. The book will be launched at Camberwell Space on 9 September as part of a week-long exhibition celebrating conversations, public events, walks and rides, home visits and workshops with the people of Southwark over the last 18 months.

The Acme Southwark Studio Residency is a partnership project between Acme Studios, the South London Gallery and Southwark Council, which provides a selected artist with a rent-free studio and grant. ‘Night Time’ was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and will be available after the launch via Unbound -

For more information about the launch and exhibition, please see the attached flyer.

Two graduate artists receive free Acme studios


Recent graduates Janne Malmros and Sam Austen have been awarded free studios as part of two awards provided by Acme Studios.

Janne Malmros is the 8th recipient of the Adrian Carruthers Award, presented annually to MA students from The Slade School of Art. Beginning in October, Janne will receive a year’s free rent at the Adrian Carruthers Studio in Acme’s Childers Street studios. The award was established in memory of former Acme tenant and Slade School graduate Adrian Carruthers.

Sam Austen is the first recipient of the Chelsea Studio Award. Last year, Acme were approached by two students at Chelsea School of Art, Kiki Claxton and Harry Major, who were concerned about the lack of opportunities for graduate artists. Acme will provide Sam with a rent-free studio for six months in 2009-2010. The award is part of a series of prizes provided by different organisations keen to support emerging artists.

Oaks Park Artists Open Studios


Acme's Oaks Park studios in Sutton will be open to visitors this weekend (27 & 28 June, 11am - 5pm). A wide variety of art will be on display and the artists will be available to talk about their practice. The studios are situated in a public park with a cafe and free parking. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to book in advance. Please see the poster below for more information.

Culture Minister visits artists’ studios to see benefits to culture and communities


Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, Barbara Follett, recently (3 June) visited Acme Studios' new-build Leven Road studios. The visit was part of a trip to see different models of artists’ studios groups and the benefits they can have to local communities and culture as a whole. Acme Studios Chief Executive, Jonathan Harvey, showed the minister around the newly-opened studios and introduced her to two tenants: painter Paul Johnson and sound artist Jan Hendrickse, the current holder of the Acme Tower Hamlets Studio Residency.

The visit was organised by NFASP (National Federation of Artists’ Studio Providers) as part of a trip to three Federation members in east London: Mother Studios in Hackney Wick, Bow Arts Trust in Bow and Acme Studios’ Leven Road development in Poplar. NFASP is the professional umbrella body representing the interests of all those engaged in developing and managing affordable workspace for artists in the UK. Barbara Follett’s visit was prompted by a recent study into the impact of the 2012 Olympics on artists’ studio groups in the five host boroughs, particularly Tower Hamlets and Hackney which contain the highest concentration of artists in the UK. Whilst Acme’s 21 purpose-built studios at Leven Road are a permanent resource for the area, many smaller organisations face an uncertain future with the large-scale regeneration of the area.

The ground-breaking scheme at Leven Road is the result of a partnership between Acme and Swan Housing Group and is the UK’s first 100 per cent affordable mixed-use residential and commercial development. Further information on the minister’s visit can be found on the NFASP website:

'Dance of the Techno Polar Bear' now open at the Acme Project Space


The recipient of the 2008-09 Jessica Wilkes Award, Howard Dyke, has opened the new Acme Project Space with an exhibition of paintings created during the last year. ‘Dance of the Techno Polar Bear’ runs from 05 June to 28 June and is described as combining “process painting and Expressionism via a Pop sensibility, re-evaluating 80s Neo-Expressionism”. The show, which includes pieces made in and for the venue, presents work created by Howard during an intense period of creative activity as recipient of the Jessica Wilkes Award. The award is the result of a legacy from the artist Jessica Wilkes and provides an Acme tenant with a free studio and grant (together worth £10,000). ‘Dance of the Techno Polar Bear’ is the first event at the Acme Project Space, a new multi-purpose venue in East London. Previously home to The Showroom, the Acme Project Space will support various activities including our expanding Residency, Awards & Community Programme and our major International Residencies Programme, through exhibitions, presentations, seminars and events.

Hazel Blears visits Acme’s latest studio building


Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, yesterday (5 May) visited Acme’s newly-opened Leven Road Studios in Poplar, E14. The minister was given a tour of the development by Swan Housing’s Chair Richard Frost and Acme Studios Chief Executive Jonathan Harvey and visited Acme tenant Claire Morgan in her studio.

The visit was organised by the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), the ultimate planning authority in the area. Ms Blears and delegates from LTGDC were impressed by the joint project, which is the UK's first 100 per cent affordable mixed-use development. For more information, see the full press release below:

Stephanie Kingston announced as Jessica Wilkes Award recipient


Acme Studios is delighted to announce that the second recipient of the Jessica Wilkes Award is Stephanie Kingston, a painter with a studio at the Galleria. The award, worth £10,000 and open to all Acme tenants, will enable Stephanie to dedicate more time to her work and she is planning to create a series of work around the theme of memories. For more information, see Jessica Wilkes Newsletter below:

New-build studios open and fully occupied


Acme’s latest studio building in Leven Road, Poplar, E14, has opened and is already fully occupied by artists. The 21 new-build accessible studios were designed to Acme’s specifications and form the ground floor of an affordable housing development.

The average inclusive price for a studio is £219 a month for a 286 sq. ft studio not including electricity. The low cost to artists makes Leven Road, the first 100 per cent affordable mixed-use project in the UK. All the studios feature high ceilings, large doors and natural light. There is also a bike store, two wheelchair accessible toilets and communal wash-up facilities.

Leven Road, also houses Acme’s Tower Hamlets Studio Residency, a two year award which includes a rent-free studio worth £7,000 and a grant of £10,000 a year. The residency is for artists whose work naturally engages with local people and community groups and will be held by Jan Hendrickse until 2011.

Acme artist's sonic performance


Our Tower Hamlets Studio Residency holder Jan Hendrickse is currently working on a project exploring the materials and surfaces in use at John Jones. Exploration of their sonic properties will result in a “part installation and part performance” to be shown at the John Jones Project Space on 27 March at 8pm. The performance is part of John Jones' Spring Art Party which runs from 6-11pm. Jan begins his residency at Acme’s new-build Leven Road studios in Poplar, E14, next week. For more information, visit:

'Nightcleaners’ – film-screening and panel discussion


‘Nightcleaners: Part 1’, a rarely seen experimental film, will be screened on 12 March, as part of Celebrating Women in Southwark. This event is organised and hosted by Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre, the current Acme Southwark Artist in Residence. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with film co-director Humphry Trevelyan, and people currently involved in researching and campaigning for better working conditions for night cleaners.

Acme residency artists – exhibition and art workshops


Two artists involved in Acme Studios' residency programme are running public events in February. Howard Dyke is the 2008-2009 Jessica Wilkes Award holder, an annual award providing an Acme tenant with a free studio and grant worth £10,000. Howard will be showing his most recent work in a joint show with Geraldine Swain at Calvert 22, Shoreditch. The exhibition opens on 5 February and runs until 14 February. Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre is the 2008-2009 Acme Southwark Artist in Residence, a partnership programme with Southwark Council and South London Gallery which provides a rent-free studio and £10,000 grant to a socially-engaged artist at Acme’s Galleria studios. As part of ‘Beating the Bounds of Tabard Estate’, Ana Laura will be running a series of drop-in art workshops for children and young people in Peckham. For more information on both events and information on applying for the 2009-2010 Jessica Wilkes Award, please visit:

Acme responds to 'Cultural Metropolis'


Cultural Metropolis was published in November 2008 and is the Mayor's vision for cultural strategy in London. The document invites responses by 30 January which will be fed into the Mayor's Cultural Strategy, due to be published in the spring. The value and importance of visual art and artists to London is outlined within Cultural Metropolis. Acme is keen to see further recognition of the affordable studios sector and particularly the pressures and opportunities presented by regeneration projects such as the 2012 Olympics.

Jessica Wilkes Award 2009/10 - Call for submissions from Acme studio tenants


Applications are now being accepted for the annual Jessica Wilkes Award. The award is open to current Acme studio tenants only. For more information please visit

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