Frome Artists Cafe

Dear Frome Artist Café

This is a long message but please persevere.

As you are aware I have coordinated the Frome Artists Café for 11 years or more.  I organised the Frome Open Studios, now Frome Open Art Trail for 7 years, ably assisted by a great team for some of that time.

When I moved to Frome there was The Frome Artists Café and Frome Art Society, the former being free to join. In recent years many newcomers have come to Frome and started new groups which have diluted attendance plus the pandemic has had a huge impact on peoples desire to meet although I have tried to persevere.

Originally started by a small group of local artists at the Packsaddle Pub on Christchurch Road West, we moved to The Cornerhouse, a local artists studio, a brief time at The Archangel, The Old Bath Arms until settling in The Three Swans who have provided an extremely warm welcome and free space.  The Frome Open Studios was originally created by the Frome Artists Café starting with 15 artists now with over 80.  We have held exhibitions at Black Swan Arts and exhibited work in The Old Bath Arms, a group of us creating a large wall mural there when it first opened.  Many artists have met there, made friends and created other collaborations.  It has always been the place for finalising and promoting the Frome Open Studios, now Frome Open Art Trail, still one of the most visited events in the Frome Festival and now with it’s own highly efficient website.  We have invited artists to talk about their work and inspirations, representatives from other organisations came to give talks, and local businesses discussed their art related facilities.  I have done as much as I can to encourage artists of all genre and levels to engage with the group.

I have opened my own home to exhibit on many occasions inviting other artists to join me, none of whom have returned the favour. I have dedicated a huge amount of my own time and resources to maintaining and supporting art in Frome. As anyone who has volunteered will know you get little thanks for this and a lot of criticism although I am very thankful to those who have demonstrated their gratitude.  However, I am afraid to say that some recent events and encounters have demonstrated to me that it is time for my own sanity to move on. 

So, tinged with regret, I have decided to close down the Frome Artists Café, and unfortunately there is no sign of anyone wishing to take it over.  I take pleasure in the many friends and connections I have made through the group and sincerely hope these will endure.  If anyone wants to meet up for a drink I do hope you will give me a call.

I will continue with the two final meetings of this year, on June 1st and July 6th, if anyone wants to take on the mantle from September I am happy to pass on any relevant information.  I will leave the Frome Artist Café page on Facebook but will no longer administrate it or work on the Frome Artist Café page on the Frome Open Art Trail website.

All the very best to everyone in your future endeavours.