Hello everyone, and welcome to our August 2021 Wycombe Arts Centre wrapup post!
It’s been a busy month for us after acting as the host venue for Signdance Collective’s Hybrid Festival, which featured a range of evengs and included the stunning “The Land of I” art exhibition, curated by our very own Tabitha Gunstone-Pollock!
“The Land of I” art exhibition, as part of Hybrid Festival, featured work by talented local artists exploring their relationship to home, whether past or present or during lockdown, as well as cultural identity, diaspora and the artist as an individual. Exhibiting artists included Viviana Fernandez Molinares, Ruth Gunstone, Kalkalata, Ruth October, Jazmin Sheba Parsons, Thomas Aslam Ali-Peddle James, Soma Prince, Ed Raybould and Teakster.
We were also the host venue for ColourFest, which was organised by HWBidCo/My Wycombe and Atomic Bee Events. Fran, Tabitha and Sophie from the WAC team loved meeting Poppy and Branch, as you can see from the photo at the top of this blog post!
Read on to find out what we’ve got coming up in September and beyond!
Looking back at August
Most of August was taken up by Signdance Collective’s Hybrid Festival, and we’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you once again to everyone who came along to support that. You can find out more about Hybrid Festival on the Signdance Collective International Facebook page.
But there was plenty of time for other events too, including the continuation of our Films @ Wycombe Arts Centre screenings, which this month had a sports-related theme to tie in with the Olympics. As always, you can stay up-to-date with film picks and make suggestions and cast your votes in our dedicated Facebook group.
We shared some photos of July’s Sunday jam thanks to visiting photographer and musician Thomas Heppel of Tom’s Blues and Tunes. You can check those out in the gallery below, and be sure to check out Tom’s YouTube channel while you’re at it for stunning music videos and guitar/gear reviews.
We also took a look back at the Land-Marks Art Exhibition which took place at the end of July and displayed work by the finalists of the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year Award West Wycombe Heats. We wrote a project page all about it, sharing photos and memories from our team about how the exhibition went. You can check that out here.
August’s open mic night was a lot of fun, with some cracking talent on display including a couple of bands that visited us for the first time, including Hounds of Magic and Subtle Nature. Our open mic takes place every second Friday with the next one due on September 10th, so be sure to come on down to soak up the acts and the atmosphere.
On Wednesday August 25th, we welcomed Poppy and Branch from Dreamworks’ Trolls movie to ColourFest, a mini children’s festival that featured face-painting, crafts, music, interactive workshops, giant colouring boards, ice cream, games, prizes and much, much more! Big thanks to our friends at HWBIDCo/My Wycombe and Atomic Bee for organising such a fantastic event.
And on the last weekend in the month, we had a double whammy of live music. On Saturday afternoon, DJ Ragga T joined us for an afternoon of Caribbean music in the Wycombe Arts Centre Gardens, and that was followed on Sunday afternoon by our Sunday Jam!
Coming up in September
As you can see from our calendar, we’ve got a bunch of great events coming up in September, from our regulars to some exciting new workshops!
We’re particularly looking forward to:
105 Artists’ Hands: Touch Tell Create (September 4th): Artist Cally Trench and designer Jane Glennie will be in conversation about Cally’s book of photographs, 105 Artists’ Hands: Touch Tell Create.
Guitari Lounge (September 17th): The Guitari Lounge is an open mic venue open to under 18s for an opportunity to play in front of others in a fun and welcoming environment.
Mind Body Spirit Show (September 19th): Deerspirit’s very first show at the Arts Centre, offering spiritual gifts, psychics, mediums and clairvoyants, healers and holistic therapists. Tickets are £4 on the door.
Exploring Sounds Electronic Music Workshop Taster Session (September 22nd): Join musician and QA engineer Mario Buoninfante for a two-hour taster session ahead of a new series of “Exploring Sounds” electronic music workshops.
The Maz Manzini Band Live (September 24th): After a long time out, the Maz Manzini band has chosen Wycombe Arts Centre as the stage on which to make their live comeback. Hot on the coat-tails of Maz’s new album release ‘Nightingales’, the boys have a special night planned, debuting tracks from the new album and throwing a few old favourites into the melting pot too.
The Tired Dressmaker Workshop Taster Session (September 25th): An all-day taster session to indulge in some of your wildest sewing fantasies, all revolving around the recycling, upcycling, reconstruction and deconstruction plus the repurposing of fabrics and textiles.
Chuckl Presents: Stand-Up Comedy at Wycombe Arts Centre (September 25th): Chuckl. brings you the very best in live stand up comedy, featuring Terry Alderton, Marcel Lucont, Ola Labib and David Mills.
We’re also thrilled to announce the launch of our Creative Mondays programme, which will feature a range of events on Mondays that are designed to cater to the local art community. These include:
Art Monday Workshops with Jane Peacock (Starts September 20th): Join artist and workshop leader Jane Peacock to explore a wide range of different art techniques and mediums. Suitable for everyone from complete beginners to those wishing to enhance existing skills, the course offers a chance to experiment and develop ideas.
Art Monday Workshops with Amy Beckwith (Starts September 20th): Amy is holding a series of art workshops demonstrating a range of step-by-step methods on how to paint with watercolours and gouache. These are taking place as part of our new series of creative sessions where you can discover a range of classes from a great selection of local artists.
Open Studio Art Club (Starts September 20th): Use our inspiring art studio to make your own work, with tips, advice and regular skillshare demos. All arts and crafts welcome. Start your week creatively!
Saturday Morning Children’s Art Club (Starts September 25th): This one is on Saturday and not on Monday, but it’d be a crime not to mention it here. A fun and friendly art club for kids aged 7 – 11.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also added a bunch of exciting new events that are due to take place in October 2021 and beyond. These include:
Accessible Disco (October 1st): Learning disability and Autism friendly! Safe socialising for vulnerable people with low level music and slowly changing lights.
Writers’ Group (October 2nd): Kicking off with France Ellul, these ongoing workshops are perfect for local writers who are looking to enhance their skills and network with other writers.
Indie Night (October 23rd): Screaming Irene are a three piece band that combines cascading chorus riffs and melodramatic verses sang in riddles, slapped with a hefty dose of grunge sensibility. The Drop Downs are a five piece band that fuse heartfelt lyrics with surging guitars and tight rhythms creating an urgent, indie rock stage performance. Third act TBA soon!
Breaking Barriers (October 27th): This is the latest installment of the popular series of Breaking Barriers events that we carry out in association with Wycombe Youth Action, Chilterns CCC and Chiltern Rangers.
Christmas Art and Craft Fair (November 20th): This will bring local makers and producers together to provide you with the perfect place to do a spot of Christmas shopping while supporting the local arts community.
SCOOTCH Premier Film Screening (November 26th): Scootch is a feel-good film created completely by a team of volunteers looking for a bit of a laugh during Lockdown. SCOOTCH takes a cheeky look at how Buckinghamshire’s new e–scooter scheme foils the nefarious plans of two hapless middle-aged men.
All-Day Xmas Make & Take (December 4th): An all-day festive workshop session from Juliet of The Tired Dressmaker to get you in the mood for Christmas. Ever fancied making your own presents and/or decorations? Here’s the perfect opportunity.
Rock Project Showcase (December 5th): Budding musicians from regular arts centre event The Rock Project are putting on a special musical showcase that’s guaranteed to get your feet tapping.
Top Notes Choir Christmas Performance (December 6th): It’s not a proper Christmas without a performance from Top Notes! We’re super excited to welcome them back to Wycombe Arts Centre for this festive spectacular.
We’re always looking for people who are interested in volunteering or helping out, whether you’re interested in hosting events or whether you’re just looking to get more involved in the local artistic community.
Please do get in touch if you have anything to share! In the meantime, you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for further updates. We look forward to seeing you again soon!