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Cafe Art: Where Homelessness, Great Art & Coffee Meet

Being a great lover of coffee (maybe even slightly obsessive according to my colleagues) and a fan of art, I was overjoyed to come across the amazing organisation called “Café Art”.

Set up in 2012, Michael Wong, saw the opportunity to start tackling homelessness around London. A volunteer at the St Mungo’s art group near King’s Cross, London, he was inspired by the art works that were stored out of sight. Making a connection with a nearby café, the idea of hanging the artwork onto the café walls had blossomed. With the help local cafes and homelessness sector organisations, artists who are without a home are able to use their artistic talents to create masterpieces for the café visitors to view and purchase, while having a slice of cake… Definitely my cup of tea!

In the space of less than 3 months the organisation saw hundreds of art pieces drawn by artists who were able to make use of services and materials provided by almost all of London’s homelessness organisations. Teaming up together, cafes and organisations were able to make a huge difference and quickly too. An auction was even held at “Christie’s” (one of the World’s top art auction house) in the summer, showing how fast the interest and talent was able to spread, increasing the value this organisation has to homelessness as a whole. Incredible!

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“As well as connecting the artwork of artists affected by homelessness with local cafes, Cafe Art has exhibited in several organisations in London since it was established”

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Due to the continuous success shown around London, since 2013, Café Art has been running an International Exchange of homeless artwork between major cities around the World.

“We add a new city to the mix each year- a simple message that homelessness is a worldwide problem, but done in a positive and inspiring way through art drawn of the city landscapes by the artists”

Gracing the rest of the World with the opportunity to show off their talented works of art and experience a great cuppa!

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Where better to buy, discuss and admire art pieces than with a great cup of coffee, surrounded by beautiful pieces of art?! Connecting the buyer with the artist is also a chance for two strangers from “two different paths of life” to share their love of art and inspire each other!

Not only must it be a great experience for the artists and buyers, but also for the people who are able to work in the cafes. Being part of such a great scheme, making a difference in people’s lives must make a day at work a lot more exciting!

“There is a much deeper meaning behind Café Art. Not just celebrating the art and the hidden talent, but the human connection”

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The talents that are shown are not limited to paintings and drawings however. Some artists have been making use of the resources provided to them to create sculptures and sometimes equipment is provided to make use of photography as well. All ensuring that the artists have less limitations and have more ability in making sure that their visions become reality.

A calendar has also been published, called “My London”. The 2016 photography calendar is created by people who have been homeless and the unique photos offer inspiring stories and experiences. All making a beautiful gift!

I can’t wait to visit one of these cafes, view the masterpieces and be part of such a motivating experience and one that makes a difference. Black coffee, two sugars and a calendar please! 

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Posted by: Michael Hurd

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