Open for Art 2017 – meet our venues

We host an arts trail every year as part of Open for Art, with over 30 venues involved across Reading Town Centre. Each venue proudly hosts a piece of artwork from local artists and its with great pleasure that we highlight these venues to you.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our venue partners, and the artists involved – its with all of you that helps make this event happen so thank you!

Here are the wonderful venues and their chosen artists involved in this year’s artist trail >>

Open for Art HQ (The Oracle, Lower Mall)
Mei Ting SzeRhapsody in Orange

Manhattan Coffee Club (The Oracle)
Squirrel InkMa

John Lewis (The Place to Eat)
Julie Simmonds – Morning on Broad Street

John Lewis (Furniture Department)
Rukshi Brownlow – Light Metal

Workhouse Coffee Company
Helen Westhrop – Coffee Sacks Embroidered

Jacobs the Jewellers
Sadie Brockbank – Horse with Riders

Julie Simmonds – Reading Series

Electric Hair
Katie Francis – Made you Look
Suzanne Jones – Comfort Forms

The White Building
Salvo Toscano – Selected Works

58 Barber Shop
Darren Lyden – The Shield of Desire

Lincoln Coffee House
Peter Driver – Complete Equality 1

Alice Coombes – Frida
Vassily Zavialov – Queen Elizabeth II

The Turbine House
The Engine Room – Every Human Heart

Simon Dowling Bespoke
Matthew Potts – Localised Weather, DIY Unicorn

Blandy & Blandy
Kate Lockhart – Henley from Bridge

Forbury Works
Jim Attewell – Timestream 5

Rebecca Swainston – Imaginary Friend with Cat and Bird
Robert Fitzmaurice – Pipeboy

The Biscuit Tin
Jo Thomas – Roundabouts and Waterways of Reading

Mark Andrew Webber – Maps

Lisa-marie Gibbs – What if, we as humans were left with only our shadows? 

Launchpad Photography Group – selected works 

Takeaway Gallery (Harris Arcade) Ross Hale – Bark Beetle monoprints

The Grumpy Goat (Harris Arcade)
Lou Jessop – Frida

Adrienne Henry (Harris Arcade)
Nina O’Connell – Orkney

Art Scope 

Laura De Moxom – Remembering Margaret Scissors, Remembering Margaret Garden Flowers

But is it Art?
Simon MacKoon – Maximus, Paranoid

Eclectic Games
Julie Calce – Brooding, Reflection

Tasting House
Andrew Hood – The Face of Reading

Tamp Culture
Jon Lockhart – MUSIC 

White Stuff
Liz Mackereth – Through the Tree

The Castle Tap
gooey eye – four new pieces

Sonning Flowers
Emily Gillmor – Tulip V 

Jenny Halstead – Subjective Paintings
Yan Chong – Subtractive Drawings

Jelly (Broad Street Mall)
Mark Langley – selected works
Salma Caller – The Bodies of Dolls
kitschx – #071, 072, 073


Misha Zavialov – Summer Solstice

Ellen Jewell – Handbag Stories

Grace Lewis – You Are Here

The Blade
Natasha Zavialov

Other venues to visit:

Castle Galleries
The Lemon Grove Gallery

All venues and locations can be found in our event map available to download here >>


Open for Art 2017 – meet our sponsors

This fourth year of Open for Art celebrates design, the arts and creativity, from marking the 100 years since the birth of iconic British Designer, Lucienne Day to exhibiting the work of Reading’s emerging designers, artists, performers and makers of all ages. Come and join us whilst we lead you on walks, hear artists talks and poems, explore Reading’s hidden waterways, take part
in Open Air art classes, create floral headdresses inspired by Frida Kahlo, follow the heritage paths and revel in performances.

This year, our exciting, engaging and vibrant programme of events and activities is brought to you with lots of help. We have our lovely event leaflets and maps for all to read about what’s on during the weekend, we will enjoy a Malmaison breakfast listening to the words of Rebecca Swainston and we will be dressing up once again in our lovely ‘art ambassador’ t-shirts holding our giant lollipops. This year we have newly produced sail flags helping to landmark activities across the town. This is just some of the ways in which we get help and it’s with the support of these key sponsors that make all this happen.

Get to know a little more about our sponsors here >>

Cream Design
Open for Art design and branding

Established in 1997, Cream are a graphic design consultancy based in the centre of Reading. Working across a variety of sectors, they produce creative and engaging brand strategies, identities, website designs and ways to communicate that enable clients to stand out, connect with their audience and flourish. Cream design adds personality to any event, especially Open for Art and we are proud to showcase such strong branding and design. Thank you Cream!

Sponsors for the production and printing of Open for Art map available here:

Huntswood is a specialist resourcing and consultancy firm in Reading, focused on governance, risk and compliance. They have a team of nearly 600 financial crime risk professionals helping firms embed a robust approach to managing an array of policies. They support the life and pensions sector helping firms manage the increased regulatory focus on annuities and long-standing customers. They have recently become involved with Jelly and proud sponsor our map this year. Thank you Huntswood!

Sponsors of the breakfast at the Open for Art launch event ‘Breakfast with an Artist’ on Friday 30 June at Malmaison

Pineapple is an exciting new social enterprise set up by Andy Dewis, Mat Rule and Liberty Bollen in 2017 to support sustainable business for a better future. It will do this by providing the people to work with, places to work in, finance to operate and technology to innovate – at all stages of the business life-cycle. As a business evolves, its resources, workspace and financial needs will inevitably change. Pineapple aims to be part of the DNA of a business, working as a flexible resource offering as little as guidance and expertise at a monthly board meeting to as much as taking a product to market.
This year, Pineapple aims to work with 20 seed businesses, 6 established businesses and 3 charities to help make a positive social and environmental impact. Our vision is to positively impact 500m+ lives globally by 2050. Pineapple are also studio residents at our new studios in Broad Street Mall. We are delighted to welcome Pineapple to Open for Art as a key sponsor. Thank you Pineapple!

Reading Business Improvement District/ARENA grant
Sponsors for the production and printing of the Open for Art ambassador t-shirts & leaflets. ARENA funding for Floating Rivers of Reading event. 

The Reading UK CIC team has built-in capacity to support the BID in the areas of employment and skills, economic development, marketing and communications.

Reading UK CIC is the economic development champion for Reading; its main object is: “to promote and sustain the economic development of Reading in order to achieve sustainable prosperity for those that live, work, play, visit, do business and invest in the area.” It acts as a delivery vehicle for all aspects of the Economic Development Strategy (EDS), the aim of which is to promote and improve the economic, social and environmental well being of the area.

The Reading BID is a delivery vehicle for some aspects of economic development, its aim being to deliver a series of initiatives and services that will raise the quality of experience for businesses, customers and visitors to central Reading.

Reading’s Business Improvement District is managed by BID manager Bobby Lonergan. Having worked in Reading for most of his career, Bobby is a well-known face around the town and prides himself on developing good relationships with the local retail and business community.


Thank you to all our sponsors!

Open for Art launches on Friday 30 June and runs to Sunday 2 July. For a full programme of events please click here >>

Join us for Open for Art 2017

Open for Art is back
Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July 

This fourth year of Open for Art celebrates design, the arts and creativity, from marking the 100 years since the birth of iconic British Designer, Lucienne Day to exhibiting the work of Reading’s emerging designers, artists, performers and makers of all ages. Come and join us whilst we lead you on walks, hear artists talks and poems, explore Reading’s hidden waterways, take part
in Open Air art classes, create floral headdresses inspired by Frida Kahlo, follow the heritage paths and revel in performances.

*New for 2017*

  • Crafty music concert with singer and songwriter Nick Cope
  • Floral head crown making with Sonning Flowers and embroidery master class (with tapas) inspired by Frida Kahlo at Nomad Bakery
  • Interactive art from chess sets to paintings
  • Community collage based on Lucienne Day’s tea towel design called ‘Too Many Cooks’
  • Gallery 142 – a town house art exhibition presenting a rich and varied selection of works
  • 100 Canvases: a year long project inviting people to join us in creating canvases at our new studios in the Broad Street Mall. Be an artist for the day and work on a canvas that will then be exhibited & sold (the monies will be shared between Jelly’s education programme and you, the artist)

…and lots more…

This year the team of Arts Ambassadors are being supported by the Reading BID and you will be able to find them throughout the weekend, across the town, identifiable by their t-shirts and giant lollipops based at the Open For Art HQ at The Oracle Shopping centre. Here you can enjoy events, ask questions and pick up an Open for Art artist trail map, with over 35 venues to visit – it’s bigger and better than ever before.

Friday 30 June

Join us for our launch event at Malmaison Hotel with expressive gurative artist, Rebecca Swainston, who will be bringing along pieces from her current work. Rebecca will be talking about her inspiration in conversation with Wendy Thomson, the Founder and Editor of Female Arts. All are welcome and have the opportunity to pick up maps for the whole weekend. Register for your ticket/s here >> Breakfast with an Artist 

We then welcome singer and songwriter Nick Cope for a special Jelly Tots craft and music session at 10:30am. Enjoy a craft workshop with the Jelly Team, followed by a fun filled interactive concert with Nick and his witty repertoire in the friendly atmosphere of The Biscuit Tin café near Reading Station. Register for your ticket/s here >> Jelly Tots Presents Limited tickets left!

In the evening, we celebrate Frida Kahlo with floral head crown making at Sonning Flowers. Design and make your own floral head crown, enjoy light refreshments and good company. Electric Hair will be on hand to hairstyle your beautiful crown creation ready for a photo session and night out of drinks & chat at one of Reading’s much-loved independent bars, Milk. Register for your ticket/s here >> Frida and Florals

Saturday 1 July

Enjoy a host of fresh delights with The Jam Lady and foodie friends, celebrating the very best in local produce with a specially curated market on Station Hill performance area, a newly created performance piece by drama coaching company Berzerk Productions, mid-century inspired Mandala drawing and the ‘My Word’ Poetry Group with live poetry and words about Frida Kahlo and Reading Waterways at our Open for Art H.Q. desk in The Oracle Shopping Centre.

A colourful, cultural evening of embroidery and tapas creating a unique, hand embroidered Frida Kahlo creation, whilst savouring some delicious Mexican inspired tapas by Nomad Bakery in Caversham. Register for your ticket/s here >> Frida, Embroidery and Tapas

Sunday 2 July

We welcome the return of the Open Air Art challenge where artists can create a piece of artwork inspired by Reading and the public vote to choose the winner of £100 prize. We will be hearing peoples’ stories and experiences through a number of talks and walks. Sunday also welcomes a walk as part of an immersive art experience, following the traces of the river across the town, with participants carrying a balloon and stopping in locations to mark the flow of the Thames.

The Open for Art map with details of events, activities, venues, art trails, walks and talks across the weekend is available to download < here >

Printed versions of the map will be available very soon – in advance to the the event – and during, available from our Artist HQ in The Oracle, Lower Mall.

All workshops and events are bookable here:

To join in follow us here:

Hashtag: #OpenForArt
Twitter: @thejellyreading
Open for Art Workshops:

Thank you to our wonderful supporters
Reading Business Improvement District, The Cultural Partnership, Cream Design, Huntswood and Pineapple.

The Museum Tree

This week we have been installing The Museum Tree, a project between Reading Museum, St Martin's Primary School, Wilson Primary School and Jon Lockhart.

Here are some pictures taken during installation:

The work will be exhibited until 9 May in Market Place Reading.

We also said goodbye to the work of Justin Partyka in partnership with Museum of English Rural Life, but keep an eye on those window spaces, there's always something waiting to pop up.