Inverkeithing Arts Initiative began in 2014, run by four creative women, Donna DuCarme, Michelle Denholm, Mary Farrell and Jane Francis. We started out running ‘art markets’ at the Civic Centre in Inverkeithing, set within stunning gardens and with beautiful views across the Inverkeithing Bay. The aim of the art markets were to create fun events in our local town and attract residents and visitors to see the town as a lively and creative place. Other activities included a reading of ‘A Christmas Carol’, an afternoon tea dance, and running creative workshops in Inverkeithing’s medieval Friary. Since 2014 we have also been involved in designing and leading four community art projects, in collaboration with local artist Rosie Gibson, Fife Council and Kingdom Housing Association. Since 2016 our base has been at Maker, a dedicated arts hub in the heart of Inverkeithing.
Meet the makers:
Jane Francis (director & associate artist)
After a long pause in making art, to take a degree in English Literature, work in public libraries and bring up her young children, I started painting again in 2013. I was reminded how wonderful it is to be creative, to make something, and to enter that flow state. Myself and Mary Farrell ran an art club at Inverkeithing Primary School for 2 years, revealing that drawing and making are inherently human responses, the results can be unexpected, and people are moved by making things – sometimes the most unexpected people. I co-founded Inverkeithing Arts in 2014 to broaden access to making and experiencing art to more people in South West Fife. I think we’re doing just that, through the projects we design and run in the local community, and through the workshops and classes which happen at Maker, led by our wonderful associate and visiting artists. I am interested in process more than product, and to people-centred business models.
You can find examples of her work at Maker and on her website www.janefrancis.net
Mary Farrell (director & associate artist)
Mary has been based in Inverkeithing since 2004. A graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (Dundee), she has been designing and making jewellery for over 25 years, currently supplying galleries and retail outlets throughout the United Kingdom. Her employment experience includes the design, manufacture supply and special commissions of her own work, promotion and retail of work by other designers; experience as a community tutor and in the Further Education sector; community engagement and voluntary work. Mary has an HNC in Working with Communities which she draws upon to improve her understanding of community engagement, and informs ways in which to best utilise her skills to support community development through Creative Arts. www.facebook.com/maryfarrelljewellery
Rosie Gibson (non-executive director & associate artist)
I’ve been a community artist for a long time. The kids in Craigmillar who skived school to help transform a church into an Arts Resource Centre are now in their 50’s and are making sure their grandchildren are getting their fill of the arts. A mosaic mural with kids at Sound Youth Club cheered up the gable of a public toilet in Sandvein housing scheme, Lerwick and lasted twenty years. I shared a space with toddlers at North Edinburgh Arts Centre and made cardboard play sculptures for them inspired by observations of their play and passions. Nearer to home, Trading Wisdom was an art installation in 10 shops in Inverkeithing High Street for Luminate Festival 2015, inspired by 10 nuggets of wisdom gleaned from folk in their 80s. I collaborated with Inverkeithing Arts Initiative who hosted the celebration afternoon tea beautifully. Most recently I made a sign for the Friary Senior Citizens Drop-In with the help of Sandy Stephen. It was fun to collaborate with Cathy and the others in the group to come up with a new design.
After 40 years of art with people it’s time for my own art adventure. I was delighted when Jane and Mary asked me to come on board with them as a non-executive director of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative. Their philosophy and values chime with my own and I’m happy to support their aims and aspirations for the Arts in Inverkeithing.
Jo Barrett (associate artist)
Jo is a Dunfermline-based artist and maker. She has been involved with Inverkeithing Arts Initiative since its early days, selling her work at two of the Maker’s Markets at the Civic Centre in Inverkeithing. She was also one of the first collaborators we invited to join us as an Associate Artist. She is an experienced tutor and has run classes and workshops for several years in Fife and beyond. Jo runs several great workshops at Maker, such as Japanese stab binding and lantern making, she she also loves coming up with new and intriguing ideas for workshops. Jo also helps run the gallery/shop at Maker, which is staffed on a voluntary basis by local artists. .
Jeanne Dron (associate artist)
A member of both the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National Gallery Illustrators’ Group, Jeanne is excited to become associated with Inverkeithing Arts. Her portfolio includes a wide range of interests: watercolour, ink, acrylic, oils, graphite and coloured pencil, clay, and textiles including fabric and stitched canvas. In addition, she is developing a range of felt figures which have grown from her illustrative work. These have been featured in her Gallery Trail Project, exhibited at the National Gallery in October 2017.
In terms of writing, she is working on a middle grade illustrated chapter book, and recently won the Scottish Association of Writer’s Chairman trophy and Autumn Voices Competition with her story of an east coast fishing village.
Donna Sinclair (student)
Donna first worked with Inverkeithing Arts on the Inverkeithing Memory Project during 2016/17, which resulted in an exhibition of the group’s work at Inverkeithing Civic Centre. The exhibition is now housed permanently at the Carnegie Library and Museum in Dunfermline. Donna is a talented emerging artist, born and bred in Inverkeithing, she cares deeply about the town and its history, as well as the issues it faces today.
Friends of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative (New!)
Inverkeithing Arts Initiative has been running 2014 to the present, and in that time we have met so many wonderful, creative people who have enthusiastically supported our aims and joined us on the journey.
Catherine Chorley. Cath is a wonderfully generous landlady and benefactor of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative, she understands and supports our aim to offer creative opportunities to the communities of South West Fife.
Sandy Stephen (Jane’s dad) has helped in so many ways to make our space at Maker a lovely place to make art through his joinery skills. He has put up many a shelf, and also very kindly donated a hand-crafted doll’s house as a prize to raise funds for our classes. Sandy is also an enthusiastic student of both Rosie and Jeanne’s classes and a talented artist.
Stephen Reid / Immersive Minds. Stephen has recently started coming to Jeanne’s Drop in Drawing sessions on Tuesdays at Maker, and has very kindly donated materials and equipment to be used free by participants.