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Our Story

Kathryn spent her life practicing art; drawing on every piece of paper she could get her hands on. She also wanted to have a career working with children, leading her to pursue Speech and Language Therapy at University (although some of her University interviewers were a bit taken aback when Kathryn asked if there was an art option during the course!)

Kathryn excelled as a Speech and Language Therapist in her chosen specialism; paediatrics. By her twenties, she was Head of Paediatrics at Epsom and Ewell NHS Trust, whilst continuing to sell her art on the side in exhibitions and shops. Although it was exciting to be given such responsibility, her managerial role dominated her time and took her away from what she truly loved; art and working with children.

Speed forwards a few years and Kathryn realised how limited the art resources were for her two daughters – Rebekah and Emily – at school. Kathryn decided to make the leap and channel her expertise into creating an age-based developmental art programme for children; somewhere she could teach her children – and others – how to grow their visual and artistic skills. art-K was formed.

Kathryn’s club went from strength to strength. After operating for 10 years in 2010, art-K Ashtead was 30% oversubscribed. People were travelling over an hour to reach art-K Ashtead as there was nothing like it in their area.

After graduating, Emily was on course to join an Investment Banking Department within a major bank. The challenging environment was exciting and a great experience, however she found the lack of autonomy and creativity limiting. She missed the connection to the real world and work that benefited real people.

Having started the art-K journey together in 2000, Kathryn and Emily decided their skills and experience could grow art-K into a national brand that represents the future of arts education. Since deciding to expand art-K in 2016, art-K has grown to 30+ clubs, teaches 2000+ students per week and employs over 100 artists.

None of this would have been possible without the third member of their team, David. David ran various companies for 20 years and helped mentor and develop art-K to create a company with a strong corporate governance. He drives areas such as health and safety, customer relations, new systems and many more.    

Our goal is to ensure that every child or adult passionate about art has the opportunity to be a part of an art-K club in their local area. We’re looking to build a community of individuals who share a common passion and enthusiasm for creating art.

Our classes focus on building on the basic fundamental principles of art and using these skills as a foundation to build on to develop our student’s confidence in experimenting with all different artistic styles and mediums. That’s why our classes are tailored to each individual and open to everyone.

Sustainable Studios

We upcycle materials in projects to prevent them going to landfill. Teaching sustainability by example.

Renewable Energy

art-K studios are powered by Octopus Energy which is 100% green electricity.

Compostable Packaging

Jackson's provide our art-K branded materials and delivers them in compostable packaging with cellophane bags and styrofoam-style dissolvable packing peanuts made from sugar and starches.

Central Support

Kathryn
Creative Director
Kathryn started art-K in 2000 as a result of the lack of art at school for children. With Kathryn’s speech and language degree she is able to create projects at the appropriate developmental level for each individual child. Kathryn mentors all franchisees in the art-K teaching methods to ensure that each pupil receives an exciting, personalised programme.
Emily
Managing Director
Emily started art-K when she was 6 years old and became an art assistant at 16, before returning after University to launch the Franchise with Kathryn. Emily has helped all the franchisees successfully launch their businesses as well as launch the directly-owned branches. Emily supports and coaches all members of the art-K team, working together to drive success.
David
Operating Director
With 20 years experience running various companies, David provides his expertise to art-K. David supports Kathryn and Emily as a Non-Executive Director; his core focus is implementing new operations in order to create a company with a strong corporate governance.
Abi
Office Administrator
Based in art-K’s head office, Abi is the green-tea fueled Office Administrator! With a degree in Filmmaking and Film studies, Abi has always had a deep love for education and the visual arts and brings this passion to art-K. Abi supports the team in a wide variety of ways, including finding new premises and guiding new employees on how to use the art-K systems.
Cathy
Marketing
Cathy found her passion for film after being part of BFI networking programme prior to university. After graduating with a degree in Film Production, she spent the next year freelancing, working on adverts as well as side-project music videos with friends. In her spare time, she likes to work on digital art, focusing on portraits.

Meet the art-K Club Leaders

Sarah
art-K Dorking
The Dorking studio is run by Sarah. Prior to art-K, Sarah has worked within both formal and extra-curricular Arts education at Bournemouth University and Oberoi International School in Mumbai. Outside of art, Sarah's passions include the natural world and sustainability.
Kate
art-K Wimbledon
The Wimbledon studio is run by Kate. Kate loves to experiment by specialises in oil paints, inks and watercolours. She studied at art-K from the age of 5 so she knows the programme inside and out!
India
art-K Hove
The Hove studio is run by Illustrator India. Her experience teaching privately developed a core her ability to encourage a student to progress. She also designed the illustrations for this website!
Zoë
art-K Clapham
The Clapham studio is run by Zoë, following a degree in Studio art Zoë found her passion for teaching whilst living in Cambodia for 4 years. Zoe's practice is varied; she loves to experiment with new mediums (practical and digital) but always enjoys going back to her roots in drawing, with a whimsical twist.
Leanna
art-K Walton-on-Thames
The Walton-on-Thames studio is run by Leanna, who previously worked in children and adults services. This experience allowed her to use creative techniques to support people with their day to day activities. This showed Leanna how art can be used as a tool to help and support people.
Alice
art-K Purley
The Purley branch is run by Alice. Alice's artistic interests involve exploring ecological relationships through a variety of mediums. After her experience teaching in schools, she is excited to delve full-time into the field of arts education, with the knowledge of how powerful art can be as a means of expression and learning.
Thea
art-K Carshalton
The Carshalton studio is run by a visual storyteller Thea. As the daughter of an artist, she has had the chance to learn how to make art all her life and loves sharing this knowledge with others.
Vickie
art-K Hampstead
Our Hampstead studio is run by Illustrator Vickie. Vickie has tried almost every way of being creative and nothing makes her happier than sharing knowledge and enthusiasm with others.
Shahnaze
art-K Greenwich
The Greenwich studio is run by Fine Artist Shahnaze. Shahnaze has taught art to adults and children privately for years whilst simultaneously exhibiting in galleries and doing large-scale murals.
Marcela
art-K Fulham
The Fulham studio is run by Fine Artist Marcela. Marcela studied her Masters at the RCA and went on to train in the Montessori approach. Having taught in schools and privately, she now draws on her experiences to run the Fulham studio.
Megan
art-K Wandsworth
Megan comes from sunny South Africa with a degree in Graphic and Multimedia Art. Having travelled the world with her photography, she later completed a PGCE and taught children for 6 years. Having moved to England, she starts her new adventure at art-K.
Pip
art-K Maidstone
The Maidstone studio is run by Pip, a qualified teacher whose likes to create large-scale, 3D sculptures. Having previously run the Purley branch, Pip has brought art-K to its first branch in Kent.
Rae
art-K Beckenham
The Beckenham studio is run by Rae. Rae has taught in mainstream schools for 15 years culminating in being head of faculty. She now has started a new adventure as a result of a desire to teach art in an alternative setting.
Jake
art-K Horsham
The Horsham studio is run by Fine Artist Jake. Jake has taught in the U.K. and abroad as an Arts Specialist Councillor and Arts Curriculum Director. In his classes, Jake encourages experimentation, critical thinking, and creative problem solving.
Maisie
art-K Putney
The Putney studio is run by Maisie, a Fine Artist focusing on sculpture, installation and film. Maisie's latest adventure was a residency in Panama and Chile, where she taught sustainability through art.