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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.
Stasia
Administrative Assistant
Stasia has a background in both arts administration and children’s education: before joining art-K, she taught at a community school in Russia, worked in the film festival sector, and volunteered with museums and galleries across the North East and Yorkshire. At art-K, she provides broad administrative and operational support across the company, assists with marketing and creative content, and coordinates our online Zoom classes.
Harri
Accounts Assistant
Harri is a part-qualified CIMA student, who studied Accounting and Management at Queen Mary University of London. At art-K, Harri works closely with David across the company's finances.
Hattie
HR Assistant
Hattie studied History of Art at Nottingham and came from a recruitment background before joining art-K. Hattie is the HR contact for art-K and co-ordinates talent acquisition and internal support, as well as a broad range of HR duties such as training, employee well-being and administration.
Laura
Visual Artist/Content Creator
Laura loves connecting people through art. During her degree, she developed interactive textile installations which encouraged community collaboration. She is excited to design murals that connect the local community with art-K and to use her teaching experience to encourage children to enjoy the art process.
Ayseli
Visual Artist/Content Creator
Ayseli studied Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School where she would produce paintings and drawings using a variety of mediums. Her practice focuses on an exploration of pattern and colour on a large scale and she is excited to use her experience to design and produce murals for art-K and the local community.
Bea
Marketing & Communications Assistant
Bea studied Fine Art, specialising in film. At art K, she produces creative and promotional content including photos, videos, graphics and audio for the art-K website and other platforms.

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!
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.
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.
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.
Thea
art-K Shepherd's Bush
The Shepherd's Bush 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.
Bella
art-K Ashtead
Bella found her passion for teaching when setting up her own art club in Uganda. Bella studied Animation at university and outside of the arts, you’ll find her immersed in her biggest passion – Formula 1. Bella has taught a huge range of art classes to students from all over the world; she enjoys the adventure of unlocking each individual’s inner artist and curiosity.
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.
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.
Kiera
art-K Fulham
Kiera is a fine artist who specialises in oil painting and conceptual art. Whilst working as a children's art tutor, she discovered her passion; helping students learn and improve their artistic abilities. Kiera is delighted to be joining the art-K team where she can continue to inspire future artists!
Aneta
art-K Wandsworth
Aneta is a Fulbright Scholar and a fine artist who has studied in Poland and USA. During the last 8 years, Aneta exhibited her work, taught art at schools and led adult workshops in New York. In her personal practice, Aneta focuses on drawing, painting, experimentation and process. Throughout her time teaching, she’s taught students of all ages and skill levels and loves seeing students grow as artists and creative thinkers.
Solmaz
art-K Angel
Solmaz is a passionate visual artist and award-winning book illustrator. She is a graduate of University of Applied Arts Vienna and has exhibited her artworks at various venues including the Natural History Museum of Vienna. Solmaz is at her happiest when she teaches; she is excited to share the joy of seeing, experimenting and creating with her students.
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.
Becca
art-K Beckenham
The Beckenham studio is run by Becca. Becca loves the outdoors; in her own practice, she explores this through painting, drawing and making. She has 6 years experience teaching all kinds of art to all kinds of people - from complete beginners to BA students. Becca believes art develops many skills and it's is also a powerful tool for wellbeing.
Poppy
art-K Clapham
Poppy’s artistic practice is varied and she has experience across many creative fields. Poppy graduated from CSM and has a love of teaching children; she has taught at a dance school, worked as an ambassador for the NYT and in art-K branches. She can’t wait to deliver art-K’s programme with her bubbly and charismatic teaching style.
Maya
art-K Kingston
Maya studied Fine Art in Glasgow and has worked with children and young people for 7 years. Whilst spending time creating alongside others and developing her teaching approaches, she's loved to see the journey people take as they develop. Maya is excited to join the art-K team and bring her passion for sharing art, to our Kingston branch.
Jess
art-K Purley
Jess graduated from the University of Brighton after studying Fine Art Painting. She is very keen on sculpture, and has a background in working with community art organisations on exhibitions and fun family workshops! She is excited to bring these to art-K and to become part of the Purley community as the club grows.
Arthur
art-K Beckenham
Arthur is a London-based artist who graduated from CSM. He has shown work at TATE Modern, Gasworks Gallery, and Mall Galleries in London. He is a versatile artist who practices painting, sculpture, and film. He assisted the art department at Langley Park School for Boys, and worked as a Mentor with South London and Maudsley. He is passionate about the artistic and personal development of young people.
Esmee
art-K Reigate
The Reigate studio is run by Esmee. Esmee loves all forms of art from painting and sculpture to photography and textiles. In her own work Esmee is always looking to find new and interesting processes to use and likes nothing more than to experiment with materials. Esmee has most recently been teaching abroad and is looking forward to supporting the students at art-K Reigate in their creative journeys!
Niamh
art-K Carshalton
Our Carshalton studio is run by Niamh. Niamh graduated from University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Illustration where she experimented with many mediums and story-telling techniques. In her own practice Niamh specialises in pencil drawing and watercolour. She is excited to be part of the art-K team and encourage the creativity of all the club’s members!
Sophie
art-K Wimbledon
Sophie is an artist, photographer and illustrator who has a background working in schools, in SEN and Emotional Literacy. She loves to use her own art to explore and learn about people and the world around her. She is so excited to use all her creativity and knowledge to teach and inspire young artists and explorers!