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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.

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 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.
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.
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.
Kat
art-K Wandsworth
Kat is an artist and illustrator who loves using art and drawing as a way to connect with the world around her. Kat is now excited to combine her experience teaching and artistic passion to inspire creativity in the students at art-K Wandsworth.
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.
Angelica
art-K Purley
Angelica is a Fine Artist specialising in painting and printmaking. Since graduating from University of Brighton, Angelica has been teaching Art in FE as well as working within SEN schools. These varied experiences have transformed Angelica’s teaching style and she feels passionately about helping others develop their artistic skills and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge at art-K Purley.
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.