How art-K Began

Kathryn spent her life practising art, drawing on every piece of paper she could get her hands on. She also desired a career working with children, which led 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.

Fast forward 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, 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 50+ clubs, teaches 6000+ students per week, and employs over 150 art teachers.

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 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 develop our students’ confidence in experimenting with all different artistic styles and mediums. That’s why our classes are tailored to each individual and open to everyone.

Our Teaching

Our programme is built on an understanding of child development, child engagement, visual skills and artistic techniques. Just like mastering the piano, developing art skills takes time, and our art-K programme grows with the child as they master new techniques. The more confident they become, the more they can unleash their creativity in their projects.

All our teachers undergo thorough training on the art-K programme and art-K’s teaching methods to ensure that our students receive top-notch art education. As the UK’s leading art tuition service, we take delight in treating each child uniquely and fostering a vibrant, imaginative space where ideas burst into life!

Our Studios

art-K has studios across the UK, including locations in LondonLeedsBrighton, Bristol and the South East. Our studios are powered by 100% green energy and, where possible, they use air flow heat pumps (instead of radiators or gas heaters) to keep energy consumption to a minimum. Any energy that is consumed, we offset with Ecologi; you can see the garden we’re growing here. We also contribute monthly donations towards ridding the oceans of plastic waste through a clean up programme.

In our studios, we up-cycle materials, incorporating plastics into the structure of our 3D projects. We believe in teaching by example and we love to share knowledge with (and also learn from!) our students.  ​

The Team Making it Happen

Find out who makes art-K what it is today! Below is inclusive of our teachers, franchisees and central support team. 

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.

Our Senior Central Support Team

Jo

Human Resources Officer

Harri

Commercial Accountant

Maria

Operations Lead & Administrative Assistant

Nirvan

Recruitment Coordinator

Zakwan

Project Manager Assistant

Qi

Digital Marketing Associate

Our Senior Leaders

At art-K, we believe in fostering talent and providing opportunities for career advancement. Our Senior Leadership Team is structured into two levels, demonstrating a clear pathway for our teachers’ professional development. This tiered leadership structure illustrates the potential for growth within our company. We are committed to recognising and rewarding dedication, ensuring that our staff can thrive and advance in their careers with us.

Level 2 Senior Managers 

Thea

Shepherd's Bush

Pip

Maidstone

Level 1 Senior Managers

Sarah

Dorking

Jessica

Fareham

Linda

Ashtead

Jacobus

Hampstead

Jess

Purley

Our Studio Teachers

To meet our dedicated studio teachers, please visit your local studio’s webpage. Each branch has its own unique team of passionate educators, with detailed profiles available for you to explore. We’re proud of our staff and want you to know the amazing individuals who make our clubs special.

Our Franchisees

Steve

Tring
Franchisee

Prerna

Northwood
Franchisee

Andrea

Cambridge
Franchisee

Dan

Cheltenham
Franchisee

Sara

Truro
Franchisee

Marianne

Teddington
Franchisee

Ejiro

Barry, South Wales
Franchisee

Johan

Letchworth Garden City
Franchisee

Stacey

Ewell Franchisee

Kerrie

Worplesdon
Franchisee

Jenny

Worthing
Franchisee

Interested in Joining art-K?

All our full time/part time vacancies are listed on Arts Council. Or alternatively, you can use the following links: