art-K is a family business, run by Kathryn and Emily, with a strong purpose; Making Art Matter. Art is everywhere we look; the TV, the clothes we wear, the buildings we design, the websites we create.
We are passionate about supporting the learning of artistic skills, which is largely overlooked in schools. With the focus shifting to “core” subjects at school- dominated by numbers and letters- children are left without a creative outlet for their visual channel.
To give you an idea of how art-K was born: Kathryn has spent her entire career working with children. Initially this was as a Speech and Language therapist, specialising in paediatrics. Having always been an active artist, selling at exhibitions and shops around Surrey, Kathryn decided to fuse her expertise into a developmental art programme for children that is age-specific. She created art-K initially for her own children, Rebekah and Emily, to grow their visual and artistic skills.
Children of different ages have different levels of dexterity, fine motor control, spatial awareness and visual perceptual skills. By acknowledging these differences (as well as different interests of course), Kathryn has been able to create a programme that builds confidence and self-esteem through teaching artistic skills in an encouraging environment.
Kathryn’s club went from strength to strength; after operating for 10 years in 2010, it was 30% oversubscribed. People were travelling over an hour to reach art-K Ashtead as there was nothing like it in their area.
Emily started the club at age 5 and at 16 became an art assistant, helping Kathryn every Saturday. After graduating with a 1st Class Honours studying Chemistry at University, Emily was on course to join an Investment Banking Department within a major bank. The challenging environment was exciting and stimulating, however she found the lack of autonomy and creativeness was limiting. She missed the connection to the real world and how it benefited people.
Both Kathryn and Emily recognised the strength of the art-K brand and decided that the combination of their skills could be used to create a network of art-K clubs across the U.K. Since launching art-K Ltd. in 2016, art-K has grown to 17 clubs.
Our drive is to ensure that every child or adult passionate about art can join an art-K club in their local area; Making Art Matter.
Kathryn and Emily, Creative and Managing Directors art-K Ltd.