Shropshire art studio ready to 'Bloom' again

Not one, but two floods and a global pandemic shutting you down for five months so far, would be enough to finish many fledgling businesses off, but a Shropshire art studio is getting ready to ‘bloom’ again.

Bloom is a creative art business which helps young people discover their true potential. Originally launched four years ago with a few pop-up events, owner Kerry Jones was able to open a physical space at Studio 39 in Coleham in March 2018.

Since then, Bloom, which has art set to music sessions at its heart, has discovered the now world-famous ‘Doodle Boy’, helped countless young people with their confidence, to pass exams and gain art scholarships and groups of people come together to follow their passions and have fun.

Kerry said: “As we slowly and safely reopen our doors, we will be concentrating on one-to-one tuition and small groups, helping pupils with their GCSE artwork and those working towards art scholarships in schools.

“As soon as we are able, we will be taking bookings of up to 10 for our children’s parties and ‘Champart,’ my unique adults only art parties where we paint on easels to high impact music with a glass of fizz and welcoming back ‘Big Bloomers,’ aged 10 and upwards and group sessions in September.”

Just as Karry’s business was really finding its and classes were fully booked, disaster struck when Storm Denis caused two massive floods within the space of a week earlier this year.

“The two floods which hit us a week apart in February this year were devastating,” said Kerry.

“We salvaged what we could after the first flood this year but, the second took everything. We had to climb in through the fire escape to enter the building and wade through the water which filled the entire studio. It was destroyed.”

Kerry had to shut up shop just before the February half term to start repairs but then Coronavirus hit and like everyone else, Kerry and the business went into lockdown.

Throughout this period, Kerry has spent thousands repairing the studio and flood proofing it against future disaster. She has changed the lay out, removing doorways to limit the point of entry for any further floods and credits local builder Andy Saunders of APS Carpentry as having “fixed Coleham.”

“We had to throw all our new easels on the skip, screed the floor, basically a very costly repair and prevent job. Andy was amazing and worked tirelessly to bring us back to life. And the help of friends, family, perfect strangers and incredible gifts from organisations in the town helped put us back on our feet. The support was truly amazing.”

Now Kerry is starting to welcome pupils back through the door. Her first one-to-one tutor session with 10-year-old Izzy Jones took place last week.

She is starting slowly, due to the size and space of the studio, safe social distancing can be put in place for Kerry to welcome groups of up to 10 people back through the doors from the start of July.

Kerry, an artist herself with an art degree from Cardiff university and a background of working in schools, has even used this time to add some original works of art to the walls herself.

“Working in schools I felt that art could be taught better and I don’t think it’s taught enough. There’s very little room left for creativity and when children are asked to create, they can become anxious.

“I started thinking about how I could provide this and fill the gaps. Adding music to my art sessions really relaxes people and encourages them to let loose and create, which helps with confidence.”

Kerry has painted the portraits of famous artists including Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Picasso at her venue – Studio 39.

These originals compliment the work of 10-year-old Joe Whale from Shrewsbury, who Kerry has taught at Bloom.

“I let Joe just go for it on a wall here in November last year, but unfortunately, the flood took some of his masterpiece. Joe has been kind enough to come back to fill in the bottom and return the wall to its former glory.”

Now, other aspiring artists from across the globe have been messaging Kerry, from as far afield as Brazil, to share their work and ask her advice.

“What we have been through has been devastating, but we really need to get back to it and the studio is now an even better creative space to offer everyone the space to Bloom, which let’s face it, we could all do with right now! I’ve really missed all the children and I can’t wait to see and be working with them again!”

For more information or to book a session or party, please visit www.bloom-art.co.uk, email [email protected]

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