More about the London Arts Cafe (it is no longer running)

further details of most of the exhibitions, events etc mentioned can be found by following the links at the bottom of this page.


The London Arts Café's mission is to provide a forum for viewing, expressing and discovering all forms of contemporary urban art. It believes that art provides a uniquely powerful tool for stimulating debate about cities, not just in the United Kingdom but all over the world. The London Arts Cafe believes in 'art for urban insights'


The London Arts Café was launched in December 1996 with the exhibition 'City Journeys'. The launch and exhibition were generously supported by the Charlotte Bonham Carter Charitable Trust, Virginia Powell and Alan Baxter & Associates. Alan Baxter has consistently supported the London Arts Café by making his firm's well-equipped premises readily available and by promoting LAC activities. LAC's founding 'vision' in 1996 was to acquire premises where the 'café' could become a physical reality, a meeting place where art, good food and urban debate could flourish. Five years on, the café remains a long term vision but the organisation has been successful in establishing itself on a more nomadic basis. Over the last five years LAC has organised an impressive programme of exhibitions and events in a variety of places, most but not all in London.


The London Arts Café is a membership organisation which relies on subscriptions and revenue generated through its membership to cover its basic running costs. Special projects such as exhibitions have been funded by grants and sponsorship. The organisation is managed by a committee, currently six strong and including the three co-Directors who founded the organisation in 1996. One of these co-Directors, Mireille Galinou, acts as Secretary and undertakes day to day administration. The Directors and committee members receive no remuneration for their work. LAC is a registered charity (now deregistered - see home page) and its accounts are audited annually


Since its beginning, the London Arts Café has pursued three types of activity: exhibitions, events and the newsletter. All are central to its overall aim of stimulating debate about art and cities.


The following exhibitions have been curated and organised by LAC. All have been group exhibitions and most have featured work in a variety of mediums: paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, film and video.

City Journeys (December 1996): Alan Baxter Gallery, Clerkenwell
artists' responses to the joys and frustrations of getting around the city, transport infrastructure, public and private transport.

The City Beautiful (April 1997): Alan Baxter Gallery, Clerkenwell
examining the contemporary state of an artistic tradition which began in the 17th century with the birth of cityscape painting. Artists included: Jiro Osuga, Michael Heindorff, Richard Gilbert and Timothy Hyman.

City Markets (September 1997); Alan Baxter Gallery, Clerkenwell
an exhibition about buying and selling, the heart of urban quarters and the coming together of citizens.

Cities in Watercolours (Summer 1998): Museum of London Terrace Gallery
featuring three contemporary artists, Tony Phillips, Hilary Rosen and Robert Soden, each injecting a new vigour into the great British watercolour tradition

Housing and Homelessness (March-April 1999): Candid Gallery, Islington
LAC's largest and most ambitious exhibition to date, part-sponsored by the Family Housing Association. Occupying all three floors of the Candid Gallery it brought together some strikingly thoughtful and original art in response to this powerful theme. Artists included: Tom Hunter, Tony Rickaby, Peter Kennard, David Hepher, Moyra Peralta May Ayres and Alec Worster.

Zen and the Art of Cities (December 2000): Rivington Gallery, Hoxton
In part a meditation on the artistic process, exploringing a variety of ways in which the individual artist both engages with and distances him / herself from the city in order to respond to it. Artists included; Ben Johnson, Tom Phillips, John Lewis, Bert Irvin, Mark Cazalet and Michael Heindorff.


All events are designed to explore and understand the urban environment. Events are usually well attended and always represent excellent value for money. Past events have included: guided walks: around Docklands, Bethnal Green, Hampstead, Milton Keynes, Shoreditch studio visits: to the studios of Ben Johnson, John Bartlett, Hilary Rosen, Mark Cazalet parties in unusual places: an opportunity for members to socialise and find out about unusual places. Past summer parties have been held in Fulham Palace, Whitehall in Cheam~, the Pergola in Hampstead, St Pancras Chambers one-offs: Millennium riverscape boat trip, visit to architects' Miller and Hare, visits to exhibitions, a jazz and poetry evening.


(single copies free to members - £2 to non members)
LAC publishes a bi-annual newsletter containing articles, news and reviews relevant to its interests. Papers cover a wide range of perspectives and subjects: architecture, town planning, photography, design and social housing have all featured. For example, papers have included discussions of a comparison between London and Milwaukee in photographs, an account of Marlboro cigarettes' billboard advertising campaign, the interaction of artist and architect on a Paris housing estate, computer modeling for cities. The newsletter has also been used to publish the Housing and Homelessness exhibition text, in lieu of a catalogue.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES (No longer active)

ourtesy of member Peter Marshall, LAC has just established a presence on the web, which it is hoped to develop in future.
Archive Meticulous records are kept of all LAC activities. The research generated by projects is kept, alongside files on all exhibited artists.
Social Entrepreneurship
LAC has become a member of CAN (Communty Action Network) an umbrella organisation that brings together and supports groups generating 'social capital'. This network has brought several valuable contacts and possibilities for collaboration Research
Currently under discussion: the possibility of applying for funding to develop some areas of research into art and cities.

Meetup group
London Arts Cafe has now been replaced by a Meetup Group, Art & Cities.




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