Whitstable’s Umbrella Café Art Wall

The Umbrella Café is a not-for-profit initiative aiming to reduce social isolation and food poverty in the community.


CommunityAd chatted with CEO Jo Verney about the Umbrella Café Art Wall, just one of the projects run by the Café.


What is the art wall in the café and what does it do?

The art wall has been in the café since we opened in 2015 and it has always worked in the same fashion. The art changes monthly and hire of the wall is free. We ask that if any pieces are sold, the artist gives a donation of their choice to either the Umbrella Centre charity or our Pay It Forward scheme in the café. We publicise the artwork on our social media channels during the month.


Who can use it?

Anyone can book the art wall – it is available to both professional and community-based artists. Word has obviously spread over the years so it is pretty popular; we are fully booked for the rest of the year and have started taking bookings for 2022. Anyone can get in touch with us over email or Facebook to book in. We have had canvases, huge portraits, art group exhibitions, mixed media, graffiti pieces, and glasswork on the wall. We book longstanding customers, stakeholder groups, well-known local artists, art students, and visiting artists taking part in local festivals. Quite a variety!


What benefits does it bring?

Our Café doesn’t stand still and the art wall mirrors that. The Café is a vibrant and welcoming inclusive hub space. It is wonderful having an ever-changing wall of art to reflect that purpose.

For established artists the wall is a chance to hang their work in a space which will be visited by a diverse range of people; perhaps their art will reach an audience it would usually not. To less established artists, we are a no-cost opportunity to exhibit locally.


Why is it important?

We love collaborating, meeting and working with a variety of people in Whitstable. We value the opportunity to show off fantastic new art works in our Café and love the vibrancy it brings to the space.


Find out more about Whitstable’s Umbrella Café and its wonderful art wall by visiting the website, Facebook page, or join in at the Café itself!

Exclusives by Area