FEATURE: Thought Foundation | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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What is Thought Foundation? A venue, an arts centre, a gallery, a creative space, a shop, a café and an ideology; the Birtley-based space was born around 18 months ago with kindness, thoughtfulness, nurturing and creativity at its very heart. Sounding more like a loving parent for our society’s creatives than a viable business in these cash-strapped times, I was intrigued to find out more. 

Set up by artist Leanne Pearce and husband Gary, the couple have a vision to combine their skills and passions to create a venue catering for all humans with the aim to inspire, support and promote arts and creativity in the community. Leanne explains: “The venue consists of a large open plan gallery/event space, we have hosted multiple boundary pushing exhibitions, including exploring the subject matters of the environment, Brexit and breastfeeding, working with a plethora of artists. We also have shop selling locally made and thoughtfully sourced gifts, our cafe offers made from scratch, colourful food. There’s an imagination station – a play area for tiny humans; a workshop space offering a multitude of workshops from singing, to calligraphy to film club, we also have a large outside space to eat, chill and play in.”

It is of upmost importance to do good in what sometimes seems a bleak world, and we hope Thought Foundation is a creative sanctuary for the people of the North East

Currently running (until Thursday 31st January) is the Affordable Arts Fair, which supports local artists by exhibiting their work as an extension of the shop space. Artists’ work on display and available to buy include Jane MacCracken, whose biro work depicts local scenes but not in a traditional fashion; Jane Saunders, whose portraits of famous people are created with stitch and felt and Megan Randall’s ceramic artwork arrangements of delicate, white porcelain flowers. 

The last Friday of every month is TF Lates Art Night, a chance for you to get in touch with your artistic side by taking part in fun creative workshops hosted by local artists. Explore image making, painting, artists techniques and more for only £15 and for those feeling the need for a bit of Dutch courage to connect to their muse, the bar will be open. 

For the younger clientele there is the Young Human Art Club running every Saturday for 6-15 year olds, where there is the opportunity to explore artists and develop sketchbooks.

It’s clear from even a swift glance at Thought Foundation’s output that there’s a plethora of fun, original, interesting and inspiring events going on. It seems like it truly is laying down foundations for the influencing of positive thought in our neck of the woods.  As Leanne says: “It is of upmost importance to do good in what sometimes seems a bleak world, and we hope Thought Foundation is a creative sanctuary for the people of the North East and beyond.”

Thought Foundation is located at Clarity House, Durham Road, Birtley.

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