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Milton Keynes charity launches affordable art exhibition showcasing local artists’ work

Westbury Arts Centre has officially launched an exhibition at The Grumpy Cook Café in Loughton, showcasing local artists’ work – and this has all been made possible thanks to their local Labour ward councillor.

Loughton & Shenley Councillor Zoe Nolan initiated the project in 2021 and contributed £500 of her COVID ward grant to the decade-old charity to ensure the exhibition could go ahead.

Westbury Arts Centre installed a variety of artwork into the Grumpy Cook Café in December, making way for a ‘rolling exhibition’ of work for residents to purchase and enjoy.

Councillor Zoe Nolan said: “Westbury Arts Centre produces the most beautiful art, all created by local artists. It is a hidden gem that many people may not know about, so this exhibition will introduce the talent to wider audiences. The past two years have severely impacted local charities, so I’m pleased my ward grant will provide some stability for the centre and their artists.”

Jane Herriman, Chair of Westbury Arts Centre, added: “Westbury has always welcomed the community to our Arts Centre; we’re open most days of the year in our Grade 2-listed building in Shenley Wood, which is home to 19 studio holders. This project was initiated by Zoe and we very much welcome the opportunity to bring our art into the more of the community in this way.”

The Grumpy Cook Café, an independently run eatery, was chosen for the exhibition due to its tall ceiling and blank walls that can be transformed by art.

Councillor Nolan concluded: “I have worked closely with the teams at Westbury and The Grumpy Cook from start to finish, and look forward to seeing this exhibition be a success. This fantastic project will help bring more business to The Grumpy Cook Café while supporting local artists, and provide joy to residents at a time when many of us need it.”

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