Former art students take up key roles in Arts Network Sutton

27 November 2014

Arts Newtork SuttonSCOLA, Sutton College has had links to Arts Network Sutton (ANS), formerly Sutton Arts Council, for years and it appears in more ways than one as two of the executive committee started out their art journeys as SCOLA students.

Following redundancy, David Tribe, now an executive member of ANS, joined an Oil Painting class in 1990 and continued with it for over 15 years.

David found the tutor very knowledgeable and ‘acted as a mentor rather than a classroom type teacher’. The class often met socially – creating friendships lasting years and years.

Since his class, being stretched by the tutor and becoming more commercial, David has gone on to sell over 150 paintings and won several awards.

He has been an active member of the Epsom and Ewell Art Group, and also helps to run Bananas Art group in Wallington (offering assistance with ‘art as therapy’ to help those with mental health problems).

David said ‘At SCOLA, I found the facilities good and the atmosphere warm, and have no doubt that my experiences there made my life richer’.

Samia Tossio is Chair of the Arts Network Sutton started SCOLA back in September 2004 joined a creative sewing class some weeks, began working sketch books which the tutor saw & promptly suggested she join the AS Level Art & Textiles course. As part of the course there was a 2 day silk painting workshop in Nonsuch Mansion and this was the beginning of Samia’s inspiration.

She became a community artist and in 2008 worked in Sutton High street creating the first of many ‘SamiArt Silk Roads’ in community settings – High Streets, Festivals, Fun Days, Community Centres.

Samia felt there needed to be a concerted effort to collaborate to bring arts to the people –and to recognise the value of arts to health, well being, economy and society. Further experience involved co-ordinating a Community Arts Space , presenting a commemorative silk painting to Prince Charles & continuing to deliver workshops as well as working on projects for Sutton’s Imagine Arts Festival. By 2013 Samia had directed a creative collaboration for the festival, The Imagineers, who won an award for an outstanding contribution to culture.

Samia then joined a working party to help drive Sutton Arts Council forward, becoming its Interim Vice Chair & being voted in as Chair of the reformed independent charity, Arts Network Sutton, in June 2014. SCOLA was a catalyst for Samia and thanks to her tutor and classmates ‘ I stuck at it, stretched my wings & now I am here’.

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