Many people remember the little building in Knight’s Arcade (opposite the cinema) as a furniture store, then Carpenter’s Cafe and later as Treebeards Tavern. Last year the then derelict place was purchased by Stephen Childs, co-owner of Redruth Drapery, and has become the home of The Art Room.
This new venture is the fulfilment of a long-term ambition of Tina Varcoe, a former Cornwall College teacher who has lived in Redruth since 2011 and has always wanted to contribute something to the life of the town. “It was inevitable that the high street would change as Internet shopping became big,” said Tina. “Redruth needs forward thinking independent shops and other businesses that bring people in for activities so that we become known as somewhere for things you can’t get online.”
Tina had been running Scribblegroups – “art playgroup” sessions for adults – for a number of years, and they were becoming increasingly popular just before the pandemic hit. During lockdown she realised that more people were becoming interested in the benefits of making things and The Art Room was born. The space has been transformed into a warm, friendly environment for people to get creative in a no-pressure way.
“It’s important to me that everyone who comes through this door feels welcome and free to be themselves,” says Tina. “Every single human being is creative, but adult life makes us forget it. I want to help people rediscover that bit of themselves and remember how to play.”
The Art Room runs a programme of weekly Scribblegroups, holiday sessions for kids, taught life drawing and workshops with guest artists. They also host creative parties and are starting an after school club and Thursday morning drop-in sessions in March.
For further details, see the website: www.artroomredruth.co.uk