Inclusive art for all: Art Halo project launches at RISE gallery

By - Thursday 12th March, 2015

Who will be Croydon’s next big artist? Bernadette Fallon explains how it could be you

Exhibition from the pilot Art Halo project in 2014 at Croydon University Hospital.
Photo author’s own.

RISE gallery in Croydon has done many good things during its short time in the borough. Since its opening last October, owner Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison has created an art space Croydon can be proud of, showcasing doyens of the art world like Banksy and Damien Hirst alongside up-and-coming artists and graduates from the local art college.

He’s developing St. George’s Walk, where the galley is located, as a colourful Arts Quarter, with eye-catching art murals on shop shutters all around the outdoor space. And he organised Croydon’s first ever Paint Jam in February, when fifty female artists from Femme Fierce blitzed the walk and surrounding streets with outdoor art.

What next? Art for the disadvantaged maybe? Already covered! The Art Halo studios have now opened upstairs in RISE, with the aim of making art, according to Kevin, ‘inclusive of all and exclusive to none’. Running regular courses for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, he wants to ‘capture people who are on the fringes’.

I want to give people access to art so they can make a career out of it

But this is no dabbling in finger painting. “I want to give people access to art so they can make a career out of it,” he explains. It’s for this reason he has hired artist, teacher and soon-to-be art psychotherapist Kerri Wyatt to run the courses. Trained in print and textiles, she’s also worked as an art teacher in schools with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, children in care and those who have suffered abuse and neglect. She’s very excited about the Art Halo project, and full of ideas for its development. “We’ll be encouraging students on these courses to explore their own ideas, to work on whatever interests them, and recruiting volunteers from different artistic backgrounds to help them develop their work,” she says.

Students will be able to choose which medium to work in – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, film, etc – and will have access to a range of high quality art materials. The aim of the course is to work towards creating a finished piece of artwork, which will be professionally framed or mounted.

A pilot project resulted in a sell-out exhibition

All being well, Kevin will be packing the artworks into his (presumably rather voluminous) suitcases and taking them to art fairs in New York in summer and Paris in spring, with the aim of finding buyers. There will also be an exhibition at the end of each course, with a private view for invited family and friends of the artists.

A pilot project, run by Kevin in Croydon last year, resulted in a sold-out exhibition at Croydon University Hospital (pictured above). The hospital has offered exhibition space again this year, with artworks to be displayed in its corridors. A twelve week course, which runs for two hours weekly and includes a starter pack, all materials, a place in the final exhibition and a private view for the artists, family and friends, costs £425. For more information visit the Art Halo website here.

Bernadette Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Bernadette has been a journalist since the age of 7 when she devised, designed and launched ‘Fallon’s News’ – much to her family’s delight. Brought up in Ireland, she was born in Addiscombe where she now lives, though it took her several decades to find it again. She works as a journalist and broadcaster. Follow her at

More Posts