The Jam Factory: Calling Oxfordshire Artists
On the blog today, Phillip Jones, Arts Manager at The Jam Factory in Oxford, explains why art is an important part of the independent restaurant, how the art world has adapted to the pandemic, and why they need Oxfordshire artists help. >>
Tell me about yourself and your role at The Jam Factory.
I imagine most people know me from working at restaurants in Oxford, in the background however I have continuously been working in the arts, I‘m trained in design and illustration, and spend a lot of time drawing, I even did my time working in London at a various design agencies but ultimately realised Oxford is a much nicer place.
I landed my role as the Arts Manager in autumn last year, in the middle of this pandemic.. which was a curious time to start. In a nutshell I organise exhibitions, talk to artists and creatives, and ensure there is a positive art scene in Oxford.
(I’m also an avid gardener)
How important is art at The Jam Factory?
Super important. For a long time we have been a creative hub and we’re very proud of that. The fact that The Jam Factory is relaxed and vibrant plays an important part – we want to make art easily accessible to everyone in the community, whether that’s seeing art or creating it. Over the last 15 years we have seen hundreds of artists show off their work here and I’m looking forward to helping the future ones.
It’s been a particularly hard year for the hospitality and creative industries, what do you think the art world will look like post pandemic?
Its been incredibly hard! Restaurants, galleries, theatres have all had to close, exhibitions and concerts have been postponed or cancelled, in the industry it was known as ‘When the arts went dark’… It very much seemed that the arts were deemed unessential. In reality art is important, it’s seen a lot of folk through some of the harder times in lockdown, it’s part of our wellbeing and very much brightens up our day.
Right now the majority of art experiences are found online. Traditional ways of seeing art has become very limited and galleries throughout the world have gone to great efforts to be more versatile online.
There has been a surge in everyday folk dabbling in their artistic pursuits at home and a lot will want to carry on. Life drawing has definitely had a major come back, people drawing their houseplants and bowls of fruits, and it’s on social platforms where we get to see them. The art world is a reflection of the times and right now that’s – hashtag still life.
Tell me about your hopes and plans for Artweeks 2021, and the exhibition year ahead.
Artweeks this year could be ace!
In Line with Oxford Art Weeks The Jam Factory will be holding an Open Call Exhibition – we are inviting anyone and everyone to submit artwork they have done for a group show. The theme of what you can submit is completely open and so long as you can hang in on a wall we want to see it! (There is the added perk of one lucky participant having the chance to win their own fully supported show in the future)
Despite all the restrictions that are in place there is a lot going on with Artweeks, a lot of people have worked hard to make sure things are happening and that should be celebrated.
Phillip is inviting you to submit your fantastic artwork to exhibit in this year’s show which will be part of Oxford Artweeks.
By participating, you’ll be part of a group show and will have a chance of winning your own solo exhibition – fully supported – in the future.
The JF team are encouraging submissions of all mediums (so long as it can be hung on their walls) and the theme is completely open.
27th April 2021 – 22nd June 2021
(dates may be subject to change)
23rd March 2021
For more information see thejamfactoryoxford.com