Lon-art is an arts organisation that offers a platform for everyone to create, collaborate and reflect upon social issues through the arts.
Our vision is to raise awareness about social issues with a particular focus on women, empowering individuals and promoting critical thinking through activist art.
Our mission is to create cultural events, art workshops, talks and social exhibitions to represent those less-heard voices of our society. We create, collaborate, reflect and take action involving all social agents to contribute to positive social changes. Our approach is grounded on the interaction between artists, communities and change makers to benefit all.
Our beneficiaries are: the general public, charities, women, children and underrepresented communities across London and abroad.
Our partners are: charities, institutions, arts organisations and private companies or individuals that share our social values.
Our ethos strives for gender-race-age diversity, representation and equal opportunities. When we refer to women, we include trans women and gender non-conforming individuals – without them, our mission wouldn’t be complete.
‘’Activist art is a term used to describe art that is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ and addresses political or social issues’’
First established in 2010, Lon-art has been growing and changing steadily over the past seven years. We started running language art workshops, community arts events and creating tours at the National Gallery to reflect on women’s representation in the history of art.
From running numerous art workshops, events and social exhibitions addressing women’s issues, which involved the collaboration of women artists, creators and art educators, we organically grew into an activist art organisation grounded in feminism, social equality and accessible creative learning for all.
This led to the creation of our long term project, Sheroes, a feminist project with the objective to highlight hidden herstories. Since then, we have curated two exhibitions, a number of panels talks, a bespoke website and art workshops, not only showcasing and celebrating women’s voices but also advocating for systemic changes in our ongoing patriarchal society. This project has reached over 2500 people in the past 18 months.
Although based in London, our vision and mission are universal. Lon-art’s concept was born in India, in a children’s house, where the Lon-art’s founder, Maria, spent three months working with children as an art educator. Six years later we had the chance to collaborate in Greece in 2016, as part of Symbiosis, an arts festival for refugees in Lesbos, which focused on helping women in the refugee camps to have art activities for themselves and their children.
Most of our projects have been funded by sponsors, small grants and crowdfunding bodies. In 2019, Lon-art was delighted to be granted funding by the Lottery Community Fund for the first time, enabling the launch of Sheroes-Revoluciones.
Lon-art’s core team is women led with a horizontal structure, aiming to include in the creation of our activities, a diverse cultural and race background and a broad experience in education (Modern Languages, IT and Art & Design), community work, the art world, social work, marketing and events, translation and the charity sector. Our team is driven by a true passion to be change makers and fight against injustices and social issues. We are a creative family that imagine and collaborate together.
Among our partners are numerous organisations and cultural venues including: Centrepoint, IARS, Oxford House in Bethnal Green, Idea Store (Watney Market and Whitechapel), FORWARD, Spitalfields Housing Association, Up Your Street (an East London women’s group), Tower Hamlets, Rich Mix, Herstory, Ugly Duck, Procreate, LAWRS, and a range of pan-UK universities and schools.
“The tour was a great way to spend some time in London. The National Gallery is really big and can be pretty daunting trying to figure out where to start. The tour was a really great way to learn about paintings of and by women in the Gallery in a more personal setting. It provided an opportunity to think about and engage with the works that we saw through a different lens than we are often accustomed to. I highly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.”
Engagement of non-British young people in activities is paramount to their future integration but it is a challenge. However, Lon-art came with a unique, creative & interactive project to tackle exactly that. Centrepoint wants now to extrapolate the project in all its services. Besides, Lon-art staff are open, approachable and flexible in running the project and they made a massive impact not only in young people’s engagement but also in raising staff interest and engagement. I am glad to work with them.
Asmerom Woldegebriel, Immigration & Integration Manager, Centrepoint
For Oxford House, working with Lon-art always means success. After hosting ‘The Salon of Spanish Rejects’ at our gallery in 2014, Lon-art has run other workshops here and won one of our creative contests. We hope to maintain our collaboration in the future because to be part of Lon-art’s projects is a real honour.
Eva Carmona, Marketing and Communications Officer, Oxford House
I just thought it was such a great day. We had three amazing different events happening, that you guys ran for us. You guys were so enthusiastic, you got the kids to be enthusiastic… It was a great, great success, one of the best events we’ve actually had.
Rajia Khan, Black History Month Co-ordinator, Idea Store
MEET OUR DIRECTORS
Founder & Creative Director
I am an art historian and art educator, and one of the founders of Lon-art.org. The organisation is the result of a long process of exploring different walks of life, travelling and reflecting on art, education and social matters. I am the one designing and delivering the projects. I am passionate about educating people through the arts and empowering them to create a better society.
Director of Operations
I was witness to Lon-art’s conception, working on the organisation’s first ever workshop in Vienna. My background is very varied: I am a ceramicist and translator with experience in International Relations and Advertising. Such versatility allows me to get involved in Lon-art’s range of activities at many levels: I manage our finances, marketing and PR strategies, and I also deliver some of our workshops.