Sam Bennett

35 Oxfordshire artists, plus students from The Cooper School in Bicester, are putting together a collaborative exhibition together to celebrate coming out of lockdown.

Across three floors, and with over 200 works on view, the Oxford Arts Collective Exhibition will highlight the talent of local artists and showcase a broad and varied range of media and styles, such as print, photography, mixed media, oil and watercolours.

Simone Bonnett

Featuring works by Debrah Martin, Aimee Kirkham, Lesley Wildman, Tereza Barnard, Simone Bonnett, David Blakemore and Caroline Ritson, plus many more, with a floor dedicated to the superb artworks of The Cooper School students, the exhibition, to mark launch of new local business Cinch Storage, aims to cover all artistic tastes. 

Visitors to the free exhibition can view and buy the work, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Bicester Baby Bank and Bicester Foodbank.   

Kayleigh Carter

Aimee Kirkham, Oxford photographer and fine art tutor, who helped organise the exhibition explains:

“Many of the artists involved had planned to exhibit in Oxfordshire Artweeks, and though they were still able to do so online, there has been a lot of excitement about the prospect of being able to exhibit ‘in person’ again and this highlights the importance of community, interaction and connection within the arts.

Cooper School

“It has given some of the artists a focus for new artworks or the chance to display works they made during lockdown.

“This exhibition has allowed me to work collaboratively within a community of artists which, given the lockdown situation we have found ourselves in, is both exciting and uplifting.  It’s given me some sense of normality, in an otherwise abnormal world.”

David Blakemore

“It’s not often that exhibitions happen within this kind of space, with such a vast range of artworks on display.

“It’s fantastic to be able to work with so many local artists and businesses and also have the chance to support local charities too.” 

Lesley Wildman

The original idea was to give the GCSE and A Level Students at The Cooper School, that missed out on the chance to exhibit their hard work due to Covid-19, a chance to do so before school returned in September. 

The Cooper School and Cinch then agreed to open the event to local artists.

Aimee Kirkham

​Andy Sparke of Cinch Storage said: “It was vital to us that the event gave something back to the local community and that local charities would benefit. The result is three floors filled with local art and a Hog Roast being manned by DeliStop in Bicester.  

“All proceeds from the food sales and a percentage of artwork sales are being donated to Bicester Baby Bank and Bicester Foodbank.

Martha Cadle

Leanne Smyth, Cooper School, Head of Art and event co-host said: “Not only will we be able to celebrate the students amazing work accumulated over the last two years but share this moment with the wider Oxfordshire creative community.”

“2020 has been a strange year – both reclusive and yet expansive too. Enforced time-out has made us look at ourselves, our world and how we want to express what we feel about all of that.”​

Emma Davis

The exhibition will feature artworks from Mary Ellen Wiltshire, Myrica Jones, Maureen Gillespie, Rosemary Atkins, Kayleigh Carter, Lynn Pilgrim, Debbie Farrell, Gerry Coles, Sam Bennett, David Blakemore, Emma Davis, Katy Pike, Martha Cadle, Yvonne Ramsay, Steve Vaughn, Marion Owen, Caroline Ritson, Linn Kerr, Lauren Ellis, Mark Clay, Faye Knight, Sam Bennett, Jan Gaska, Simone Bonnett, John Collier, Caroline Nixon, Margaret Horton, Emma Coleman Jones, Tereza Barnard, Lesley Wildman, Debrah Martin and Phill Knight.

The exhibition will take place in line with current government Covid-19 restrictions.  

Tereza Barnard

The FREE ENTRY Oxford Arts Collective Exhibition will be held at Cinch Storage, 1 Arkwright Rd, Bicester, OX26 4SU and open August 29-31.

More information about the artists on display at Oxford Arts Collective Exhibition is available at