Gallery Takeover

I’m Lou Greenwell from the Circuit Cambridge group. In July we held an event at Kettle’s Yard called Gallery Takeover, which was planned and led by the group. We wanted to attract a wide a range of young people, with a focus on different community groups.  

The gap between Kettle’s Yard closing and the builders moving in (Kettle’s Yard is closing for two years for a major building project), gave us the perfect opportunity to hold an event in the empty gallery. As the gallery space is being completely redone, we were free from worries about marking walls, spilling paint on the floor and other instances of the kind that keep gallery invigilators up at night.

Would you let us do this to your Gallery Space?


We’d consulted with several youth groups in the local area about what activities they would like to see at the kind of open workshop we were planning. As the strongest preferences across the groups were for jewellery making, animation and spray paint workshops, we chose these activities in order to attract our target audience.

In order to build the core groups’ workshop facilitation skills, we led the jewellery and spray paint workshops, and two artists that had already been working with Foyer Cambridge on an animation project, ran the animation activities, along with several members of that Foyer group.


We tried to make evaluation a key part of each workshop, as at previous events we’d noticed it can be very hard to encourage people to give feedback if it’s collected in a ‘boring’ manner. At the jewellery workshop, we asked participants to choose a different colour bead according to what they thought, only ‘good’ beads were chosen! The evaluation aspect of the spray paint workshop included a scale from 1 to 10 on the wall, 10 being the best, and participants were asked to use the stencils they’d created during the workshop and spray paint to mark how good they thought the workshop was. We also put up a chalkboard, with prompts to encourage participants to let us know their thoughts.


We had 69 participants over the course of the day, and managed to collect a good amount of feedback, from a wide selection of those attended. As a group we were really proud of we’d achieved, everyone who’d come along seemed to enjoy it, and as we’d designed the workshops specially so participants could take things home, a lot went away clutching their creations with extreme pride.


Some of the comments and feedback we received:

I love how the galleries now look and have put images up on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. – Andrew Nairne, Director, Kettle’s Yard

Young people / Circuit need to be the first to mark / inaugurate the new galleries! Definitely possible in some form. – Andrew Nairne, Director, Kettle’s Yard

This was so fun! So glad we stopped by!

Yes – easy to get into/involved with and lovely people.

Yes, I liked the space to learn and new skill and chill with my friend

Yes, it was fun and there was a nice atmosphere

A good mixture of art and activities to try

Fun & chilled

Today was a lot of fun! Thank you for turning me into a more ‘artsy’ person at least for one day!

I adore this! So fun

Interesting way to explore other artistic mediums in a creative environment.

It was amazing, extremely fun, loved the graffiti J

We had lots of fun today and learnt some interesting skills. Relaxing, eye-opening + fun! Thank you for your time!

I enjoyed the different art cultural activities.

Today was a fantastic opportunity to get involved in different types of art. Great day!


Thank you for making this weekend great!!!

The graffiti and animation were the best J

Groovy banter!

Very enjoyable! Loved the graffiti workshop!

VIR2OSO were glad to come J

Thank you very much for the time, a wonderful thing to do! Lots of fun! J

Loved the staff, very respectful and loved the activities. Would do this again. Love you all lots, Mercedes.