About Zoom Arts Group.

History.

   Founded by photography students Robert Maxted and John Scowen in 2006, the Zoom Arts group was conceived to challenge the anti-climax following graduation and the void left from years of exhilarating and intense academic study. Originally a photographic collective, the then Zoom group went on to attract new members, deciding in 2008 to open up membership to non-photographic artists to encourage diversity in the work the group produced. Along with a name change to the now Zoom Arts group, the collective thrived. Engaging in community events, the group began looking at ways it could support both local and national charities whilst inspiring an appreciation for the visual arts. 

   In 2016, with support from South Eastern Railways, the group secured a small but excellently located exhibition space in the vibrant Kings Road area of St Leonards which is freely available to members on a rota system. Currently, whilst maintaining ongoing practices, the group is actively seeking ways to move forward, maintaining momentum and broadening the positive impact its strives to have on the local community.

Group Structure.

   Primarily, a self-funding, self-managing diverse collective of practices from vehemently creative people, this members organisation is directed by a small committee who chairs a monthly meeting, open for all members to contribute to managing group admin, working on the diary and generating new ideas. The activities of the group are financed from a small monthly membership fee of £5/month which is the only fee collected by the group – exhibitions are included. 

Intentions.

   Zoom Arts works for the artist and the community. By providing spaces in busy, vibrant locations for members to exhibit their own work, either solo or as a collaboration, the group enables the member artist to benefit experientially and/or financially whilst presenting an informal, approachable gateway for members of the public to access and engage with the visual arts. Offering inclusion in a peer group for sharing ideas, resources and supporting one another in the execution of any activity, Zoom Arts is welcoming to any person showing an interest in joining or supporting the group, encouraging a demographic diversity of members and an artistic diversity of working mediums, interests and levels. The members of the Zoom Arts group are passionate about supporting and promoting a range of causes, raising money and/or profiles by providing a presence at external events and/or using member’s donated works and skills to raise funds (Thriftfest, RNLI, Cystic Fibrosis…)

Program.

   As a group, Zoom Arts strives for an exciting and varied range of opportunities. There is a constant rolling rota of members exhibiting at the Zoom Arts Gallery space at St Leonards Warrior Square Station as well as a rolling rota of members exhibiting in 3rd party venues around the town. The group holds two regular annual exhibitions at The Stade Hall. In spring, there is a set theme for work exhibited in this show and in late summer, the exhibition is open for members to showcase their best work. As well as exhibitions, members of the group are regularly present at community cause events, raising the profile of both the group and the cause being promoted. There is a passion amongst members to work together, disseminating good practice and strengthening the program of in-house workshops.