by Monika Kalytyte
It is a bright little studio in the corner of the Dalston Culture House, on the second floor. You open the door, and get surrounded by the smell of paint, oil, clay, paper… and coffee. There is always carefully-selected music in the background, which varies everyday depending on the mood. You look closer. There are ordinary people who get on with their work, stay focused, sit individually or in groups and create. Ordinary people, who have stories to tell, but sometimes choose to remain silent – other times they choose to tell them through their art. They are here because they feel free, they feel safe, and they feel that they can be themselves and speak up their minds. But they phrase it better than I do… “Studio Upstairs is the one place I feel completely at home, I don’t worry about how I come across, I don’t have to worry about being myself.”
In September, Studio Upstairs launched ‘Give us a smile’ creative fundraising project; an open invitation to our artists, friends celebrities and creative people from all around Europe to ‘shoot’ us a smile.
Why is this smile project so important?
First things first, the smile – whether you give it, or you receive it, it can make a huge difference. It reduces stress, it is the best outfit one can wear, it is a medicine-free painkiller, it is international, it is the first step to happiness, a recipe of longevity and makes people around you feel good.
Why we chose a smile?
Because we want to give and receive positivity, while, at the same time raising awareness about the increasing number of people who don’t smile very often.
Smiles could be interpreted in all sort of different ways, but they would certainly bring the community together to give a chance to everyone to explain themselves – what is a smile to them, what do they relate a smile to. With this project we gave everyone the opportunity to open their minds and souls; we asked for a smile and received colors, sketches, collages, bitter smiles, straight faces.
So far we have received smiles from all over the UK, Spain and Greece! Our affordable art auction evening will be a unique opportunity to buy a piece of art and support Studio Upstairs!
Have you got enough reasons to join our cause?
RSVP at the auction evening at firstname.lastname@example.org!