Art Van Go - Endings and new beginnings . .


The dynamic duo - Viv and Kevin

Change is a part of all our lives. It is important to mark certain changes, particularly one that will affect so many people in the creative textile world in the UK and further afield. Art Van Go is winding down. All good things must end!

Art Van Go was started by Viv Arthur in 1989.  Viv bought herself a van, filled it with art materials and travelled around the country to colleges, schools, and textile groups. Her mission? To 'take the art shop to the artist'. Through travelling the country, meeting artists from far and wide and building contacts, this led to the need for a solid base. And so, in 2001, Viv and her partner Kevin, bought the bricks and mortar shop in Knebworth to be able to connect all the artists they had met, and continue building the Art Van Go community!

The brilliant Art in Action stand at The Knitting & Stitching Shows

Over the last 34 years, Art Van Go has become an institution. An artistic hub for artists from across the U.K and further afield, a workshop space, gallery, and as described by many visitors to the shop as "a bit of an Aladdin's cave"!  From winning the K&S Show's 'Retailer of the Year' in 2006, to organising the 'Artist in Action' stands at the shows themselves, Viv & Kevin and their ever-widening team made a huge impact in the world of textiles, particularly in the world of textile artists and tutors.

It is fantastic the Viv and Kevin will very soon be able to make different decisions about what they will do with their days. a bit of relaxed gardening and alot of travelling I suspect, hopefully Ireland is on their list . . 

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Viv and Kevin for all their help and kindness over the past years. Viv and Kevin made it easier for textile tutors like myself to teach new and experimental processes. Art Van Go tracked down the supplies we needed to teach others and encourage the use of new techniques and processes with new and mostly unheard of products.


A lively workshop in the Art Van Go studio
We were always offered chocolates with afternoon tea

Art Van Go also created a fabulous teaching space where we could spread the love of textiles. When I first started teaching, there were very few places to teach apart from colleges. It is hard to believe now, when there are so many teaching spaces, it is hard to choose. And now, of course, we can now teach online, anywhere in the world. Running regular workshops was quite hard work, I'm not sure how many students appreciated what went on behind the scenes. 


Kevin hoisting the Art Van Go flag on the stand and Janice saluting.
There were always long queues on the stand, but nobody minded, it was always an entertaining wait.

If you visited any of the major textile shows in the UK over the years, you couldn't help but notice the fabulous, colourful and exciting Art Van Go stand. They supplied everything we could possibly desire and many things we didn't know we needed!!! They were always on hand to explain how products worked.

It is difficult to quantify just how much Viv and Kevin have supported, helped and promoted so many artists over the years, they have made a massive difference to all our lives. We all know who we are! Students and tutors alike, through their kindness, patience and care. And friendship.

Viv getting ready for the Art Van Go 25th party
Kevin giggling in the kitchen
Viv and Kevin at their 25th party
Here's to relaxing and new adventures

These gorgeous people will hopefully now have time to catch up with all the things they have been putting off . . . I wish you all the very best for the final winding down of Art Van Go and look forward to seeing much more of both of you. It's going to be great fun. I'll bring the marshmallows next time . . 😂😂😂



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