Tag Archives: Junction 42

Our Christmas Exhibition

Alan Reed

Razah Dancing, Sur in Oman

Our Christmas Exhibition starts on the weekend of the 24th & 25th November 9:30 – 5pm.

I’ve now been a full time artist for 34 years! It’s been quite a journey, one which I’ve shared with many who have become an important part of my story as an artist.

2018 has been a landmark year as it was our 25th wedding anniversary in February. Although Susan became my business partner in 1995, her influence on my work really started eighteen months into our relationship when she introduced me to Venice in June 1991. It was only fitting to squeeze a short trip to Venice in September this year to recall and share our memories with our son Oliver and his wife Sophie. Some of my Venetian paintings will be on display for Our Christmas Exhibition.

For over 10 years I have received many interesting painting commissions from a number of clients in Oman. Another request came in over the summer months so we needed to travel to Oman to get further reference of this fascinating country. It was lovely to catch up with many of the friends we have made there over the years.

On a previous blog post I talked about a zip wire jump I did for a charity called Junction 42. It’s an amazing Christian charity that works with offenders and ex-offenders. In March this year I started doing some part time work for them, working mainly as a Job Coach helping ex-offenders to find employment.

I’ve also been inside several prisons delivering portrait drawing workshops to the inmates. It’s very different work to painting scenes of Oman or running Painting Holidays in Italy but I’m finding it very stimulating and rewarding.

Our Painting Holiday in Umbria, Italy was another success with most of the guests booking again for 2019. Demand means we’ve added new dates for the 21st – 28th September 2019.

It’s been a very busy and eventful year with all of the above and much more! Susan and I would love to share some of our stories with you at Our Christmas Exhibition starting on the weekend of the 24th & 25th November, 9:30 – 5pm.

We really hope you can make it. There will be lots of new paintings to see too!

 

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Junction 42

Alan Reed

Tyne Bridge, Early Morning

Junction 42 is an established charity which exists to see the lives of offenders and their communities visibly transformed by the hope of the Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ. Their mission statement is taken from the Old Testament book Isaiah Chapter 42 verse 7 “to free captives form prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness”.

It began in 2012 through their director Joanne O’Connor who had started the work in HMP/YOI Low Newton doing both chaplaincy and education provision, working initially for Youth for Christ back in 2000. As the Entrepreneurial work grew and prison work became more adult focused, Junction 42 was born.

I’ve known Joanne and her husband John for almost 20 years. When John, who had been a  drug addict, met Joanne and they planned to get married, my wife Susan and I did their marriage preparation. Since then we have remained close friends and have closely followed and supported their prison work. In the past couple of years Susan and I have delivered workshops teaching portraiture in Low Newton prison to the young women there.

Junction 42 also delivers art and music related projects and Entrepreneurial Training courses in prisons to equip individuals in custody to take ownership of their employment situation upon release. This can be through setting up their own business using the skills learned in this course or by using the confidence gained form doing the course to make them better candidates in job applications. You can read a report on their Entrepreneurial work delivered in prisons.

The DWP refers offenders to Junction 42 to receive 1-2-1 Mentoring and/or attendance to their CAP Job Club to help them develop an action plan to rebuild their lives and to engage in the community in a positive way to dramatically reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

Another point of help for the ex offenders is Connect, a Christian group who meet at St Luke’s Church on Claremont Road in Newcastle on a Tuesday night. This provides an opportunity for them to find out about Christianity through Alpha Courses and friendship with christians.

As a means of raising support and awareness of Junction 42 I’m going to do a zip wire challenge from the Tyne Bridge on Sunday 15th April at 1pm. Two years ago a team of staff from Junction 42 did a zip wire from the Tyne Bridge and raised £5,000 between them.

If you would like to find out more about Junction 42 then Susan and I would love to see you at our Spring Exhibition at our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland which runs throughout April.

You can make a donation via MyDonate which will be very much appreciated.

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