About us2018-09-25T18:55:59+00:00

About Us

The Art & Soul Traders is a cooperative of experienced and dedicated artists, promoters and facilitators with backgrounds in murals, community art, film making, event organisation, music, photography and graphic design. Our portfolio includes commissions for domestic, commercial and community projects. We run as a not profit-driven CIC (Community Interest Company) that re-invests back into the community by voluntary running Portsmouth’s only self-funded independent arts centre offering hundreds of free creative courses, exhibitions, events and workshops over the last 17 years.

Sadly the last ten years due to the economic recession (Great banking swindle) we have had to downsize some of these services due to the lack of funding and at present we are concentrating more on finding the extra expenditure including our 110% rent increase on continuing the centre and creating different revenue streams. We still offer services including community murals, exhibitions, recording studio, venue hire for meetings, workshops, courses and evening events whilst also offering a vast local to European volunteer and work experience programme.

The Art & Soul Traders was founded in 1998 by Mark E.W. Lewis who has been a self-employed, self-taught muralist since 1988. Mark and the team have covered over 300 murals worldwide to date yet mainly concentrate on the south coast of England. We have also organised some of the most successful events in Victoria Park in its 135-year history. The story unfolds from a teenage dream of Marks to be part of a real grassroots arts/music hub in the community and after many years of battles in 2002 art in the park was born. Mark took on the capital fundraising in 2000 and the restoration in 2001 -2002 to save the derelict gatekeeper’s lodge in Victoria Park and to transform it into a community arts and music venue with cafe to provide access to the arts for all and for humility’s sake whilst offering park users a unique and friendly place to eat and drink.

You can read more about this on our other pages, news articles and documents on this website.

Copyright 2007 – 2018 Art & Soul Traders CIC all rights reserved (copyleft)


Project goals

  • To pass on our wealth of experience in workshops and teaching to the next generation
  • To create a living wage for our artists and train and employ new up and coming artists
  • To renovate and regenerate lasting improvements to urban regeneration areas and buildings in a main public place
  • To raise the quality and improve the standard of the group, encouraging and promoting learning for people throughout their lifetime and to improve creativity and innovation through work with experts
  • To promote and raise awareness of the Arts and social issues by supporting community-based initiatives and campaigns
  • To promote and advertise nationally and internationally artwork being created by local artists at the lodge via a web site on the world wide web
  • To provide an exhibition area that will assist local artists in their efforts to promote their work to a wider audience
  • To provide equal opportunities in a creative educational workspace within inspirational and idyllic surroundings

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Copyright 2007 – 2018 Art And Soul Traders Limited all rights reserved. (copyleft)