Over hundreds of years, Spain has produced and elevated some of the most famous artists of all time. It is hard to live in Spain and not be inspired by the multitudes of amazing galleries that display and pay recognition to the arts as an outlet for creativity, enlightenment and social change. Most importantly, Spain has become a melting pot of languages and cultures and the arts have the unique ability to extend and expand our shared common visual language.

I joined an arts group recently called the Javea Art Hub. It was launched by a Javea resident by the name of Robert Richardson.

According to Robert, his reasons for starting such a group stemmed from his love of art and his interest in building "like-minded" artist friends.

"I wished to explore and expand my own creativeness, while being supported and inspired by others as this is a great way to push yourself into trying new ideas," explains Robert.

"The idea of the group was to bring local artists together through online discussion/sharing, regular meetings and events such as the Art Market Project. I hope to see the group continue to grow, see more members join and see various annual events occurring," he concludes.


KARLA: How did you get involved in creative art?

ROBERT: From childhood, I have always enjoyed creative activities. I would always be following a Blue Peter build it your self at home or drawing cartoons in scrap books.  I studied art in secondary school but the lack of motivation and diversification brought by the class/teacher lead to very little artwork outside of the classroom.

It wasn't until I struck a friendship with a local artist that I truly began to understand and appreciate paintings. It was this new found love of art that drove me to pick up a brush and start to paint myself.

My desire to own and create unique items be it a painting, sculpture or piece of furniture has driven me to be more creative.

KARLA: How do you think the creative arts can help people?

ROBERT: Creative arts will have a varied impact on person to person.  For me being creative is a relaxing hobby but also strikes an ambitious cord as I often paint or design for my own gratification. The emotion of seeing the end product in my house or on my wall is a very accomplishing feeling.

I do believe that being creative can help people see things from an alternative perspective; which is an excellent ability to have in all walks of life.

Art is also a fantastic medium to being people together, like any hobby meeting new friends though art is great.

KARLA: How do you think the arts can educate people?

ROBERT: Art can tell a story, especially historic/older art.  People can learn from what a piece of art is telling us and in most cases this way of learning can be more invigorating than simple reading a book.  Using art to raise awareness is a powerful medium; as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

KARLA: Do you feel that the arts can still make a difference in social change?

ROBERT: Art changes with time, not only styles or mediums but the ways in which art is shown has changed.  Art can still make an impact but it is down to the artist to assess which method is now best to reach its target audience.  Example; whilst there are those who are still happy to frequent an art gallery, many people would feel more comfortable viewing/purchasing online, it is therefore vital that we explore modern methods of communication to promote ourselves as artists and our work.

Having said that, there does seem to be a social trait among certain groups that want to remain 'cultural' and I feel that people will again seek out the modern gallery.

KARLA: What are your future hopes for the arts in Javea?

ROBERT: Javea can be a very inspiring place for an artist and I hope to see more new artist surface over the coming months.

Being an artist can become difficult when you try to earn a living from your art and I would hope to see incentives come about which help local artists sell art but also encourages local people to buy art from local artists.  I would like to see more local art events which bring those interested in art.