We’ve spent more time at home than we ever thought we would. What sorts of things did you get up to during the past 14 months? Maybe you started painting again, or learned how to knit, or made collages to send to your friends or started taking photographs on your phone. We’d love to celebrate the little acts of creativity we have all made at home, and share them in our café.
The Stove Café and the Conversing Building project would like you to submit or loan your artworks to us for a Community Café Exhibition in June 2021. Works can be 2D or 3D, measuring no more than 60cm in any direction please. All artworks will be displayed in our public café so please make sure that the work you submit is suitable for all ages.
How to Submit
Artworks can be dropped off to The Stove Café during regular opening hours Wed-Sat, 10-3pm, but please make sure you have included your contact details so that we can return your work to you. If we receive a large number of submissions we may not be able to display all works. Please do not submit more than two artworks per person.
If you have any queries about whether your creative work will be suitable, please drop us an email to [email protected], or pop into the Stove café and ask one of our team.
All artworks must be submitted by Monday 31st May 2021.
The exhibition will run from the 2nd to the 30th June 2021.
The last time I baked was some 30 years ago; Hot Cross Buns. They turned out like hot cross rocks. Inedible. I decided then it was time to give up on home made bread and yeast as my track record was littered with failures.
Fast-forward some thirty years, and, due to a series of events, I found myself attending the Douglicious gathering. To be more accurate, as a new recruit at The Stove, I was facilitating it. I meeted and greeted and made teas and coffees. And I watched and listened.
They were preparing sour dough. Liz, the wonderful woman who initiated Douglicious, handed out sour dough starter to all those who had brought with them flour and a bowl. She brought extra bowls and flour for those who hadn’t brought their own, so everyone had the opportunity to have a go.
I looked on. I was fascinated. I knew nothing about sour dough and I’d never, ever, thought about baking my own. I became engrossed and wanted to know more. When the dough was resting, we all sat around the tables, tasted samples people had brought with them, and talked about bread. I joined in.
I asked so many questions and Liz and the group were extremely accommodating, answering all of them. I took notes. At the end of the evening, Liz offered me the dough she had prepared. I hadn’t participated in the dough making, so was thrilled to be offered the sour-dough-in-the-making to take home and finish. I stretched it and rested it four times before going to bed.
The next day I baked it and it turned our perfectly: completely edible and delicious. Liz also gave me my own sour dough starter and I’ve been baking (dare I say) perfect sour dough loaves at home ever since. Who’d have thought it? Certainly not me.
The Stove Cafe is the social heart of our social enterprise to bring new life to the town centre through culture and the arts and supporting community activity and career development for local people. Last year, we started to put together plans to make changes to The Stove cafe to improve on the look and feel of the space and to open up the space more to allow for more customers. The Stove’s Project Manager, Graham, led the Cafe refurb, along with Duncan Clowe from Duncan Clowe Joinery. The work Duncan did, along with the help of his dad, was superb and we cannot thank him enough! Make sure you check out his Facebook page and get in touch with him if you’re needing joinery work done! Check out the Stove Cafe refurb process photos below:
Since we’ve reopened the Cafe, we have been overwhelmed by the response from our customers and have been lucky to welcome some new ones in too! When you buy a coffee at the Stove, you are being part of a new vision for your High Street. Your support helps us to create opportunities, run projects and an events programme for everyone. To keep up to date with news from The Stove Cafe, follow their Facebook page here or their Instagram page here.
And don’t forget – become a member of The Stove Network and receive 10% off all food and drink in the cafe! Sign up to become a member by clicking here.
Many have suggested simple solutions to the French Paradox, the apparent contradiction that the French can eat rich, fatty foods while maintaining a lifestyle much healthier than many their counterparts in the western world. Could it be all the red wine? Or maybe its something in their genetics? The answer, as Will Marshall explained in his introduction to the Open Jar Collective’s “Feeding Creativity” event, is likely much more complicated than that, and is a clear indication that our attitude towards food has a fundamental effect on our everyday lives. From how we socialise, to how we interact with our surrounding landscape and, importantly, how we create, Will understands that our relationship with food shapes us as individuals and as a community, capable of bringing us together and prompting what he calls “unexpected interactions” across all sorts of social and cultural boundaries. For him and the rest of the Stove team, the prospect of opening a cafe Dumfries town centre is much more than a simple business venture. On the contrary, the Stove sees its future cafe not just as a place to drink nice coffee but as lively hub that will bring the community together, be it to participate in the events or activities facilitated by the Stove network or just to enjoy good quality local produce, sourced from across the region.
o fulfil this vision, the Stove has enlisted the expertise of the Open Jar Collective, a group of Glasgow-based artists who specialise in all things food. Open Jar have been carrying out extensive research to in order formulate an operational plan and identity for the cafe, analysing similar projects undertaken by other arts organisations in the UK (Glasgow’s Project Cafe was offered as one such example) and meeting with local producers such as the Loch Arthur Farmshop.
Feeding Creativity represented another stage in this process, a 2-hour event held at 100 Midsteeple in which they invited anyone with an interest in food and creativity to have their say about what they’d like to see from a new eating spot in the town centre – and to share some tasty soup and bread in the process.
Attendees included caterers, health workers, business owners and civil servants amongst other professionals, all interested in leveraging the cafe’s prime location and the region’s ample culinary resources to enrich the town and the lives of its denizens alike. Splitting into groups, they identified problems currently ailing the town and suggested some ways these could be addressed, resulting in a sort of mission plan that might inform the functioning of the cafe in its finished form.
Chief among these was the need for a place to meet after shopping hours that isn’t a pub, giving young people a chance to get out of the family home and giving community groups somewhere amenable to convene on a regular basis. Another was the desire for a knowledge centre where townsfolk can share their passion for food, be it cooking skills, growing techniques or healthy eating advice.
All in all, Open Jar were met with an enthusiastic response and left with plenty of ideas to work with, ending the night by assuring that further public consultations are in the works. With the cafe due to open in time for Guid Nychburris, the Stove is keen to get as many people excited about food’s potential to bring about positive change as they can in the coming months, ideally resulting in a space that the people of Dumfries can feel invested in and responsible for, and which gives the town centre a whole new lease of life. If Feeding Creativity is any indication, it’s off to a great start.