Old Fire Station Blog

News, happenings and goings on from the Old Fire Station, Oxford


Find out about us below and find out new and what’s happening at the Old Fire Station by viewing our Blog


Arts at the Old Fire Station is a charity and social enterprise in the heart of Oxford, offering a range of performances and exhibitions for everyone, support for emerging artists and enterprising ways to sustain and develop art as a business.

We have a Shop selling original artwork, a Gallery with a wide range of exhibitions, a Theatre offering music and drama, a Studio for all kinds of dance and workshops for artists to make work.  We also have space to hire for classes, rehearsals and meetings.

We share the building with Crisis Skylight Oxford – a training centre offering creative and formal learning opportunities to homeless and vulnerably housed people and a dedicated employment service which helps them find and keep jobs.  The Crisis Skylight Cafe provides on-the-job training, as well as great city centre food and drink to the wider public.

Gloucester Green Entrance to the Old Fire Station, Oxford

Gloucester Green Entrance to the Old Fire Station, Oxford

But we are doing more together than simply sharing a building! The two charities have a shared vision for this new hub of creativity in the centre of Oxford . Creativity plays a central role in the drive to end homelessness with high quality arts activities and facilities giving confidence and opportunities. The public spaces in the building are for everyone and the fabulous artwork in the foyer embodies what we are about.  It was funded by Oxford City Council and commissioned from two local artists who worked with a group of homeless people to create a stunning permanent installation with a key message: Change – when patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.

Artwork created by homeless people and two local artists for our reception area

Artwork created for our reception area by homeless people and two local artists


9 comments on “About

    April 8, 2011

    would like to rent a studio and am also interested in your goals. As someone who has been through the mill in Oxford and know its particular difficulties. Please get in touch

    • mirandalaurence
      April 19, 2011

      Hi Dympna. Please drop me an email on info@oldfirestation.org.uk to register your interest in a studio space. Great to hear you would like to join us.

  2. Katy Watson
    April 21, 2011

    I received info about an opportunity to be involved in creating a permanent piece of art at the Old Fire Station- and was unsure what was actually being asked for, i.e., a proposal for a project, or a call for volunteers, etc? So I would be interested to know how I might go about submitting a proposal to you if that is appropriate. In the meantime, my thoughts about such a proposal are as follows; this is a new project with positive, inspired(and inspiring) aims- the themes of anticipation, excitement and dreams come to mind as subjects to work with and develop within the final group of participants. I have an image in my mind of doors, opening and leading onto all sorts of horizons or vistas…(Roads? Sunset and clouds? A hug?) Symbols of things that people might aspire to/ hopes for the project, would feature too. Because the project is concerned primarily with homelessness, people’s aspirations around the idea of what home is/what that means or represents might be an example of such aspirations.
    Finally- if I submitted a proposal and it wasn’t sucessful, (or isn’t apt…)I would be interested in volunteering to help with this initial project in some way.

  3. david smith
    May 15, 2011

    I’m interested in finding a venue for a photographic exhibition. The proceeds will be donated to a local charity. Could you let me know if you are interested to meet and talk further.
    Regards David Smith

    • Becca Vallins
      July 1, 2011

      Hi David
      you might want to send more information to our shop and gallery manager.
      send an e-mail to shop@oldfirestation.org.uk.

  4. Joanna Hutt
    May 17, 2011

    I am a mosaic artist and would love to be involved in any way possible with your project. I ran a project last year with a variety of teenagers including some with learning and emotional difficulties to create an 8×8 ft Klimrt inspired Tree of Life.
    I am also a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor specialising in hypnotherapy, and run my own practices from Broadshires Health Centre in Carterton and in the Woodstock area.
    I believe the processes involved in creating a piece of artwork gives the participant the
    opportunity to be either emotionally ‘still’ and temporarily lost within their own creativity thus enabling otherwise turbulent thoughts and feelings to settle, or the process of creating allows feelings to emerge and be expressed in a positive and productive way. Mosaic work is a perfect modality for therapy.
    How can I help?!

  5. Andrew Claxton
    September 23, 2011

    I was involved in the OFS when it was last a true Arts Centre in the mid-80s with regular classes, fantastic performances and a wonderful cafe/bar. It was a vibrant place then – from first thing in the morning till late at night – and it sounds like it will become one again. Good luck! Andrew Claxton (composer & instrumentalist)

  6. Artistsdirectory.co.uk
    October 13, 2011

    it’s great to see a fantastic new venue opening to do with the arts and we wish everyone involved all the best. The team at artistsdirectory.co.uk

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