Staffordshire Artists’ Cooperative – By Ronnie Cruwys


It’s been great to be part of the Staffordshire Artists’ Cooperative and get to know such a creatively diverse group of people. Although the membership gathers people from all over Staffordshire, it recently occurred to us that Stone appears to be quite an attractive hot spot for artists!

Six members of the Cooperative live and work in Stone and between them they have collectively contributed over 25 years of art to the area with work reaching clients all over the UK and as far as Canada and Australia. Two of these members won prizes in this year’s Three Counties Open Art Exhibition. For example, Craig Sumner, one of the founder members of the Cooperative, has only recently chosen to move to Oulton, near Stone. Craig’s work is highly regarded – he has won a number of awards and his work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy. Another member, Tina Paramore, lives on a narrow boat moored in Stone and after a successful career as a traditional boat painter and sign writer she has completely changed direction to explore her artistic skills and now produces wonderfully quirky and imaginative papier-mâché figures.

Another member, the abstract artist Tom Hackney, moved to Stone after ten years of living in the Spanish mountains, on a recommendation by a friend. He has not looked back and loves the place.

Work by all the artists is on display in Gallery at 12 in Eccleshall.

Other Artists in Staffordshire Artists Cooperative include…

Jo Hearn, Ceramic artist, has lived in Stone 25 years after moving here from London – back to her ancestral roots where the Potteries, its history and local resources are paramount to her work. Jo’s work is never in the gallery for long!

Noel Bennett – photographer of rural landscapes (as well as portraits and weddings) and recently producing the latest in photographic printing technique: ‘float prints’ which look fantastic (six are on display in the gallery).

Last but certainly not least, the textile artist Jo Hill, whose work is growing increasingly popular as she broadens her range, teaches workshops and is getting enthusiastic support on social media. Jo has also lived in Stone for 25 years and dreams of one day seeing the Cooperative set up a gallery in Stone.