Image: Our Place - aprons made by Craft Club participants

In addition to the multi-arts programme at the Hub, we are also a focal point for arts and cultural activities taking place throughout the North Kesteven district, wider Lincolnshire and beyond. Our specialist staff work with artists, communities and partners to develop unique projects, supporting R&D, creative consultation, appointing artists, fundraising, delivering participatory activity, overseeing the production and installation of artwork and managing events.

Projects can take many forms including public art commissions, artist residencies, festivals, wellbeing activities, heritage inspired projects, walking trails and more!

Our community engagement also leads to many collaborative initiatives through our new annual festival RiverLight

For more information about our community projects or to get involved please email

Recent Outreach Projects

Creative Digital Archives

The Hub received a grant from The Mighty Creatives to explore and test different ways of working with creative digital technology to capture and share experiences of our exhibitions. This pilot allows us to test ways to extend our engagement with schools, particularly looking at how schools can access important exhibitions after they have finished or when we are closed.

We appointed three East Midlands-based artists to work with three schools in North Kesteven: Graham Elstone worked with Church Lane Primary Academy (Sleaford), Laura Mabbutt worked with Witham St Hugh’s Primary Academy and Bruce Asbestos worked with St George’s Secondary Academy (Sleaford). Experiences took place in the gallery, and/or at the school, in order to investigate how successfully we can deliver exhibition-related programmes remotely with artists present, and as a self-led activity. Digital experiences explored included sound and touch-responsive techniques, 3D scanning of artworks with sound and related craft activities and curating our main gallery space using Blender software.

Feedback and recommendations from school staff, pupils and artists will lead to another funding bid, with wider partners, to take this initial pilot forward.

Art Pals

We have just completed a pilot project called Art Pals, based on the concept of creative ‘pen pals’, delivered in partnership with Voluntary Centre Services and artist duo Making up Your Street (Laura Mabbutt and Kathleen Smith). It is aimed at participants of all ages, backgrounds & abilities, who feel isolated or house-bound due to physical or mental health issues or due to caring responsibilities. It enables people to form connections through making and exchanging art with people in similar situations.

We are working on an extension of the project to be rolled out in summer 2023, (funding pending). Participants will receive 6 unique creative kits over 6 months, designed to be completed at home, either on your lap or your table. Each kit includes materials and instructions to make an object to keep, and one to send with a letter to another participant. In addition, a series of facilitated creative workshops and celebration events will take place in local community centres across North Kesteven. These will encourage participants to continue to develop their art pal friendships and perhaps to join new local craft groups over time.

From the pilot project, many of the participants have felt they have reignited their passion for creativity or have now taken up some form of making as a new hobby. We have seen participants learn new skills, build confidence and reduce their anxiety about leaving the house. A recent event at the Hub saw many of the members of the project come together, meet each other for the first time and take part in a ceramics workshop. The overwhelming feedback about the project has been really positive.

If you’d like to know more about this, and potentially take part in a future project, please contact us for more info:

Sleaford Youth Club Mural with Ruth Burrows

This project, funded by Sleaford REP Community Fund, has enabled young people coming to the Youth Club in Sleaford to work with locally based professional illustrator and designer Ruth Burrows to create a mural on the wall inside the new Mosaic youth hub.

The group have been encouraged to think about themselves, each other, their town and the future - and to portray these images in a positive light. The project has focused on being inclusive, open, having mutual respect and will be an inspiring artwork for years to come.

The artist started with a series of creative collage and design sessions with the young people. Ruth then plotted all the different creations they made into a collaborative design for the wall. The participants contributed the process, so they continued to feel ownership and control, and they will also be involved in painting the finished artwork onto the wall.

The Hub will also be leading some free sessions in craft and dance, following consultation with the group about what they want to do next. We are looking to create a new Youth Forum, so that young people can be more involved in our programming, and this project is the first step for this new initiative.

The Hub will have an exhibition about the project, which will help to promote and share the news of the new artwork. The young people will also be involved in organising this celebration and launch by selecting what to include in the exhibition, thinking about how this is presented, designing invites and promoting an opening of the mural and the exhibition. Keep an eye on our social media for the showcase and events! For more information about the Sleaford Youth Hub, please find them on Facebook: Mosaic Youth Hub | Sleaford | Facebook

Mrs Smith’s Cottage

We supported Design Nation member Nicki Jarvis throughout her artist residency at Mrs Smith’s Cottage in Navenby, which sits along the Ridges & Furrows Art & Heritage Trail (see below). Nicki Jarvis was asked to respond to Mrs Smith’s life, her diaries and her village, with participatory activity and new artworks that would sensitively and imaginatively reflect her thoughts and way of life.

Nicki has developed a number of permanent commissions for the cottage, as well as a new heritage trail for the village. Early research with the diaries, the collection of household objects and Mrs Smith’s belongings enabled the artist to find common threads with her own practice, which is characterised by a fascination with vernacular buildings, community collaborations, contributions to the Craftivism movement and the promotion of sustainable practices as an everyday habit.

This has resulted in a number of beautiful, subtle interventions, designed to be encountered by visitors to the cottage, such as collaborative community-made rag rug for the upstairs spare room, an embroidered cushion, embellishments to a coat and cardigan, and ceramic pavers in the garden featuring quotes from Mrs Smith’s diaries.

In addition to this, Nicki has created a number of standalone pieces. An intricate rag-rug map of shows Navenby as it was in 1903 when Mrs Smith (Hilda Craven) was a child and the Friendship Chair features work by members of the Sleaford Embroiderers and local participants, including embroidered flowers inspired by wallpaper patterns in the cottage and many names of Mrs Smith’s friends mentioned in her diaries.

Finally, Nicki Jarvis created the Navenby Heritage Trail, with a series of unique ceramic carved and glazed Datestones, installed in the pavements around the village, with an accompanying booklet. Find out more here: Navenby Datestones and Heritage Trail – Mrs Smith’s Cottage (

1830 Datestone by Nicki Jarvis, outside Mrs Smith’s Cottage.
Members of the Sleaford Embroiderers with the Friendship Chair and the Navenby Rag Rug during the residency exhibition at the Hub in November 2022.
Nicki Jarvis ‘Embroidered Cushion’ in Mrs Smith’s Cottage

The Nettles Volunteer Group
The Nettles is a small natural area on the southern bank of the River Slea. Historically this was an uncultivated parcel of land predominantly inhabited by nettles. Its redevelopment began as early as 1998 when artsNK and other partners planted what is now possibly the longest willow sculpture in the county. Today the site is a creative green space managed by a volunteer group in partnership with the Hub and Hill Holt Wood, providing public access to an outside exhibition and workshop space for sculpture, craft and design projects as well as other community created art installations. The site is maintained for nature with distinct nettle beds (a food plant for many butterfly caterpillars), sympathetic mowing of the grassland allowing wildflowers to flourish and nectar-rich shrubs and fruit trees. The living willow screen - itself a haven for nesting birds - is pruned, woven and sculpted each winter with the offcuts often used in other creative projects.

Led by a Hill Holt Wood Ranger, the Nettles Volunteer Group meets on the second Monday of each month taking part in seasonal maintenance tasks that include grass cutting, wildflower planting, litter picking, tree pruning, hazel coppicing and living willow sculpting. Please come down to find out more as we are always looking for more volunteers!

The Nettles Facebook page

Public Art Commissions
We have worked with many different communities to create and produce a fantastic range of public artwork – enriching everyday experiences in this rural part of the country. Many of the artworks sit within the numerous art and heritage walking and village trails that meander through North Kesteven.

Ridges & Furrows Arts & Heritage Trail
Ridges & Furrows is an arts & heritage trail linking the Hub with OneNK via the Lincoln Edge. The trail was developed in 2017 alongside a programme of cultural events and arts experiences exploring and celebrating communities, local heritage and the landscape across key locations along the route. You can find more information on the website about the sculptures by Grennan & Sperandio around the Waddington Heritage Trail and other projects.

Grennan & Speradio, Emblems, Waddington | Photo: Electric Egg
Image: Grennan & Speradio, Emblems, Waddington | Photo: Electric Egg

Download the Ridges & Furrows Trail Map

When in Sleaford… Arts & Heritage Trail
When in Sleaford… is an art trail inspired by the rich heritage of Sleaford. The trail features a series of beautiful bronze roundels, created by artist David Mackie, sited in pavements and on walls around the town. The artworks act as way-markers, mapping out pathways through and around Sleaford and signposting residents and visitors to other public artworks.

FREE When in Sleaford trail maps and stickers can also be picked up from the Hub, Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm & Sun, 10am-4pm.

Sleaford Civic Trust Heritage Trail

You can join in the trail at any of the locations mentioned below, but the recommended starting point is in Navigation Yard where you will also find Navigation House; this is the starting point for many of the walking trails in and around Sleaford and is an excellent source of local information.

Spires & Steeples Arts and Heritage Trail
The Spires and Steeples trail, from Lincoln Cathedral to St Denys’ Church, Sleaford, brings together the rich history, heritage and local stories of the area. It has many beautiful artworks, churches, interesting landscapes and picturesque skies.

Mon 27 Jun 2022