The Bright Emporium Opens

Last week the Bright team were delighted to launch The Bright Emporium in Clapham, London. The Bright Emporium is a space to celebrate and acknowledge illustration, where children and families can appreciate and discover this creative journey in a fun and variable environment.

We showed the exhibition ‘Where The Story Began’- as seen at the Barbican to open The Children’s Bookseller Conference this year. Featuring artwork by 10 artists including Benji Davies, Yasmeen Ismail and Sue Hendra, each piece on display shares the inspiration for the artists’ illustrations and highlights how children’s books come to life.

Emporium window on opening night

 (The Bright Emporium opens!)

Celebrating with artists, publishers and the local community, founder and owner Vicki Willden-Lebrecht said: “Books don’t just arrive; they are a creative process of ideas, storytelling and messages. Stories form the basis of all favourite pastimes and our artists are creative geniuses so we want a place that they can be discovered- the Emporium is about discovery and imagination and where it can take you. Stories are also the drawings, the characters, the colours and the landscapes, sewn and stitched together. This will be a reactive and creative space for illustrators, children and parents.”

The Gallery in party mode

 (Our guests get into party mode!)

As well as a gallery for beautiful art, the Emporium will be a multi-sensory experience focussing on children being free to discover the world around them through illustration- make noise and read aloud, draw pictures, to meet and be inspired by artists! The gallery space is an opportunity for children and parents to connect with the creative content of books and celebrate their favourite stories. For the books and artwork to be a platform for inspiration.  They can also take a piece of the book further into their home, lives and imagination through limited edition prints from their favourite books and artists. It is a space which we can dedicate to our artists book launches and the public’s discovery of them and their artwork.

We were lucky enough to have the whole team there to celebrate the opening of the gallery space, including all 4 US members who flew over to join the party! Bright USA Managing agent Alli Brydon said, “The Bright US team was thrilled to fly over to London to celebrate the opening of the Bright Emporium. This innovative space is changing the way people experience children’s books and children’s book art, and is a great inspiration to us during our launch year.” 

The US team does Jazz Hands

(The US team get their jazz hands out! From L to R: Alli Brydon, Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, James Burn, Anne Moore Armstrong, Alex Gehringer)

We then had an exciting opening day on Saturday, trading books and pictures with lots of parents and children, who enjoyed the first Story Time Sunday session at the new Emporium and discovered great books.

saturday workshop

(Opening up to the community: Parents and children get stuck into craft making with Jenny Poh’s wand making class)

On Sunday Julia Patton and Fat Fox Publishing were in for the reading of BBC Children in Need title ‘The Curious Tale of Fi-Rex.’ You can read all about her funky Fi-Rex Story Time Sunday here, when the blog publishes tomorrow. (Look out for Bright team members in dinosaur onesies – you can’t beat a team of creative story reading, craft making dinosaurs!)

What a week! We have to say a massive thank you to our artists, publishers, local community, family and friends who celebrated the launch of our gallery with us. We can’t wait for all the exciting things to come and look forward to seeing you in the space soon!!

Why not drop in to look at the artwork in person, purchase prints and books or bring your family for a craft session. Open Thursday – Sundays 103-105 St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, London SW11 1SY

Check out our lookbook here: www.thebrightemporium.com