Droitwich Arts Network Committee

            2024 Committee

Chair – Helen Karakashian
Helen has interest in all forms of the arts including ballet, opera, art and theatre. Over the years she has learned a variety of crafts including lacemaking, embroidery, smocking, quilting and most recently weaving. However, she is at her most creative through knitting which she learned at the age of 3. She is a member of the Knitting & Crochet Guild, The Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild, The Arts Fund, and a friend of the V&A and The Barber. Other organisations to which she belongs which are not arts related, are The Rotary Club of Droitwich Spa, Life Member of the NT and Mensa. 

Secretary – Rosie Philpott
After graduating from Worcester University with a degree in both Fine Art and English Literature, Rosie is now working as a freelance artist / illustrator. As a youngster she revelled in writing stories and bringing these to life through drawing and words. She is regularly producing greeting cards, paintings for children’s bedrooms and original commissions. She has also exhibited in the Jinney Ring Craft Centre following her appearance on the BBC program ‘Paul Martin’s Handmade Revolution’. Rosie occasionally works with local school children, is a member of the Salvation Army, and is active in all DAN activities. 

Treasurer, Website, and The Hub – Rhys Jones
Rhys spent his whole career working in IT services and has always been interested in the arts, particularly photography. After taking early retirement, Rhys worked for a few years as a freelance commercial photographer, but these days his photography is just a hobby. Rhys was given the 2017 Wychavon Community Arts Recognition Award for his efforts in masterminding and organising Droitwich ArtsFest. Rhys is a member of the Royal Photographic Society amd Droitwich Camera Club. 

Newsletter Editor – Tina Watkins
Tina Watkins is a mainly self-taught artist who moved to Droitwich from Kenilworth. Since taking early retirement Tina has enjoyed revisiting her interest in painting. She started again on a painting holiday in Greece where she discovered she hadn’t quite left it too late to relearn! A year at Warwickshire Art College, many and various painting clubs and several years of art tuition later she finds she is still learning. Tina is currently serving on the committee as Membership Secretary for the Coventry & Warwickshire Society of Artists and Newsletter Editor for Droitwich Arts Network. She is also a member of Droitwich Art Club. 

Historic Events – Alan Davey
Alan always works hard in bringing new ideas and projects for DAN events. His interest in history and, in particular, his knowledge of Droitwich history has resulted in numerous projects. Alan’s painted banners are displayed in Droitwich Community Hall, and his pottery sculptures are in St Andrews Church and local museum. He is a member of Probus, The Canal Trust,and helps the local scouts club. Alan has now retired from actively playing league table tennis.


Membership Secretary – Wendy Simmons
Wendy is a pastel, landscape artist who favours a speedy and impressionistic style. During the first lockdown she spent time learning and developing her drawing skills with pastels; using many locations in and around Droitwich, from the Bluebells at Trench Woods, the wildflowers at Salwarpe and scenes from the canal.  Wendy gave a fascinating demonstrating of some of her newly developed skills and talked about her lockdown experiences on zoom for all DAN members in November 2020.

Venue Management – Derek Webster
Derek was born in Liverpool at an early age. In junior school I was lucky enough to be in a class where five or six boys loved drawing.  We all drew birds mainly until Tommy Metcalfe brought in his drawing of Ursula Andress in her bikini from Doctor No. This widened  our artistic horizons. Really  enjoy studying art history and now retired can set about becoming a better  painter. Paint in acrylics and still love pencil drawing. 
Literary Representative – Karen Read
Karen has always been interested in writing poetry and short stories. She is delighted to be voted onto the committee as the DAN literary representative. Karen has various creative hobbies and admits to be an amateur at all of them. She urges members to try and write something every day, even a sentence can be a start of a story or idea. 
Outreach (Youngsters) – John Evans
I took up art after I retired and just before the pandemic lockdowns began. I work mainly in watercolour with occasional excursions into pastel, ink, coloured pencil, and charcoal. I have benefitted from learning from other artists since I joined Droitwich Arts Network and in turn I am happy to share my own thoughts, experience, knowledge, and encouragement within DAN, and the wider community whenever I am able to do so.

Publicity – Jess Wood
I have always been a creative, making art and painting. I am an artist, holistic therapist and offer art therapy for wellbeing and mindfulness. Most of my artwork is commissioned portraits of pets and people. I enjoy capturing the characters and seeing the different personalities come to life through my portrait drawings. For my own artwork I do seascapes and landscapes with oil paints. Floral art and small crafts with watercolours. 
The art for creative mindfulness is a therapy for emotional healing, releasing negatively and finding an artistic outlet for a more peaceful mind. 
Sue Cook
Sue was born in Margate. Before retiring, Sue worked as a civil servant, a caterer, for Sure Start in Slough, and for Thames Valley Police. Sue was widowed in 2018. In recent years Sue has taken up art as a painter and crafter.