Pro-celebrity paint-off at Studio COCOA. Photo by Steve Pool.

Pro-celebrity paint-off outside Studio COCOA. Photo by Steve Pool.

Castlegate Open Community Of Artists (COCOA) is a temporary collective whose aim is to ‘shine a light’ on the Castlegate Quarter of Sheffield. COCOA has been initiated by the artist Paul Evans as part of his residency within Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield.

COCOA is open to all during the residency period and everyone is welcome to join the collective and become a COCOA artist for any period of time: from a few minutes spent drawing in a drop-in workshop to a fuller, more long-term engagement throughout. COCOA will last from April until November 2015.

Studio COCOA (pictured) has been a key focus of the project and took the form of a pop-up studio based in Castle House. Members of the public were invited to join professional COCOA artists, experiment creatively, and make art with them over the course of two days during the Castlegate Vibrancy Festival.

The University of Sheffield is supporting this residency in partnership with Yorkshire Artspace and the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Engaged University Programme. COCOA is part of Yorkshire Artspace’s ongoing residency programme established in 2005, and of a wider programme of cultural activities and events focused on Castlegate over the next two years under the banner of Castlegate Vibrancy.