Big Shop Friday is an independent, non-profit, artist led organisation and arts space based in central Milton Keynes which acts as an alternative, multi-faceted space, fostering opportunities for artists and creatives and encouraging critique, exchange and experimentation outside of existing institutional or commercial spaces within the sector.
We provide opportunities for networking, collaboration and exploration through an artist-led programme of exhibitions, events and talks, as well as being an open access work space, to establish a dynamic hub for critique, dialogue and creative practice.
We work to bring together the emerging creative community of our town by offering a platform where creativity and collaboration can grow organically through a public programme of events and workshops. We encourage our network to utilise Big Shop Friday as a site to test and experiment new work and ideas.
We’re organised and run by a team of voluntary co-directors as well as the incredible support of friends, family and loyal Big-Shoppers!
Big Shop Friday opened every Friday throughout July 2017 by Daniel Chehade in the waiting room of The Old Bus Station, Milton Keynes. It was a pilot – an experiment to see who migh turn up, what they want and if there was any need for such a space in the city.
Word spread and a community grew. People came back, then they brought a friend and so on. Over those four days we established the beginnings of a new network of creatives and contemporaries, one which continues to grow.
In October 2017 the Shop re-opened with Roisin Callaghan and Jo Trotter joining the team. We continued to stocking some of the best magazines around, from art and design, to fashion, photography and architecture, most of our titles were not available anywhere else in the city. Big Shop Friday were also proud hosts to the best coffee in Milton Keynes from Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen. Carlo is one of very few speciality coffee makers in the area who also roasts his own coffee. We put on ad-hoc exhibitions and events with new friends and colleagues contributing and even helping pack up.
In 2018 we left The Old Bus Station and run a pop-up programme of talks and exhibitions partnering with local businesses who genrously gave their support and backing: Bogota Coffee Company, Blackened Sun Brewing Company and Murray’s the Printer. In September 2019 we moved into our new arts space, in central Milton Keynes on the ground floor of a multi-storey car park oppostie MK Gallery.