Simone Kidner - alumna profile

Architecture alumna Simone has been making waves in Bristol, supporting emerging local artists through the creation of PAPER – a social enterprise which helps artists in Bristol’s community make an income from their practice, with a special focus on empowering young people not in employment, education or training.

Cutting a new path

Simone Kidner

She studied her BA Architecture in Brighton and, after a year working in practice in London, decided to return to her home city of Bristol to finish her studies.

“I completed a year in practice before going to do my MA in Architecture at UWE Bristol. This showed me that I didn't want to work in London, or for a big practice. I wanted to work for myself.

“On graduating from UWE Bristol, I won a business award for my idea to set up a platform to help creatives showcase their work.

“I was frustrated that I had completed six years of work and, after my degree show, there weren’t really any other options to show people new work. So I set out as a sole trader to create PAPER Publication. I have now grown this into a community interest arts organisation called PAPER Arts.

“It’s here to help young people wanting to get into the creative sector, whether as a freelance artist or employed as a marketing assistant at an advertising company.”

Opening opportunities for all

Located in Bristol’s Broadmead, PAPER has an exhibition space, studio, training room, and printing services for artists. It sells local art through its vibrant Co-Lab shop connected to PAPER, which provides a welcome burst of colour and inspiration to the area. It also raises awareness of local artists and shops through colourful shopping maps and lively Art Weekenders.

Simone Kidner

“We now support over 1,000 people each year with workshops, training courses, networking sessions, private views and other events.”

Unfolding potential

Simone’s venture has been so successful; it has received praise from Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson. And local news website Bristol 24/7 named her one of ‘18 brilliant Bristol women’.

“It was a privilege to be recognised for my work alongside such impressive women in different industries across the city.

“UWE Bristol had faith in me and gave me a grant to start my business idea, without this I don't know how I would have started this project.”

Be inspired by up and coming artists or join the art movement at PAPER at

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