BLOG: Art is Everywhere

12 February 2020

Blog: Art is Everywhere

By Rachel Laycock and Emma Wheetman, BloomInArt North East CIC 

We develop, manage and deliver inclusive participatory arts projects, enriching, engaging and inspiring people through the arts. As an arts award centre we embed the qualification in projects where possible and have successfully completed over 500 awards to-date. Our main delivery has been through Discover & Explore with projects in primary schools and ‘Arts Award In A Day’ at festivals.

Projects in primary schools help us to connect people through the arts. We link projects to local heritage, history and artists to create interest, connection and pride.

Through the initial exploration of ART IS EVERYWHERE young people start to see the world around them differently, start to question what is art, and consider ways they have engaged with without realising. We love that as professional artists we can inspire young people through our personal experiences, as we have both taken very different career paths to get where we are today. Young people have always exceeded our expectations and the work created is always of exhibition standard.

The criteria lends itself to the exploration of various mediums. Exposing young people to the wide range of art forms, techniques and skills can blow their mind, as they start to wonder how can they become artists themselves? This curiosity helps us introduce artistic terms such as form, texture, medium, which young people then use to explain their work, developing skills in language, communication and self-confidence.

We feel that Arts Award adds value to the projects we deliver, as young people take immense pride in achieving the qualification. It reinforces that good, high quality art is more than just being able to draw, it is about exploring techniques until you find what works for you, about thinking creatively, problem solving and being resilient. It's okay if things don’t go to plan, as long as you learn from it and move forward.

Discover Arts Award lends itself to festival delivery as the criteria can be met in a day. It encourages families to work collaboratively and often the adults learn as much as their young person. We believe Arts Award guides people around a festival site, encouraging them to engage in the arts, highlighting the expansive range of arts on offer. It encourages conversations with artists and creates an opportunity to share what they have learnt. Working in a festival environment is really exciting it allows us to engage more people, has raised our business profile and led to larger projects and commissions.

"The work completed by pupils has been outstanding. The children were engaged and inspired throughout. They enjoyed researching and organising their findings to create pieces of work. The sessions were delivered to a high standard and the progress the children made within each session was amazing. The children participating ranged from Year 1 to Year 5 and they were all able to complete the work because of the support given to suit their level of ability and the children collaborated well in their mixed age groups." Angela Hall- Art co-ordinator Throston Primary School. Part of Pride Of Place Project (105 arts awards achieved)

We find it easy to fit Arts Awards within our project plans and aims. When we introduce the qualification to schools and venues they are always surprised at how easily the work they are currently doing meets the criteria.