Artist encourages young ‘rebels’ at Welwyn primary school
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Pint-sized creatives in Welwyn have curated their own exhibition after a local artist gave them masterclasses at school.
In a partnership between St John’s C of E Primary School and Digswell Arts Trust, the pop-up exhibition on March 29 was the result of studio visits and sessions led by local artist Kirke Raava.
In the pilot scheme called “Artists at Schools”, pupils got to visit Kirke and other artists in their studios at the Forge, and received weekly sessions in numerous techniques.
At the Forge, children watched artists while they made their work, getting the full experience of a working artist’s studio.
After that, for every Friday in March, Kirke visited and introduced the kids to mono-printing, acrylic paint techniques, watercolours and even textile art using a sewing machine.
The kids got to have a go stitching various materials and samples together to create their artworks.
The vibrant works that have been made as a result show a riot of bright abstract colours and plenty of different techniques and styles.
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The pupils also wrote reports about the artists they had visited and had some lively discussions at school.
In an exhibition entitled “Art Rebels”, the pupils became curators to display their work at the Forge.
Kirke said: “We have cleared the space and painted the whole studios to give students the real feeling of an art gallery.
“They are so proud of the work they have produced and the whole process will stay with them for a long time.”
The project between the school and the studio came about when St John’s C of E deputy head teacher had the bright idea to ask if they could arrange for pupils to visit - and the conversation blossomed from there.
Founded by educationalist Henry Morris, Digswell Arts Trust has for over 60 years focused on artists in the early phase of their careers, providing studios for around 40 artists who they call ‘fellows’.
The Digswell Arts Trust has a long tradition of artists working in the community, as it was part of Morris’ early vision.
“He believed passionately in art for people, and maintained that artists were vital for the well-being of society,” added Kirke.