When I started the Saturday Art Club at studionAme I never realised how much of a need there is for extra curricular arts activities. Schools and our government seem to forget how important the development of a creative mind is for the future of young people. I've been asked by several kids if I can set them some homework or suggest an artist they can research.
Each week we open the doors to kids and families so they can come and experience creating art in a real artists studio space surrounded by working artists.
With much needed funding from De Montfort University we manage to deliver the classes for free, something thats hugely appreciated by our visitors.
We've covered all sorts of creative practises from ceramics, jewellery, drawing, dream catchers, mosaic and even googly goggles! Every session ends with a happy group of kids taking something home they can show off and treasure.
Most weeks we see between 15-18 kids but our best week so far was a very noisy 23 kids and parents which was a great session. The other thing I find interesting is the amount of parents who ask if I can provide adult art sessions so they can come alone and create something whilst enjoying a glass of wine and some social time.
One of the great things about holding an art club in a working studio is the chance for our artists to give impromptu artists talks where they show work and explain their ideas, how they make money and their future plans. The kids love seeing this stuff as its an insight into a secret life of the artist. our Saatchi exhibited artist Marcus Dove was on hand this week to talk to the kids and explain his pyrotechnic artworks which was a very special treat for our visitors.
Sharing art and inspiring others to get involved is hugely important to me and my practise as an artist. There's something really special about watching a kid create something and feel proud enough to show it off to others in the group. Art builds confidence, simple as that, it instills a feeling of accomplishment and inspires creative thinking, not just as artists, but in everyday situations. Kids like to make stuff, they enjoy the opportunity to experiment, to play with new materials and explore outcomes. Creativity is in us all but we need places where we're allowed to let our creativity blossom, places where other creative people can encourage and inspire us, and grow the next generation of creative thinkers.
Art Club happens every Saturday at my studio and its getting better and better each week.