Farnham Young Arts projects increase awareness of the need for art and creativity in our lives
Farnham DFAS' 8th Schools' Art Exhibition, with over 400 exhibits to catalogue and mount, 5 professional judges invited, 20 local schools involved and over 90 volunteers, was truly a major community event. The exhibition is the only one bringing together schools, students and families in the area, to share and celebrate creative art at a local level. At an individual level, it gives a huge confidence boost to the young people involved. It gives them a sense of achievement and worth which is seen to impact not only on their art work, but also their confidence in all areas of the curriculum and their lives.
Children love a trail and two Church Trails have been created by Farnham Young Arts volunteers and more are planned. A Church trail will take children and young people on a guided tour of exploration and discovery of the church and its environs. It provides the basis for a wider understanding of the crafts and history by the children within their local area and an exploration of the links with and roots into their past.
The Young Arts group also display and celebrate the work of all Farnham schools in a two yearly rotation with exhibitions changed three times a year in the local railway station waiting room. Members of the public enjoy seeing these exhibitions while waiting for trains, with much very positive feedback. As with the larger biennial art exhibition, this gives confidence and a sense of achievement to individual pupils as well as a boost to schools. Feedback is that train users visit the waiting room specially to look at the art – in the otherwise perhaps drab context of the daily commute!
The group have also supported local teachers with a session of formal observational drawing and one of monoprinting, using the drawings from the previous session. These were enthusiastically received, one staff member commenting that she had only 1.5 hours of art teaching tuition during her PGCE. By improving the teachers' abilities to teach art, children will benefit. In a climate of art teaching in schools being ever squeezed, including no Art module in the proposed English Baccalaureate (EBacc), this is of the utmost importance.