VIDEO: Young Art project at Steyning primary

Artist Nadia Chalk has been working with a select group of pupils on a project about Identity.

The exclusive one-day workshop at Steyning Primary School yesterday tied in with a school project on the subject and was made possible thanks to a generous donation from Steyning Decorative and Fine Art Society.

Artist Nadia Chalk, back right, and the children with Steyning Decorative and Fine Arts Society chairman Ann Blakelock and Young Art co-ordinator Pam Childs. Picture Derek Martin DM17210286a

Artist Nadia Chalk, back right, and the children with Steyning Decorative and Fine Arts Society chairman Ann Blakelock and Young Art co-ordinator Pam Childs. Picture Derek Martin DM17210286a

Young Art co-ordinator Pam Childs said the society had worked hard to raise the funds to support and inspire young people in the community to foster a lasting enthusiasm for the arts.

“The society was able to offer the school a total of £350 for this invaluable project,” she added.

“With the success of this project and having already established valuable links with Steyning Grammar School last year, our aim as a society is to continue to foster this relationship in the future.”

Pam held initial discussions with the primary school to talk about support for a possible project and it was agreed the society would fund an artist in residence.

Freddie, ten DM17210304a

Freddie, ten DM17210304a

Jennifer Griffin, special educational needs co-ordinator, arranged for Nadia to work with a group of 12 gifted and talented children.

Nadia said: “We started by talking about the face and the proportions but not too rigidly. They could be as creative as they liked with the colours but we wanted two eyes, a nose and a mouth.

“They made portraits using tissue paper and were able to create with it before gluing it in place. They made a collaborative collection of five canvases. It was very much about sharing ideas.

“I am always trying to get children to problem solve using different techniques. I didn’t need to show them a single technique, they figured it out for themselves.”

Scarlet, seven DM17210312a

Scarlet, seven DM17210312a

She said she did not know any artist that just painted canvases and sold them, they all did other things as well in a range of artistic fields, so she wanted to encourage the children to think beyond the basics, like drawing.

This is second time the society has funded a project to encourage young art in the community. Last year, Steyning Grammar School was offered a total of £850 for a two-day enrichment course for year-ten students, tutored by artist Jake Spicer.

Steyning Decorative and Fine Arts Society is a local branch of NADFAS, an arts-based educational charity.

Members meet on the second Monday of each month at the Steyning Centre. Coffee and tea are served at 10am, followed by the meeting from 10.30am to midday and there is usually an illustrated talk.

Preparing drawings for the boards DM17210281a

Preparing drawings for the boards DM17210281a

The annual membership fee is £36 and visitors are welcome to meetings for a donation of £5. Call 01903 279553 for more information.

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