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Woven Art

Art Workshop in a Primary School

It's all in the preparation!

It is always exciting to get the call from a Head Teacher or Art Co-ordinator to invite me into their school for an art project.

This time it is to be the artist in residence for a week, working with children from Nursery to Year Two. The theme is to use the National Gallery's choice of painting in their Take One Picture programme for 2016-17. This year it is Penelope and her Suitors by the Italian artist, Pintoricchio.

The staff have been very engaged in developing activities to encourage artistic skills and knowledge, looking at progression across the school. We have worked together to plan a scheme of work that enables a fantastic cross-curricular week! I will be squirrelled away in my temporary 'studio' and working with all 300 children in small groups. All I can say at this stage is we are working on weaving techniques!

Now that the project content has been decided, next comes the several days of preparation. Once the week starts there is little time to sit and fiddle - each part of the planned activities have to be 'ready to go' as time will be short - its akin to being on a small tea-tray going down an icy slope. I also try to plan for 'happy accidents' and possible diversions as the children get into the art creating. My box of materials will have some what if... stuff just in case.

I was also impressed to hear that it was two Teaching Assistants at the school who got to go on the National Gallery teacher training days. Both are talented artists and designers so I shall be working closely with them, alongside the teachers. The school is keen to empower all staff and children where possible and I can't wait to get started. Updates on the project to follow.

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