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28th May 2024

Art Teacher’s Residential led by our Director of Art, Elinor Brass

Director of Art, Elinor Brass runs an art teacher’s residential encouraging collaboration to be brought forward into their classrooms as well as for their own artistic practice.

The recent three day residential in Birmingham was a mixture of working with artists, visiting galleries and having time to produce work. On the first day we had a workshop, led by artist Amelia Hawk who focused on well-being and offered new ways to generate ideas and make work. Then we visited the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, before spending the evening at Stryx.

This is an artist-run space which offered us the chance to sit and make work together and play with some of the ideas from the day. On day two, we were based at the Ikon Gallery with the focus on the ‘Start the Press’ exhibition. In the morning we had a studio space to create work in, before working with printmaking Fae Kilburn who supported the teachers to print the plates they had produced using the large press that was part of the exhibition. We spent time at the Midlands Art Centre that evening to continue time for discussions and making work. The final day was based in Digbeth, which has a wealth of artist studios, project spaces and galleries to visit. We were lucky enough to be guided by artist Andrew Gillespie, who encouraged us to consider how art can exist in public spaces. Together we explored Digbeth through photography and then visited galleries and studios to gain an insight into the Birmingham art scene.

This course provides opportunities for participants to make work, explore ideas and engage with artists, arts organisations and museums and galleries. This is affordable (not for profit) CPD which participants tell us is hugely beneficial to both their professional development and personal wellbeing. The participants are physically sitting alongside others and making, which is an usual position to be in as an artist or as a teacher. It is possible to see other people’s approaches to making and to discuss processes. Participants have conversations about their artistic practice, about how things they have learnt could translate into their classroom, about materials, approaches and the challenges of working in a school. Friendships are forged that support teachers through difficult times, but also to invigorate teachers’ classroom practice through the sharing of innovations.

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