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Young Arts

Young Arts aims to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the Arts, and the Wantage Society provides a grant each year towards an appropriate project in the community. 

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2022 – King Alfred’s Academy

A day workshop was held at King Alfred’s Academy for Year 12 A level art students and staff on landscape painting in oils. This was led by Kieren Stiles who has a studio in Oxford and has exhibited widely including Oxford and London. He lectures at the Ashmolean Museum and holds courses including in St Ives, Cornwall.

The day was a brilliant success and the students loved it, saying how much they learnt. The staff were able to develop their skills further which will help in their teaching. It was a valuable experience for all.

2019 – Poetry Workshop

Sunday 21 July 2019 workshops were held in the Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage and were led by the poet in residence, Elaine Baker.

The sessions were free to young people from ages 10 to 25. No previous experience was required. There were three workshops during the day for different age groups: 10-13, 14-18 and 18-25.
The Museum team provided some hand-picked artefacts from the Museum archive for the young people to consider and research (including a multimedia resource). They were encouraged to explore the space in their own time during the workshop to discover something that appealed to them to write about.
Each group were given guidance over a selection of approaches and ways of writing about an object or theme. Notes were given on a handout. At regular intervals the participants were encouraged to share a little of what they had been writing or to discuss which approach they had tried. The workshops were 2 hours long so the emphasis was very much on experimenting with ways of writing. All participants wrote draft poems and were encouraged to go away and edit them towards completion. The work they created was original and exciting.

2019 – King Alfred’s Academy

The Arts Society Wantage supported a day’s workshop at King Alfred’s Academy for the students studying A-level Art.  Kate Findlay – a Contemporary Textile Artist and Teacher – visited the school and introduced different techniques for fabric art.  Fifteen students had a wonderful day learning new ways of creating patterns using varying methods.  They produced sample squares to show their individual use of entirely new materials.  Three students attended a meeting of the Society and explained what they had learned.  They brought along samples of their work which created a great deal of interest among the members.

2015 – King Alfreds Academy

A day’s drawing workshop was sponsored for A Level students and A* predicted Year 11 students at KA Academy by Ian Murphy who became their Artist in Residence. (Ian is a professional artist from Wigan who has tutored in several countries including China.) Drawing is the crux of all of the school’s endorsements (Graphics, Textiles and Fine Art) so the day will have benefited a wide range of students.

2014 St Peter and St Paul, Wantage – Church Trail

A group of children from Grove Primary C of E school were sponsored to use a NADFAS Church Trail around St Peter and St Paul’s church Wantage.
Such a Church Trail is a questionnaire designed for children aged 8 -12 but is really for people of all ages!
The Trail guides the participant round a church looking at the architecture, history and the furnishings.
A corresponding answer sheet is provided for accompanying adults.
The aim was to encourage both children and adults to explore and learn about the oldest building in Wantage where not only are Mr Grove, who gave his name to the local village, but also the father-in-law of Dick Whittington buried!

2014 – Fitzwaryn School

The grant sponsored Sue Drew, from Sunningwell School of Art, to lead a group of pupils at Fitzwaryn School in creating a large ceramic plaque from raw clay. This has now been mounted on the outside wall of their new school building.