‘Thanet Art Together’ - A collaborative art project
‘Thanet Art together’ is a project that launched on 13th February, that will see 80 Year 9 students from the Royal Harbour Academy working with local artist, Nova Marshall, and The Arts Society Thanet over the next few months in order to create a piece of Art to celebrate Thanet.
This project was the dream of Katie Green, Art teacher at the Royal Harbour Academy. Katie says “As part of our journey towards achieving the Artsmark Award, I really wanted students to gain experience of working with a real life practitioner of art. Having a residential artist like this can raise aspiration, strengthen community spirit and give students skills and knowledge beyond what we can provide in the classroom. Nova was the perfect choice for us as she has an impressive portfolio after working on numerous community projects and with other schools. A project like this however, would usually be out of reach to a school due to the costs involved, but we have been incredibly lucky to have the support from The Arts Society Thanet who have gone out of their way to apply for a special grant from their National Society and fund-raise to make this project achievable.”
The project will engage students through the process of planning, designing and creating an outcome that is planned to be exhibited later this summer in the local community before being permanently installed at the school. The students are considering the themes of ‘Thanet’, ‘Community’ and ‘Sustainability’ in the work but ultimately the form, materials, size and look of the outcome will be decided and developed by students over the coming weeks. A few of the students will be additionally developing their photographic skills by documenting the project as it progresses, with the hope of having an additional exhibition of the photographs they take. Every student involved will also benefit by gaining evidence towards their level 2 Silver Arts Awards (Leadership unit) which they are working towards this year.
The launch saw the cheque of monies raised - £1270 in total- formally presented by Christine Ward and Lorna Steel (The Arts Society Thanet) to Simon Pullen, Headteacher at the Royal Harbour Academy. The involvement of The Arts Society Thanet will not just be stopping at the funding either. Lorna, a former teacher herself, is hoping to come in to support the work as it progresses and members of the Society will be helping to source materials to recycle into the final artwork. Students were also introduced to the project by the artist Nova Marshall. Nova stated after the session, “I am delighted to have been chosen to work on this project with Year 9 art students. This is a great opportunity for young people to create a large art installation collaboratively with an artist; they will be coming up with ideas, making decisions and leading the project, ensuring that their voices are at the heart of the work they create. Our first session has just taken place and their initial ideas are brilliant, so we have made a great start."
Mitchell, a Year 9 student involved in the project, commented “I love the idea of this project as it is a really good opportunity for students to explore their art at a much larger scale.” Matas, another student working with the project was proud to state “I believe the final piece has the chance to make our school an even better place as I know people will feel happy when they see what we create”.
From left to right: Nova Marshall (artist), Katie Green (teacher), Simon Pullen (Headteacher), Lorna Steel and Christine Ward (The Arts Society Thanet)