Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Plasticine models inspired by the book ‘Dirty Beasts’ by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake

Sharon Gale advising a young art club student

“Artists are schools’ latest big draw” by 

I saw the above article in The Times today and thought I must share it with you. It’s good news for artists and children in my opinion, more creative people in schools can only be of benefit. Not only do I work with children but I have an active arts practice too (as one half of an art duo called Quiet British Accent), and one definitely helps to inform the other.

I know that my art club and the curriculum based work I do in school has a very positive effect on students. Children are learning technical skills of course, but more importantly, students learn to problem solve, to be patient, cope with things not going right first time, persevere, to accept difference, to be proud, gain confidence, self worth, have fun, explore… (I could go on). And they make fun stuff!

It doesn’t matter whether or not the children want to be artists when they grow up, these really are skills to carry forward in to adulthood.

Not bad eh?

Photography by Nux Photography


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Brilliant Makers Badge

I’m so happy to say that the Art Cabin is now part of the ‘Brilliant Makers Club’ set up by AccessArt. As you can see to the right, we have a new badge that we can display with pride.

So, what are Brilliant Makers Clubs?

These are a network of clubs set up in local communities to encourage high quality opportunities for hands-on creative exploration. AccessArt are hoping to encourage facilitators to consider starting a new club to provide more opportunities for hands-on creativity and making.

If you already run an arty type club perhaps you would like to get involved? Whether you’re new to this or established, you can find out how to get involved by visiting AccessArt here.

They will be able to help you with art ideas galore! So, what are you waiting for?

Creative hands-on making

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Gromit model making day

Jim from Aardman Studios holding Gromit

Last Wednesday I was invited by my local primary school (where the Art Cabin is based) to be part of a very special day.

Aardman Studios, the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run, Morph and Timmy Time to name a few, sent over one of their highly skilled model makers (Jim) to show us how Gromit is made.

After a talk about model making, we were all given the correct amount of Newplast to make our very own Gromit. Jim took us through the making process stage by stage, so we were all making our models at the same time. Since I was making one too, I don’t have photos of the step by step stage (perhaps something to blog about in the future).

Part way through the day we also had an unexpected visit from ‘Wallace & Gromit’, as you can imagine the children were thrilled!

The nursery children didn’t miss out either, they made Morph’s friend Chas (which was less complicated than Gromit).

Each and every Gromit that was made developed it’s own personality & character; by the end of the day there were many wonderful & fun dogs to admire.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why Aardman Studios paid a visit to this little Hertfordshire village school, it’s because they won a Herts Catering competition!

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AccessArt are running a competition with over £1200 worth of prizes thanks to the competition supporter Cass Art. There are two age groups for entry, ages 5-7 and ages 8-11 and the theme is ‘My World’.

Not forgetting the dedicated teachers, artists and facilitators, there is a prize for ‘Talented Teacher or School Prize’ too.

For more information, catagories and entry forms, head over to AccessArt. Hurry, the deadline is 27th May 2016.

Hmm, think this is something the Art Cabin students would like to take part in.

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Accessart are once again spearheading a participatory project for 2016 called the AccessArt Village that involves embroidery. Appletons Wools have kindly donated wool for the project, I have a few students here at the Art Cabin who are taking part.

“The aim of the project is simple: to inspire the AccessArt audience of all ages (children , teenagers and adults) to embroider a line drawing of their house on a 20 cm square piece of fabric. The sewn squares can then be sent to AccessArt, where textile artists will work the squares together to make an AccessArt Village artwork.”.

The artwork will go on display around the UK in 2017. AccessArt are inviting galleries, museums, libraries, arts centres, schools and libraries to get in touch if they would like to host the AccessArt Village Textile. How exciting!



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Back in the summer, I was invited by AccessArt be involved in their ‘40 Artist Educator Project’. I was asked to document two projects that we could share with the AccessArt audience. The first of which has now been published and can be viewed here.

We had a wonderful afternoon working on the projects and were lucky enough to have professional photographer Loren McCarthy take the photos for us.

AccessArt is a learning resource that facilitates high quality visual arts workshops and events to a wide audience.

“If you are a teacher or educator you’ll find our collection of resources will help you plan art lessons and provide ideas, inspiration and guidance.
If you’re an artist working in education, a facilitator or a museum and gallery education officer, you’ll find the resources will help inspire and develop your practice.
And if you are a creative practitioner, we’re sure the ideas will help inspire your own practice”.



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AccessArt Star


I’m very pleased to say that the Art Cabin has been recognised by AccessArt and we have been awarded an AccessArt Star.

AccessArt is a charity committed to furthering the advancement of education in the visual arts. Do visit their site, it’s full of valuable information about the visual arts, whether you are a teacher, facilitator, educator, museum and gallery education officer or or practising artist.

To see the AccessArt Stars page click here.

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