Posts Tagged ‘starting up an art studio’

studio walls being primed

I apologies for the long absence. Sometimes life just gets in the way!

Progress is being made, albeit slow. The plumbing and electrics are now complete, the strip lighting purchased. The caretaker has started to prime the laminate wood panelling that covers the walls.

I have had a meeting about what items need to be bought to stock the Art Cabin. This list is rather long as you can imagine, and a budget needs to be agreed with the  PTA/School, so that we can order the essentials first!

After half term, Lyn & I have agreed to roll up our sleeves, set best foot forward and get painting the walls. Time is passing so quickly that the end of term will be here before we know it and we really want the year 6 children to at least have a chance to produce some art before they leave for the summer break.


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Well, it’s been a while since my last post and there hasn’t been too much going on in the Art Cabin. The original plumber’s quote was too expensive, so I recommended my next door neighbour, who happens to be a qualified plumber. The Head gave him a call and he is set to start at the end of the week.

The electrician will begin his work tomorrow.

More interestingly, we took a trip to Essendon to meet another local artist.

We were completely blown away with the work of  Anne Tilby. Set/costume designer for TV, theatre, ballet and opera, lecturer on Film studies at Herts University, and recycling guru are but a few things this talented artist lists on her CV.

We were particularly interested with the Trash Factory workshops. Highlighting waste awareness, the creative workshops can transform old and unwanted stuff into new and exciting art/gifts/usable  items.

Some of the workshops are designed to compliment key stage learning at school too.

We give a big thumbs up to Anne Tilby and we hope that the school will be able to host some Trash Factory workshops in the Art Cabin.

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Well, it’s been over 2 weeks now since I had the meeting with the Herts Art Development  Officers.

The upside is the Officers think that the art cabin is a wonderful idea, with huge potential and will benefit those who use it. They suggested that once it is up and running, the school could apply for an Artsmark award.

By doing this the school and its teachers offer public recognition of commitment to the arts and Artsmark raises the profile of the school and its arts provision in the local community. (As quoted by the Arts Council).

The Officers also suggested that I should become an Arts Award Advisor.

Arts Award supports young people to develop as artists and arts leaders and is available throughout England. The Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification at three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. (As quoted by Arts Award website). It is aimed at 11-25 year olds, and would be available for the year 6 children who wish to partake.

An advisor would generate opportunities for young people to explore creativity and offer support to them on a one to one basis or in a group setting.

The downside at the moment is funding, the Officers are not presently in a position to offer any sort of funding, and since we are situated in a nice area connected to a school, we would be highly unlikely to receive any lottery funding either.

My next task is to forge links with the local secondary schools art departments. I am also hoping to see some more work completed by the time we return to school.

I would like to also introduce Lyn Hardy who has kindly offerd to help me in the Art Cabin. I think we should now be called the Dynamic Duo!

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My credit card got a bashing. A trip to Wicks (I know how to live it up!) took place last Friday. It had to be done; buying kitchen units, paints, grout and such like. The Caretaker was a gem, apart from keeping me company, he manoeuvred the trolley around the aisles like a F1 driver in poll position. An hour later and we reached the finishing line and before you knew it  the Caretaker had arranged the goods to fit in the boot, and we were off  back to the Art Cabin. Sadly a magnum of champagne was not waiting for us at the other end so we made do with a nice cuppa.

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Another week has passed and more progress has been made. As you can see from the above picture, the partition wall has been removed (to reveal the old loo & sink). In its place will be a big sink with base units (and enough work surface room for a kettle and ipod speakers :·)

It was really surprising to see how much extra room was gained by removing the wall.

I had a reply from the Herts Art Development Officer, I sent an email a week ago outlining this project and had requested some advice on funding. I will be having a meeting with the Arts Officer and her colleague on 2nd April at the portacabin, it’s so important that some funding is available so that we can offer some varied art projects and sustain them for the long term.

I quite like the idea of calling the portacabin the Art Cabin, I know it’s obvious but it just seems right! What are your thoughts?

This coming week I am hoping that the new sink, taps and toilet will be delivered, they are very kindly being donated by the parents of two girls who attend the school, (they are also very good friends of mine) – so if you read this THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I now have to organise a trip to B&Q to buy base units and a laminate work surface. I am also looking at the cost of art tables & stools.

There’s certainly no peace for the wicked!

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The portocabin is nearly empty.

The portocabin is nearly empty.

Great progress has been made this week. The Head has moved all the files and Friday was spent moving PTA stuff out from the loo (which is to be demolished and replaced with a ‘kitchen’ area).  The skip will hopefully arrive next week, then I will rip up the carpet and see what lies beneath!

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Not much has happened this past week. The portacabin has not yet been cleared of files,chairs etc.  The head teacher has been away on a school trip and only he knows what will be kept and what is destined for the recycle bin/skip.

I did get to meet the new school caretaker, I called his name loudly down the school corridor and introduced myself, a hearty hand shake later and I told him that we would be working together on this project (he has building skills which I fully intend to tap into).

I really want to get things moving now, this art studio project was mentioned in the last school newsletter and parents now know about it.

I have also been researching lights, flooring and furniture. I am going to meet up with the caretaker this week to discuss the alterations needed to make room for a sink and some units.

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